JULY is the pinnacle of summer. It’s when we’re anticipating our holidays and just want to enjoy being in our gardens. And why not? You did all that hard work (well, it wasn’t that hard I hope, but it should have really paid off) – you now deserve some deck chair time. So, other than mowing with a good sharp blade (and keeping the air filter clear – there’s a lot of dust around), the only thing to worry about – or not – is watering. And watering lawns just happens to be one of my hot topics…
If summer is being kind to us, one of the concerns we may be having is whether to water the lawn or not. In fact, dependent on what our irrational weather has thrown at us, you may already be watering but here are some helping points regarding water.
Water is the world’s most valuable resource and plenty of thought should be made before you decide to embark on what could be a lengthy and costly watering program.
DO I NEED TO WATER THE LAWN? You’re going to feel concerned if your lawn is beginning to brown up in dry conditions. But if the lawn is basically in good condition (and assuming the rains return eventually… and they will!) then there is nothing to worry about. Grass always bounces back. In fact the turning brown is not a symptom of it being unwell but simply its own proven survival technique. But yes, there are plenty of reasons why you may want to minimise this seasonal behaviour. So…
WHEN SHOULD I WATER? Many think about watering when the lawn is already brown. It’s a simple fact that to get the lawn lush green again, it will take a lot of water; so it makes much more sense to water the lawn earlier, before it gets too dry. With the plant still growing, it can utilise the water more efficiently.
HOW DO I WATER? For maximum efficiency there are some things to consider.
Do you have a water supply sufficient to be able to put enough water down in the time frame you have? Many never know their water pressure and when it comes to the time to water, soon realise that watering may be a mammoth time-consuming task.
Do you have the correct tools to be able to water quickly and efficiently? Do you plan to water by hand? Is your sprinkler working correctly? Do you have all the connectors you need?
Have you worked out the best time to apply the water, to ensure the plant gets the best use out of it? Evening (after 8pm) is the optimum time as the grass has all night to use the water more efficiently. Mornings are ok, but you have to remember that soon, it will be warm and moisture can be drawn back to the surface. And that’s not great for the roots.
So, water is expensive and the life source to all; choose to use it well and don’t waste it. If you can live with a little browning mid-summer, then do. It’s just your lawn having a ‘siesta’ as it’s done for millions of years – and when it’s ready it will soon green up again.