JUNE is a strange month when we can be tempted to do things to the lawn that might actually cause more harm than good. The great British weather is responsible - the welcome return of warm, dry conditions tempt us to spend as long as possible in our gardens; but those same conditions mean we must be restrained, just a little….
MOWING: Whatever else you do or don’t do, one thing’s for certain – you’ll be mowing regularly now. But mowing in hot weather can really stress the lawn, and we need to be counter-intuitive to do it sensibly. The fast growth and fabulous look of a newly-mown lawn encourages us to cut quite short; but if it warm and dry, you really need to raise the height if anything. The grass forms an important cooling, protective canopy of our soils, so by raising the height you can prevent the sun from baking the soil.
Stress is also the main reason for keeping your blade really sharp too. A blunt blade tears the grass which slows recovery time. And stressed grass won’t make good use of food and water.
So don’t stop mowing, but protect it. The lawn will thank you for it.
WEEDS: Warm weather means that herbicides can more easily damage the surrounding grass, so weed treatment can actually be quite dangerous. If you do need to still treat weeds, treat them in the early morning before you get full sun and heat. This will allow the herbicide to get into the plant as safely as you can. Although, if it’s too hot and dry, it’s best left until conditions change and the weed is growing strongly again.
REPAIRS: The warmth is great for germinating seed; but what about the watering? If it’s dry, you’ll need to water regularly, never allowing the seeds and seedlings to dry out. That’s a lot of work – and a lot of precious water. So try to time your repairs for wetter times if you can.
FEED: A summer feed is helpful, especially if you haven’t fed the lawn since Spring. Organic feeds are not just good for the environment but are also a much safer option. Organics also have the benefit of rarely needing to be watered in immediately – you can apply it and then wait for the next rain shower. Beware, however, that products with moss killers should not be used during hot spells as they may scorch the grass.
So, do get out there, do enjoy your garden, and do continue looking after you lawn. But bear in mind the stress that this lovely weather can cause – and if you did all the right things early in the spring, your lawn will be in good health and will survive much better in dry weather anyway.