The summer sun may be a much sought after part of a good holiday, but for those that live with it every day, the heat presents its own challenges. These challenges are apparent in all forms of life, as it is not just humans that are susceptible to heat related problems, most plants and animals are as well. Having the beautiful contrast of lush green grass and plant life against a backdrop of a crystal clear, cloudless blue sky is an idyllic image, but actually keeping that grass green and those plants healthy takes work and dedication.
If you can’t take the heat…
Fortunately, it is comparatively simpler to keep grass green and healthy in the hot summer weather than it is to battle the cold at the other end of the year. Winter can take a lot of preparation and planning to provide the best defense against the cold, but as far as summer is concerned, it is all about maintenance. In pretty much exactly the same way as humans require constant hydration to stay comfortable and functional in hot weather, so does you lawn. The grass will be trying to absorb even more water and nutrients than usual to compensate for the increased stress the heat is placing on it; unfortunately the soil will naturally be incredibly dry, making this impossible. Over on our lawn care page, there is plenty of information on the best practises for different lawn situations. Dealing with heat, and quite possibly drought, means that it is best to treat your lawn almost as if it were fresh turf in regards to watering.
Drink it in
There is a considerable difference between the effects of frequent, light watering and less frequent deep watering. When dealing with the heat, a good, deep watering will be a lot more beneficial to your lawn than multiple light ones as it will last longer in the soil and promote strong root growth. On average three or four times a week should be sufficient to sustain a lawn in average conditions, but if you are dealing with more extreme heat then it is probably best to increase this to daily waterings. If you undertake this task in the morning, before the sun has really heated the day up, then the soil will be cool and more able to take in the water you provide it. This time of day also helps ensure that the water will soak in rather than evaporate, reduce the risk of discolouring blades of grass and prevent fungus growth; something that can occur when watering in the evening.
Locking up the sun
Whilst water is by far the most important factor in keeping a healthy lawn in hot weather, there are a few other things that our experts at A View Turf recommend that you do. Fertiliser is rarely a bad idea, especially if you get one designed to be used during the summer months. Applying such a product one cool morning, just like when you are watering, can provide the grass with much needed nutrients that water along cannot bring. This should not need doing regularly, once or twice a season should suffice in all but the most extreme circumstances. Alongside this, a really simple strategy anyone can implement is to allow the grass to remain a bit longer than usual during the hot weather. Doing so will allow the grass to help protect itself, as the crown of each plant is where new growth begins and having the longer blades above will shield the crown from the sun. Locking the crown away in self-produced shadow will help the grass continue to flourish rather than letting the crown burn in the heat, which will cause the plant to divert its resources to trying to repair this trauma. With the reduced resources available during persistent heat, there is a fairly good chance that it will fail to do so and this will cause the plant to wither and most likely die.
These three simple measures will drastically improve the appearance and overall condition of your lawn during hot summer days. If possible, an integrated or even automated watering system would be an ideal solution if you live somewhere perpetually hot, but all of these tips can be easily performed by hand. Keeping one step ahead of the heat will help your lawn stay green and healthy during hot weather, providing you with that beautiful blue and green contrast to enjoy on those long summer days.