what to do to retain moisture in my lawn?
I wouldn,t try to retain moisture in my lawn, because that could lead to moss and fungus forming which you don,t want, if it looks a bit yellow at the moment it will green up again when the rain starts in earnest. derekm
13 Aug, 2011
I agree, I let my lawn manage without watering as no matter how yellow and dead it looks, it always recovers when it rains hard. This year I havent had that problem and the lawns have stayed very green with all this rain.
Regular application of compost will gradually improve the soil to greater and greater depth. In time, this will mean greater drought resistance, plus more resistance to diseases. Mowing at a greater height, can also help with drought resistance, since that encourages the roots to grow deeper, but it can also encourage some fungus diseases when the weather turns rainy. Best to mow at the height recommended for the variety(s) of grass that you have.
Hi Ronald, when my youngest son was in Junior School 30 years ago we had a long drought. I remember the Head Teacher said he had fixed a long length of hosepipe onto his bath waste pipe. So every time the family had a bath and removed the plug, all the water went down the hosepipe onto the lawn.
Graywater irrigation, like Diane recommends, works reasonably well on turf, and even better if you use special biodegradable soaps and shampoos. The more usual kinds can eventually cause problems with local streams, lakes, and groundwater.
If the problem is clay soil, so that the water is running off, instead of soaking in, there are things that you can do in addition to applying compost. Lime--in soils with low pH--or gypsum--in high pH--will flocculate clay soil so that it will have larger pore spaces, and water can soak in faster. Aerating the lawn--by hand or by machine--will also speed up the absorption of water. If you get the levels of organic matter up in the soil with compost, you might then want to check on your earthworm population, and add more if needed. Nightcrawlers in cool climates, or red wrigglers in hot climates.
Wen we had that very prologed drought in the 70s all the lawns and fields were brown. When it rained at last they were all green again within about a week. If you water regularly you encourage shallow rooting, so you have to keep on once you start.
Yes, in my climate, we have to water regularly, or we don't get a lawn at all. We do try--those of us who know gardening, anyway--to water as deeply and infrequently as we can get away with, to encourage deep rooting. If you can grow a lawn in your climate without artificial watering, more power to you, and don't give up that advantage, just to avoid a few weeks of straw.
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