Monty Don criticised by lawn expert David Hedges Gower
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Lawn care is essential during hot spells, but whilst you may be tempted to turn on the hosepipe and drench your grass in a bid to keep it alive, this can cause a lot of damage. Striking the delicate balance your grass needs to thrive in summer conditions can be tricky, but follow these four simple steps and you should be able to save your grass this summer.
When should I mow in hot periods?
Knowing when to mow is key to ensure your grass remains healthy through the heatwaves.
Chris Bonnett from GardeningExpress.co.uk said: “Avoid mowing the lawn during extreme heat as the lawn will be trying to recover from the heat or a potential drought.”
He added: “The optimum time is in cooler temperatures after a rainfall.”
Although it should also be noted you should never mow your lawn when it’s very wet or frosty as this will damage the turf.
How often should I cut the grass?
If you mow your lawn too much over the summer you can damage the grass, as overcutting can make your garden more prone to drought and weeds.
Mr Bonnett said: “Over the hottest summer months you should be able to get away with minimal lawn mowing.
He added: “Keeping the blades of grass as long as possible creates a microclimate by shading the soil beneath them and slowing down the loss of any moisture trapped in the root or the soil.”
If you’re unsure about how much grass to cut, a good guide is to avoid removing more than a third of leaf shoots in one go.
Avoid your lawn in the heat
As tempting as it can be to walk across your lawn in the summer months, when the temperatures soar your grass will be put under a lot of pressure.
Mr Bonnett said: “A few simple steps can be taken to care for your lawn when it is struggling in the heat, such as keeping feet and shoes off the grass as much as possible.
“Moving toys, rugs, tents and furniture off the lawn will also help it breathe.”
Should I use lawn treatments?
You might see your lawn start to brown in the summer and panic.
Resist the urge to throw lawn treatment all over it as this may cause further damage.
Mr Bonnett explains: “Applying lawn treatments during hot spells can also be detrimental to the grass, as they encourage rapid growth and your lawn won’t be able to cope with the lack of moisture.”
Do not be afraid of brown patches, whilst they may look unsightly this does not indicate an unhealthy lawn.
These patches should soon recover to their vibrate green colour when the autumn rains return.
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