Water Wise Lawns

Requiring very little to drink is the greatest asset of the ship of the Desert the humble Camel. It thrives on minimal moisture and the following steps will aid you in helping to make your lawn more of a camel and less reliant on frequent watering.

In our previous tips we have shown you how to remove thatch. Thatch is one of the biggest problems in creating a thirsty lawn. Its removal aids water to penetrate the upper surface and get down to where the roots are growing.

Watering an established lawn should only occur when the lawn needs it. Regular short watering is the worst thing you can do as it encourages shallow rooting and on the first day of extreme heat the lawn keels over with stress.

Irregular deep watering encourages the roots to go deep in search of moisture and reduces stress in the turf. Look for signs of wilt in the leaf before watering. A slight blue tinge and curling of the leaf will tell you to turn on the tap and give your lawn a well-earned drink. Shout yourself one at the same time. Now there’s a good tip.

If you have a very dry lawn the use of wetting agents will help get the water down deep and aid in the establishment of a strong root system which is the core of a healthy lawn.

If areas of the lawn are hard you have compaction and roots will not develop in these areas. Break the hard surface with a garden fork and rock it back and forwards to break the hard pan that develops in trafficked areas. If you cant get at least 8cm of the fork into the surface you have compacted soils. This process is called aerating the lawn.

Sandy loam soils don’t compact as much as clay soils. Clay types will need to be aerated more frequently.

So remember to irrigate deeply and infrequently and observe the lawn for signs of moisture stress before watering. This will turn your lawn into the camel of the street and your neighbours will think you are one of the Wise Men of Christmas. Be careful next time you see them as they may think you are bearing gifts.



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