With the current dry weather conditions at the moment, we are really seeing the impact it’s having on the environment around South East Queensland. This week’s turf tips we look at how long can lawn survive without water and drought tolerance.
Without receiving water
Many people out there like me, I like to start my Christmas planning early. For some it might be their current lawn or installation of a new lawn, to look nice and green just in time for the holidays. With the severe dry weather conditions at the moment, over time your lawn suffers from a lack of water where it could possibly die. All turf varieties require tender loving care, but certain varieties require more TLC than others. Without receiving water evenly the soil becomes drier and the plant roots need to work harder to extract water.
During the hotter part of the season when the temperature gets really high, your lawn will enter a state of dormancy where it shuts down tissue growth to preserve moisture loss. You can usually tell if a lawn is dormant rather than dead by looking at the crown at the base of the leaves. If the crown is white to off white, it is likely that it is still alive. How to tell if it’s a dead lawn, it will be dry, brown and brittle across the grass, leaves, roots and crown.
What can I do to help my lawn?
You grass you will eventually need to provide the moisture that it desperately needs to ensure it survives. But there are still a few simple steps you can take to help your lawn before it’s too late.
- De-thatching – Removing the dead material from the lawn profile will help the living plant to absorb all the available moisture.
- Aeration – lawn aeration gives your lawn extra access to oxygen, improving the ability for water to help target the roots.
- Stay off the lawn – Your grass is already having a hard time and the drier it is, the more it is likely to be damaged and not be able to recover from foot traffic or additional wear.
- Fertilise – If you haven’t already, fertilise! This will help give your lawn nutrients to help give it the boost it needs. Make sure to water in well.
- Water –This will help hydrate your lawn.
How much to water your lawn
Moisture is lost over time through the leaf of the grass. If the roots cannot maintain this level of moisture to the leaf, the leaves will close their stomata. Stomata are cells that form the pores of the leaf surface. When the stomata are closed, there will be limited growth due to its inability to take in carbon dioxide.
A great tip is, if in the warm weather if you are thirsty so is your lawn!
Unfortunately, your lawn can’t tell you if it’s still thirsty, but we have a great little ‘life hack’ to help you measure how much water has gone into your lawn. Mark 20-30mm on the side of a plastic container and put it on the lawn under your sprinkler. When the water level reaches the mark that area has had enough water and it’s time to move the sprinkler.
Drought Tolerant turf
It is important that you only irrigate your lawn when there is not enough rainfall to meet the needs of your lawn. When you do water, do so within the rules outlined by local water restrictions. Drought tolerance is one of the most important factors for Australian turf growers. With new, improved, more drought-tolerant varieties hitting the market there are lots of great options much better equipped to handle the dryer season without rain. You could select the tried and tested DNA Certified Sir Walter Buffalo, the luxurious and hardy Sir Grange zoysia or the ultimate waterwise TifTuf bermuda that uses 38% less water.
To get more advice watering your lawn or to order a new lawn call our team on (07) 3114 8281. You can also to pop in and order in person at our sales office on 1/243 Bradman Street, Acacia Ridge. The office opens Monday to Friday 7am to 5pm and Saturday 7am to 12pm.
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