La Niña and your lawn

Posted on February 3, 2022 by Greg Pelka

What is La Niña? 

La Niña and El Niño have the strongest influences on year-to-year climate variability for most of the country. They are a part of a natural cycle known as the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO). The ENSO cycle usually happens over a timescale from one to eight years.

What does La Niña do? 

During the ENSO cycle, La Niña is responsible for fairly drastic climate changes during summer. These can include: 

  • Increased rainfall 
  • Cooler daytime temperatures 
  • Warmer overnight temperatures 
  • Shift in temperature extremes 
  • Decreased frost risk 
  • Greater tropical cyclone numbers 
  • Earlier monsoon onset

During December-March the rainfall in eastern Australia is 20% higher than the long-term average during La Niña years. La Niña has been responsible for eight of the ten wettest periods during summer.

What does La Niña mean for your lawn? 

With the increase in rainfall, there is also an increase in the amount of moisture in your lawn soil. Due to this and the lack of sunlight your lawn is not getting the light that it needs to help dry out the soil. This is where diseases can develop in your lawn.

Aeration
Aerating your lawn with a garden fork or aerator tool will help any excess moisture in your soil to drain away. Aerating your lawn will also aid in pooling and help prevent fungal diseases from occurring during constant rainfall.

Soil Nutrients
During extended periods of rainfall, soil nutrients can wash and drain away. To ensure that you keep your soil in top shape you can apply a soil conditioner to help replace the lost nutrients.

Mowing
It is best to adjust your mowing height higher during extended periods of rainfall and overcast days to avoid scalping your lawn once the rain has finished.

Fertilizing
If you are unable to mow due to extended periods of rainfall you can stop encouraging extra growth by using fertilizer. Not fertilizing your lawn will help your lawn to grow at a slower rate which is great during infrequent mows.

Irrigation
During the rainfall from La Niña, it is advised that you turn off your irrigation system to avoid overwatering and potential flooding of your lawn.

If you have any questions related to anything above please feel free to contact our team and one of our friendly staff will be able to help.

Resources:

Lawn Solutions Australia
La Niña and your lawn
Bureau of Meteorology
What is La Niña and how does it impact Australia?
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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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