Hot and dry weather can really take a toll on even the healthiest lawns and cause them to become thin and patchy. This mostly happens over the summer months. The weather is hot and dry and lawn owners may be on holidays or too busy to keep up their regular lawn maintenance schedule. It only takes a couple of days of hot, dry weather to affect your lawn.
What to look for
What you will usually see is bare patches throughout the lawn or your lawn would’ve started to thin out and change colour. This is followed by those bare patches that bake in the sun and become rock hard. This makes it difficult for water and nutrients to get into the soil. This is commonly known as ‘dry patch’ and appears regularly in lawns throughout the summer. Thankfully it is treatable and relatively easy to fix.
How to repair
First things first, it is always recommended you aerate the affected area of your lawn. Aeration can be done with a garden fork, aerator sandals or a specialised aerator depending on the size of the lawn. This is crucial as it will de-compact your soil and will help nutrients and water penetrate your lawn.
Next, apply a wetting agent to the affected area. Wetting agents come in liquid and granular forms and assist with water absorbing into your soil. This will also allow the soil to hold water in a usable manner for longer. Always remember to irrigate your lawn well after applying the wetting agent.
After this, it is time to stimulate your lawns growth to allow it to self-repair and cover back over. This is best done by applying an NPK fertiliser to the entire lawn and irrigating the lawn well afterwards. Always remember to apply all products at label rates and follow all instructions.
How to reduce the suffering
- There are some of the steps you can take to reduce the suffering.
Choose a drought tolerant variety.
- Carry out good soil improvement practices prior to installing.
- Water your lawn correctly, less frequent, deeper soakings to encourage deep roots.
- If possible, give your lawn one deep soaking at the first sign of any heat and drought and then leave it until it starts to wilt, repeating the process as necessary. This will be more frequent in sandy soils.
- Increase the mowing height – Slightly longer lawns shade the soil, reducing evaporation and stress.