Lawn and water - how much does your turf really need?

Posted on December 17, 2019 by Greg Pelka

With summer well and truly here, different areas of Queensland are suffering from high temperatures, drought conditions and/or water restrictions to ensure there is enough water to go around.

But how does this affect your lawn? Most grass varieties are relatively hardy when it comes to drought or low watering, meaning they will go into a dormant state until they receive adequate amounts of water again, but how much water does your turf really need? Let’s take a look at what happens to your turf when the temperatures rise, and a little more about watering.

What does it mean when grass goes ‘dormant’?

Dormancy in grass occurs if temperatures soar to high levels (especially in summer) and they need to retain moisture. When grass goes dormant, it ‘shuts down’ growth of its tissue to ensure preservation of moisture loss. It usually loses colour and becomes brown, as well as being dry and showing very little signs of growth. This will last until irrigation or the next rain.

How do you know if your grass is dormant?

If you are wondering if you grass is dormant or dead, take a look at the crown at the base of the leaves. If this is white/off white, this usually means your grass is alive but in a dormant state. If the crown at the base is brown and brittle, your lawn is likely dead.

What do you do for your lawn when it’s hot?

Now you know about lawn dormancy, what next? Consider a few of these tips to help your lawn when the temperatures are high and/or you are in drought affected areas:

1.     Keep off your lawn! This may be impractical however your lawn is suffering already without the added stress of foot traffic. Where possible, stay off the grass.

2.     When you water your lawn, water for longer but less often. This encourages the roots of the grass to go deeper into the earth to find moisture, ensuring your lawn stays hydrated to longer.

3.     Remove dead material, to allow the living components to absorb any and all available moisture.

4.     Aerate your lawn, to increase the ability of water to get through to the roots. This will ensure that your lawn is in the best position possible to retain moisture whenever it receives it.

So, how much water does turf really need?

As with many other things, water is a crucial part to the survival of your lawn. It moves nutrients, maintains cell structure and allows for photosynthesis to occur to create food.

Generally, a lot of turf varieties receive satisfactory water through either rainfall or moisture retention in the soil. However, this can become difficult when drought conditions are present.

If the roots cannot ensure the level of moisture needed to go to the leaves, they close their stomata (cells that make up the pores of the leaf) which results in limited growth as the leaves are no longer able to take in carbon dioxide. So, ensuring your lawn receives enough water – where possible – is super important to allow for lawn growth!

What about irrigation?

It is important to note that it is ok to irrigate your lawn if there isn’t enough rainfall for your lawns’ needs however always ensure that you follow any water restrictions in your area.

If you would like any more information regarding turf on the Sunshine Coast, give Rosemount Turf a call on (07) 5448 6398 and we would be more than happy to assist with any queries you may have.

Resources:

Lawn Solutions Australia (How to beat the heat): https://lawnsolutionsaustralia.com.au/lawn-care/tips-help-beat-heat/

Resources:

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Greg Pelka

We are a local, Sunshine Coast turf grass company with a committed team to providing a quality lawn. Like any small business it's the people who make it great. Above are the friendly staff you'll meet and deal with when ordering turf from Rosemount Turf.

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