Your lawn will bounce back to its plush green self as autumn approaches, says Anglian Water
PUBLISHED: 10:22 30 August 2018 | UPDATED: 10:31 30 August 2018
The recent hot weather left gardens parched across the region, and the temptation to water our lawns was great. But water-saving expert David Hartley, from Anglian Water, explains how next time we can all put our watering cans down, and our feet up…
It’s been hot. Really hot. The glorious summer season has left our gardens as dry as a bone, and we want to help our water-savvy customers in the East of England make the most of their brown lawns and make sure they’re ready for the autumn showers.
Despite the recent heat, there’s no need reach for the hosepipe. This week’s rain will help green things up again and remember – with great summer weather, comes great responsibility.
Our region is the driest in the UK – July saw just 28mm of rainfall – just over half what we would usually expect at this time of year, which is why we need look after our precious water droplets. So even though your brown lawn looked depleted, you can learn to love it. And, with the rain slowly coming back, the green grass is returning to its former self.
Long-term planning allowed us to start in a good position this summer – our supply levels are healthy with reservoirs around 85pc full and groundwater sources are where we would expect them to be at this time of year. And that’s partly down to our water-savvy customers too, who use less water than the UK average every day.
But we need to keep going. It’s going to take more than a few grey days to replenish three months of dry weather – so while it’s easy to think everything’s back to normal, we need to ensure we’re still loving every drop, and keep the sprinklers at bay.
Yes, the grass is dry and has been straw-like, but turning brown is a survival mechanism it uses during the heat, and it’s already starting to bounce back to its glorious, plush green exterior ahead of autumn.
You see, grass is made of tough stuff. Its resilient nature means that you can sit back and relax. Why go to all that effort to water your grass when you can relax with a nice book, do some shopping, or visit one of the many beautiful areas this region has to offer?
Water is a scarce resource that is often taken for granted, with a lot of water going to waste unnecessarily in times of hot weather.
Water needs to be used wisely all year round, wherever you possibly can. And better still… not watering your lawn will reduce your water usage and save you money on your bills too. So it’s good for the environment and your wallet at the same time, a win-win all round.
At Anglian Water, we love our beautifully brown lawns. Despite their appearance, they are not dead, and are instead doing the clever stuff they need to survive.
The best thing you can do is sit back, relish a good rain and let nature do its thing.
Top tips to ensure your garden bounces back after rain...
Keep off the grass! We know it’s not always possible, but if you can reduce the amount of strain put on the grass, then do it. Move furniture regularly, don’t stand on it for too long, and if you need to walk across it, take a different route each time.
Be chemical-free. Don’t use weedkiller or feeding treatments on the grass until it is healthy again.
Mulch, mulch, mulch. Mulches are coverings (grass, wood chippings, compost, leaves) placed on the top of soil, at the root of a plant, to retain moisture in summer. Covering the soil around the plant will trap moisture that would usually be lost, as well as soaking up water which can be slowly released into the soil. It also helps suppress weeds and protects roots.
Keep mower blades as high as possible. It’s unlikely you will need to cut the grass, but if you do, keep blades high and sharp. Having longer grass provides shade for the soil and slows moisture loss.
Love Every Drop (of grass)! If you do cut the grass, let the clippings drop to the ground, rather than disposing of them. They will form a layer on the ground, helping to conserve moisture loss and protect the soil.
Once the grass has returned to normal, aeration, scarification and top-dressing will help to improve your soil’s water retention for the next hot spell.
New turf? Newly-laid grass needs more TLC than normal due to its weaker root system. Always delay installation of new turf until after the hot weather.
For more inspiration, check out the digital edition of Beautiful Homes & Gardens.