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  2. Lawn Care Advice for Dry Weather

Lawn Treatments and Dry Weather

Our lawns have had a lot to put up with in the last year. Many have endured months of what seemed like endless rain. Then covered in snow for large periods of March. Now they are having to cope with no rain and baking temperatures.

So, what can be done to help our lawns during another stressful time?

Can the lawn be treated? Will it work? What if you can’t water your lawn or if you can when and how much should you give it? When will it rain again? 

The answers to all of these questions and more (we might struggle with the last one) are here.


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Fertilising

Can you apply a dry granular fertiliser when my lawn is dry?

Yes, we can. The fertiliser GreenThumb use is specially coated to protect the lawn during dry conditions. Once applied it will lie dormant until there is sufficient moisture to aid release. The lawn food is then released into the soil or root zone.

Does the fertiliser have to be watered in?

No, it is not necessary to water the fertiliser in. Of course, since grass is made up of 93% water, it appreciates watering.  

What if I can’t or don’t feel inclined to water the treatment in, will it make my lawn worse?

Absolutely not. The coating on the fertiliser keeps the important macro nutrient wrapped up until it gets sufficient moisture, so there is no damage to the lawn from the fertiliser. When it is possible watering or better still rainfall, helps the fertiliser to feed the grass to give you a great lawn.

What is so special about the GreenThumb Nutragreen treatments this time of the year compared to other granular fertilisers?

Our fertilisers have been manufactured to deal with hot dry conditions. Most fertilisers for lawns on the market either have little or no coating. These ‘open’ fertilisers must be watered into the soil otherwise they scorch the lawn. GreenThumbs Nutragreen feeds only release their nutrients when it rains or is watered. Not all lawn treatments are the same, even if they look similar.

How does the fertiliser work in these dry weather conditions?

The fertiliser will lay dormant until it receives sufficient moisture. So, it just sits there waiting for the rain.

Why should I have the GreenThumb treatment instead of just waiting for the rain and then having a treatment?

If you have the treatments then the fertiliser is in place for when the rains come, this is very important in speeding up the recovery. If you miss the treatment, and there is no fertiliser to assist with recovery, it will take much longer to recover.

My gardener tells me that you can’t apply dry granular fertiliser in dry weather conditions, is he right?  

If you are looking at an inferior product which is what the gardener is likely looking at, then yes, he is right.  Our Nutragreen fertilisers have been manufactured for these situations. So, if he was talking about our fertilisers he was wrong. Applying the GreenThumb Nutragreen fertilisers are the best course of action with the dry weather we currently have.

 

Weed Control

Will the weed control part of the treatment work in dry conditions?

Weed control is challenging during these conditions if the lawn is not being watered. The herbicide will still work on weeds that are active, helping with control and keeping the numbers at bay. So, if your weeds are still growing (photosynthesising) and many are, they will be controlled by our treatment this time of the year. However, it will probably take a little longer than usual.

 

Recovery

How long will it take for the lawn to recover once we have some rain?

There are many factors which affect the answer to this question but as an average:

  • If there is no fertiliser present: Approx. 6 weeks.
  • If there is fertiliser present: Approx. 3-4 weeks.
  • If there is fertiliser present and the lawn has had the GreenThumb Oasis Treatment: Approx. 7-10 days.

How can I help the lawn recover?

By following the guidance offered by GreenThumb: have the Nutragreen Treatment, water the lawn (if possible), and consider the Oasis Treatment.

Are there any common lawn problems which are more likely, after dry weather periods, I should know about?

The main one which can be very clear would be Dry Patch, this is when the soil has become hydrophobic (the soil repels any water). This should be treated with a programme using Oasis and possibly a soil fungicide. Making some holes in the area where the patch is and then treating is the best way forward, then watering it until grass has returned to the areas. Depending on what the temperatures do there is also a strong possibility of Red Thread which can also be clearly visibly and relatively easy to identify.

Are weeds likely to be more prevalent on lawns following dry weather periods, if so why is that?

Yes. Weeds often do appear more active after a period of dry weather. With the dry weather dormant weed seeds are blown in the breeze and likely land onto your lawn. When the rains arrive, they germinate. Often, we have seen lawns which were weed free before a dry weather period become ‘weedy’ once again. However, we are aware of this and will ensure that post dry weather treatments will control them.

What can GreenThumb do for me to aid the recovery of my lawn?

The key to help with recovery is to prepare in advance, this can be achieved by using all the treatments we offer along with a regular watering programme if this is possible.

Can you tell me more about your Oasis Treatment?

Take a look at this page: https://www.greenthumb.co.uk/treatments/oasis-treatment

 

General

Should I mow the lawn during a dry weather period?

If the grass is dry and not growing do not mow it. If there is some growth or it looks unsightly with tufts of growth here and there then only trim the tops of the leaf try and keep the height to 50mm (2”). This canopy will help to protect the soil, keep it cool and this will help when the rains come.

Why does my lawn dry out in patches? Some of it is still green and other parts have dried out.

There is not one answer to this question.

When dry weather affects a lawn some of the finer species are affected first thus leaving you with the rye grasses and possibly some of the coarser grass species still flourishing.
Some areas of soil do dry quicker than other areas particularly if there is a sand content in the soil or there is something beneath the soil making it dry out quicker such as a drain,
Some of the lawn may be in the shade or in a dip and this is keeping it cooler for longer so evaporation is not so extensive in these areas.

There are many schools of thought about the best time to water a lawn, what is GreenThumb’s view?

When it comes to watering we recommend the following:

  • If you can, think ahead. It is easier to get water to penetrate a moist soil than it is to try and get it into a soil that is baked hard.
  • Do not water through the sunny parts or middle of the day, this is not very effective due to the speed of evaporation.
  • Water when the sun is ‘down’ either early morning or in the evening. Water areas for up to 30mins or until whole lawn is covered.

When will it rain next?

Soon we hope! But in the meantime, enjoy the weather and don’t worry about your lawn too much.