It is forecast that El Nino will have an impact on the weather this summer in Australia, and this means strong heat and drought conditions. As a gardener, this is not good news for your lawns, particularly since luscious green grass is always so much more appealing to walk on than a sharp, brown lawn. While you can't control what Mother Nature has up her sleeves, you can use a couple of tricks to make sure your lawn makes it through the heat ahead.
Don't Encourage Growth
This summer, you need to step away from the fertiliser you normally use to encourage growth. Your goal is to keep growth to a minimum during the peak of the drought conditions, because your lawn roots will already be under stress due to drought, and you don't need to stress them further by encouraging growth.
You can still mow the lawn over the summer months, but raise your mower height so you don't cut it as short as normal. Setting the mower so the grass blades remain approximately six centimetres tall will give some extra shade to the soil, and that will slow the water evaporation due to heat. Additionally, take off the mower bag and let the mowed clippings fall where they may. These contain nutrients that will keep the soil healthy in place of the fertiliser you're not using this year.
Do Encourage Water Retention
When drought conditions hit, water usage is often limited to reduce the impact on the dwindling town supplies. To keep the precious water in the soil so your lawn doesn't die completely, you need to delve into your lawn supplies.
Water retention crystals sprinkled over your lawn are one way to encourage the water to stay in the ground. The crystals are made of polymer, which is a man-made product, and these little chunks act like a sponge that soaks up water when it is hosed over. The crystals will absorb the water when you hose the lawn, and then slowly release it back into the ground over time. This will keep continual moisture heading to your grass roots, and that moisture will help your grass to live.
Being better informed about lawn care before El Nino arrives gives you the best chance to make sure your lawn survives through summer. Speak to your lawn supplies source to find out what other tricks they recommend this summer, and your grass will then stand its best chance of survival.