When the temperature is high, we usually jump in the pool to cool off, or turn on the a/c to chill out! Unfortunately, we can’t do the same for our lawns and gardens! A long, hot and dry summer is your lawns worst enemy, so it is extremely important to both prepare and begin turf maintenance on your lawn consistently through the summer months.
In Brisbane, we go through long patches of wet spanning a number of years followed by extended dry conditions caused by El Niño. Over the last few years we have benefitted from some very wet conditions in the La Niña pattern which your turf and gardens LOVE! Higher then average rainfall coupled with hot days creates perfect turf growing conditions. But this is not always going to be the case and each summer brings with it weather uncertainty.
In a perfect world, your turf would have been laid on a deep coarse sand and soil base, which will have created a strong root system. This means, when rain and water is at a premium, the deeper roots can source and pull water from much lower down. But if this is not the case with your turf or you simply are unsure, during the summer months, less frequent, deeper soakings will train the root system to become more self sufficient and robust, particularly with drought tolerant varieties. Short and frequent watering will encourage reliance.
During long stretches of drought or dry weather a weekly soaking may be required for your turf maintenance. But be aware of your local councils water restrictions and the cost of water! Check out Brisbane’s current restrictions by clicking here. Or visit your local water utilities website for relevant information pertaining to your suburb. To ensure your lawn and turf gets the most out of any rainfall we do get, the use of granular or liquid soil wetters is recommended.
During the summer months, less frequent, deeper soakings will train the root system to become more self sufficient and robust.
Hopefully throughout the Spring your turf and lawn got a drop of water, and you were quick enough to make the most of the rain and get some fertiliser spread! Be extra careful through the summer with fertiliser as many brands need to be watered in immediately, otherwise burn can occur. Keep a bag of QLD Organics Eco 88 in the shed and watch the weather! The purists will be out there at 10PM with a bucket in hand when that freak summer storm blows over!
Get in quick and make sure your mower is in good working before the growing season starts! With perfect growing conditions, and fast growing turf may mean your lawn will need to mow at least once a week if not more. With regular mowing you should aim to remove no more then a third of the leaf blade to encourage dense, healthy growth. Mowing too short will cause unnecessary stress and may lead to potential weed invasion.
As with any time of year, keep on eye out for any weeds and remove them before the get out of control, particularly before setting seed. The combination of mowing too low and a lack of water and nutrients can lead to weed infestation. Aerating and topdressing can be done during the summer, but don’t leave it too late!