Summer Lawn Care: The Australian Summer is a highly stressful time for all lawns, and it's the things we do both before and during the summer which will determine the overall health and appearance of our lawns. Generally we need to prepare the lawn to withstand the heat by ensuring it is in the best health and condition prior to the onset of the heat, as well as to avoid any sudden shock to the lawn.
Wetting agents: A waxy coating on grains of soil is responsible for the water repelling effects often seen in many soils around Australia. This waxy coating resists water entering the soil, resists water penetrating evenly throughout the soil, and finally, pushes the water out of the soil root zone in the only direction it can, down into the water table. Wetting agents are similar to a detergent that breaks down the waxy coating on grains of soil, as well as aiding in the penetration of water into dry spots.
Results of Wetting Agents after being applied: Once Wetting Agents are applied, soil is more capable of freely absorbing the water that is applied to it, water is more able to distribute throughout soils more evenly, and instead of forcing water away from the root zone. The soil will hold onto the water in a usable manner for longer.
Wetting agents can be bought from most hardware stores, here's an example:
The Application: When we open the bucket of Wetting Agents it has a distinct strong and sweet smell, the Wetting Agents themselves look like small light grains, similar to large grains of soil in appearance. Once applied to the lawn or soil and watered in, the grains of the Wetting Agents can continue to be seen for days later. This is because the grains themselves are not the Wetting Agents. The grains are simply grains of cork or other substance which has the liquid wetting agent applied to them. When we water the Wetting Agents in, the actual Wetting Agent hydrates and release itself from the cork and enter the soil, leaving the cork grains behind to naturally break down into the soil.
Lawn mowing: Choose the Right Setting, Time and Pattern Grass does better if it’s cut at a higher mower setting. This also helps cut down on weeds. The optimum goal is to cut one-third of the length of grass, allowing clippings to decompose and return nutrients back into the soil. If the lawn is out of control, mow it at a higher level and then lower the blade and mow again a couple of days later. Higher mowing heights for grass provides for a deeper root system, a better looking lawn and less invasion by weeds. Avoid mowing in the heat of the day, which can damage the grass, or when the grass is wet, which can damage your mower and leave unsightly clumps. Mowing in varying patterns helps prevent soil compaction and keeps grass healthier. If you want the striped look of a golf course, just put a roller on the mower. You can get a roller at many hardware or supply stores.
Prevent Scalping and Keep Blades Sharp: If you’ve added fertilizer or another lawn application, avoid mowing for 24 hours. Sharper blades make cleaner cuts, sharpen your blades every four to six weeks depending on how many times you use the mower, keep an extra set on hand. Always mow across a hill with a walk-behind mower and mow up and down with a riding mower. Make the last cut before winter short as the lawn goes into the dormant season.
Watering your lawns:
· The best time to water lawns is first thing in the morning.
· If mornings are not permissible then water at night.
· Amount of water required depends on, temperature,soil type and the wind.
For more information please check out this website of the Water Corporation: https://www.watercorporation.com.au/save-water/in-the-garden/waterwise-lawn-care