Summer brings both rewards and challenges for lawn owners when the majority of lawns in Australia will be in their peak growing cycle, and as a result - should be thriving if being cared for properly. Many other lawn owners will face many problems with their lawns when the heat arrives and their lawns aren't prepared. As a result, an unprepared lawn will suffer great heat stress throughout Summer.
The situation of heat stress and suffering lawns may lead many people to try and rectify the problem by watering every day to try and keep the water up to what appears to be a drought stressed lawn - unfortunately this makes the problems even worse.
The key to a strong healthy lawn in Summer is a deep root system, plus good lawn care practices.
A deep root system allows the roots of the lawn to live below the evaporation level of the upper soil and deeper in the soil where there is a constant water supply - which we must maintain. This practice will protect our lawns from heat stress.
To create a deep lawn root system, we must train the roots of the lawn to search deeper for water. This is done by restricting the availability of water at the soil surface on a regular basis.
Watering days should be restricted, while increasing the watering times of the reticulation system. This makes an abundant amount of water available deep in the soil - with enough water for the lawn to thrive.
In contrast - if the lawn was watered more frequently - the roots would stay at a constant shallow level, because there is no need for a deeper root system while there is abundant water at the surface.
Watering infrequently forces the lawn to search deeper into the soil for it's water supply with it's root system - and the increased watering times puts that water there.
The deep lawn root system has been trained, but the health of the lawn must also be maintained to achieve a true heat proof lawn.
Soil water efficiency should be improved with applications of Wetting Agents.
Regular lawn fertilising strengthens the cells structure of the lawn, provides nutrients necessary for it's food supply, and most importantly encourages root growth.
Regular lawn mowing will encourage the lawn to grow more green leaf instead of using it's energy to spread. The extra green leaf will thicken the lawn, which in turn will further insulate the soil from water evaporation.
Low water and drought proof lawns can also be trained with only a few more lawn care tips, and well worth considering.