Hot Weather Lawn Care

Wow it’s hot right now, Queensland is sweltering with the highest temps seen in years, Caboolture is 32.6 degrees at the moment but fortunately rain is finally forecast. A lot of people are looking at the grass and young and exposed plants being roasted by the heat after many months with little or no rain and are wondering what they can do without spending a million dollars watering.
There are no immediate solutions but to water unfortunately, however there are steps to take for the longer term health of your lawn and garden, some are even free!!!!
My first suggestion is free and I try to convince as many of my clients as possible to convert to mowing this way. It’s really simple, mow your grass higher, simple right but oh so difficult to convince people. The principle is simple, grass needs water and a healthy root system, if you mow the grass really low the soil looses water much faster because the grass is providing little or no shade to the soil and roots which increases evaporation losses and stress to the plants root system and ultimately the grass plant itself. Mowing higher does several things, it provides leaf surface area for photosynthesis, more leaf more light gathering area(think of solar panels), more leaf provides more shade which cools the soil and slows evaporation loss which means you need less water to keep your lawn alive in the heat.
My second suggestion is if can water then do so late in the afternoon or at night to prevent loss to evaporation and water deeply to encourage deep root growth, this helps protect the plant. Inside this suggestion is of course an underground watering system, either an under ground dripper setup or pop up sprinklers that will only water at night, yes these can be expensive.
My third suggestion is another freebie, try to limit foot and other traffic over the lawn and try hand weeding anything that is competing with your grass for the available nutrients. If the grass is stressed it starts to leave open patches where weeds can get a foothold, if you let them weed go to seed you now have the cycle started and will see those weeds pop up for the next several years. I don’t like spraying weeds on a really stressed lawn but maybe that’s just me.
Grey Water-if you’ve got it use it, try to gather the water out of the washing machine, this is the easiest thing to do, the hoses aren’t expensive at all and it might just keep your struggling plants alive until the rain comes too. If you live in an elevated house diverting the shower and bathroom water might also be a viable option too.
If you are lucky enough to live on Bribie Island you have access to bore water, parts of Ningi also have bore water, if you are lucky then this solves all your problems. Bores are a bit expensive upfront and need electricity to run but if you care about your lawn and garden they are the gold standard.
Tanks-pretty useful when it actually rains but maybe now is the time to start some planning. Tanks can run into many thousands of dollars but you can do it on the cheap with IBCs, these are the 1000l square plastic containers in the metal frames. You can use virtually any size and number of drums you like, just run a pipe between them all at the top and have a pipe at the bottom to allow them all to empty to your chosen tap and you have cheap water storage to get you through the dry times.
Anyway thats all for now, pardon the lack of images, I’m still figuring that out.

Please Share 🙂

Leave a Comment