The Sunshine Coast received its first downpour in months the other day, and it was glorious.
Two days later, the lawns across the Coast were green again and we could even dust off the old lawn mower and whipper snipper, which have most likely been sitting in the garden shed for a while now.
It’s amazing what a few days of rain will do to grass, even when you think you’ll have to re-turf your entire backyard because it just looks like crunchy, dry weed, a drenching of rain will bring it back to life.
The thing about grasses is that despite their delicate structure and appearance, they are surprisingly resilient. Most types of grass can even survive extended periods of drought, and although they may look brown, dry and limp, they’re often only dormant, awaiting the next rainstorm.
If you are not convinced your lawn is dormant, you can easily inspect the grass’ health by looking at the roots.
Grass that is just dormant from lack of rain will have a green base and the roots will have a healthy off-white color. If the lawn is completely dead, the entire plant will be brown, dry and brittle.
Sadly if this is the case, you will need to consider re-turfing your lawn.
Luckily on the Sunshine Coast, we don’t have any water restrictions just yet and with storm season finally here, we are not likely to reach the point of water restrictions.
This means that homeowners who are keen to keep their grass healthy and alive should water on a regular basis – it’s that simple.
Here at Fence & Garden, we encourage avid gardeners to install a sprinkler system with a timer – that way you don’t have to wake up at the crack of dawn every morning to water your lawn.
However, if you are concerned about water usage, there are a few steps you can take during the dryer months to prevent your lawn from dying out.
To help your lawn absorb what little moisture is available, use a de-thatcher. Thatch is simply an over-accumulation of dead organic lawn matter, such as grass clippings and shredded leaves.
Use an aerator to punch holes in the lawn. The holes will deliver any moisture directly to the lawn’s root system.
Keep on mowing
Grass will eventually stop growing during a drought, but mow as often as necessary, never removing more than one-third of the grass blades. Sharpen your mower blades at least twice during the mowing season. Dull blades tend to rip the grass, leaving jagged edges that quickly dry out and turn brown.
Stay off the lawn
Eliminate as much traffic on the lawn as possible, including foot traffic and lawn equipment. The weight of all this activity will compact the soil, making it more difficult for the lawn to absorb moisture.