A 5-Step Guide To Watering Your Lawn During A Heatwave
Let’s get straight to the point: it’s hot. Like crazy hot. Like scorching hot. The kind of hot that has seen the mercury in your thermometer hit record highs. The tarmac on your drive melt a little and, worst of all, your lawn turn a weird yellowy-brown colour. But as well as forcing us to become BFFs with the AC system in our cars and vans, this unprecedented heatwave has also left a lot of you wondering: how the heck do I keep my lawn lush, green and alive in these scorched earth times. Hence the blog – A 5-Step Guide To Watering Your Lawn During A Heatwave.
So the short answer is: water.
The only hiccup is, there’s more to watering your lawn than just turning on the sprinkler when you remember. Especially during a heatwave. What’s more, you can go too far the other way and actually over-water your lawn too, which is a sure-fire way to create even more issues.
So without further ado, here’s how to correctly water your lawn this summer and keep it lush, green and oh-so-healthy (no matter what your weather app is predicting):
Water early in the morning
When it comes to watering your lawn, it’s all in the timing. That’s why we always recommend setting your sprinkler (or alarm clock) to somewhere between 4am and 6am. That’s because these times are either side of the sun’s most intense heat. Allowing all your watering efforts to actually reach the deepest parts of both your soil and your grass’ root system.
We know that seems a little early and we know you’re probably thinking: “I could just do it a little later in the day, or even in the evening.” But don’t. You see, any later in the day and you’ll find the sun’s heat will evaporate your water before it’s had a chance to feed your lawn, while the evening option can create damp patches that encourage fungus and mould to grow.
Water deep… really deep during a heatwave
Here’s the thing: a lot of garden-owners think it’s better to water their lawn little and often. But, trust us, that’s not the way. Instead, it’s far more beneficial to your lawn’s health for you to water deeply and infrequently. That’s because soaking your lawn will allow the water to soak into the soil and seep down deep enough to where your roots can enjoy a bit of a session. But it’s not just about your lawn because watering deeply will actually reduce the number of times you need to stand out there holding your hose.
As for watering during an intense heatwave where your grass is at risk of dehydration, try and water your lawn so that the top six inches of soil is nice and moist. This will help keep your lawn cool and hydrated. Just make sure your lawn is dry again before you douse it with any more water.
Install a drip system for the ultimate results
Hosepipes are fine. Sprinklers are cool. But a drip irrigation system is on another level. We’re talking the Leonardo DiCaprio of the watering-game (if Leo had been handed the number of Oscars he actually deserves). That’s because achieving the optimum results is not about the number of times your lawn is watered, but the depth at which it’s watered. Something a drip system does best.
The way they work is pretty technical. So to put it into Layman’s terms, they ensure the water dispersed gets right down to where the grass roots are. Instead of just lightly sprinkling the grass blades and the top layer of soil. By doing this, much more moisture actually gets used rather than lost to ye olde evaporation.
Rain barrels are a game-changer
Rain barrels have always been a great addition to any garden. But with the cost of living on the up and climate change becoming a major issue, there’s even more reason to get yourself a rain barrel. Translation: by collecting a considerable amount of rain water, you’re not only reusing rain but saving yourself a chunk of money.
Sure, they probably aren’t worth buying during an actual heatwave where rain is as rare as a successful Bitcoin investor, but getting one now will allow you to maximise any future downpours. They are designed to catch any water that falls from your roof and then store it until you need it. Trust us: you’ll be floored by the amount of water at your disposal when you next need some.
Leave your mower alone
Okay, so this one isn’t technically about watering tips, but mowing your lawn is a no-go during a heatwave. Why? Because summer is stressful enough on lawns. So chopping your grass at a time when it’s stressed will only cause irreparable damage.
That said, if you absolutely have to mow your grass, try and do it after you’ve watered it. Not immediately, because you should never mow a lawn that’s still wet! But once it’s dried out a little, making sure you keep the ⅓ rule in mind.
Of course, the best thing to do is set your mower deck a few inches higher than normal so that your grass blades are longer. Thus allowing them to retain more water, which will encourage them to grow even deeper roots. After all, the deeper the roots the more access your lawn will have to stored moisture.
Oh and, last but not least. If you’re steadfast on your mowing mission, try and do it early in the morning or late at night to reduce the amount of moisture lost; a move that will reduce the risk of heat-encouraged diseases.