Use ‘screwdriver test’ to determine whether your lawn is hydrated as temperatures soar

Garden tips: How to maintain your lawn

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For many gardeners, a pristine lawn can instill a sense of pride – and so it should: they are a labor of love after all. But most will also know that harsh sunshine, a lack of rain, and high temperatures can make it trickier to achieve a luscious stretch of green. Those who are not equipped with the lawn care tips to deal with such climates can quickly end up with dead, yellowing patches in their grass.

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Whatever the size and shape of your lawn, an extra bit of TLC can go a long way in keeping it looking beautiful year-round.

As with most plants, it’s important to keep your lawn hydrated, especially when temperatures are high.

Carlos Real, Lawn Care Expert and Managing Director of TotalLawn advised: “Ideally, you should be watering it early in the morning before the main heat of the day.

“When watering, think about it more like soaking the soil, rather than watering the grass blades.

“It is very hard to over-water your lawn, so don’t hold back.”

This should be done at least three times a week.

For gardeners unsure on whether their lawn needs watering that can use a “simple test”, according to Chris McIlroy, lawn expert at The Grass People.

He said: “There is a simple test you can do to check that your lawn is effectively hydrated enough. 

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“To do this, drive a screwdriver into the soil. 

“If it can reach up to six or seven inches deep it’s perfect – if not, keep watering.”

Investing in garden sprinklers is a great approach to this as it takes out all the hard work on your behalf. 

Gardeners can even combine it with a timer so that it automatically activates in the morning – handy for those who haven’t got time to do it themselves.

To help lawns survive summer temperatures, mowing should be kept to a minimum.

Carlos said: “If you can’t commit to solidly watering your lawn, it’s best to avoid mowing too.

“That’s because heat causes additional stress on the lawn, and mowing will only add to this as it tries to recover.”

If you are watering it frequently, you can continue to mow your lawn as regularly as usual, although expert gardener Mark Lane advises keeping it on a higher setting. 

He added: “Ideally, mow so that the clippings fall onto the lawn, as this will help conserve water and feed the lawn naturally.”

Ensure all weeds have been removed first though, otherwise you risk spreading them around.

Fertilising plants can encourage them to grow healthy and strong, and grass is no exception. 

Be sure to use a season-appropriate feed, however, as you will find both spring/summer and autumn lawn fertilisers available.

Most will require watering in to be effective, which will also reduce the risk of them burning the lawn in the hot sun. 

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions, as over-feeding, as well as incorrect application, can also damage grass.

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