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Drought Conditions Need'nt Mean Disaster For Your Lawn

Whether you live in the town, city or countryside, your green and lush gardens can take a bit of a battering through the summer months when a combination of hot summer sun and lack of rainfall can mean plots are left looking more like a bed of straw than an envied emerald carpet. To counteract this, you might be tempted to use a hosepipe or sprinkler system to ensure lawns are given a good soaking so they look their glorious best surrounded by a riot of colourful plants and flowers.

But this might not be the best idea.

The watering of established lawns is not only wasteful and unnecessary; it can also cause many common lawn problems.

If there is a drought, don't worry if your lawn goes brown - this is the natural survival mechanism of grass stopping all growth until more favourable conditions return.

During any dry spell remember:

  • If you use your hosepipe or sprinkler system for one hour you will use as much as one person does on average in a whole week.

  • Watering encourages shallow rooting, which in turn means the lawn is more at risk during dry conditions - so once you start watering, you can't stop.

  • Watering increases the chance of disease on your lawn and most lawn diseases thrive in warm, damp conditions.

  • Damp soils are easily damaged by compaction during heavy use such as playing games on the lawns or holding barbeques.

  • Watering encourages the spread of weed grass and annual meadow grass. Dame Yve Buckland said: "Your lawn is more resilient than you think, and as long as you follow a few basic rules, most lawns will recover completely when rain begins to fall again."

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