Watering a lawn

If a lawn is not watered regularly during prolonged dry spells it loses vigour, allowing tougher grasses and weeds to take over. Symptoms of water shortage included loss of springiness in the grass and fading of colour from lush green to a rather greyish green. Severe water shortage results in yellowing of the grass. However, grass is surprisingly resilient and usually recovers once water is applied.

Use a sprinkler, preferably an oscillating one, to obtain maximum coverage. Soak the grass well at weekly intervals in hot, sunny weather – though wait until late afternoon or evening otherwise the water will evaporate as fast as you apply it. If the soil is sandy, water every four or five days.

The equivalent of about 2.5cm of rainfall is needed at each watering. Gauge this roughly by positioning a straight-sided can underneath the spray. Note the tap setting and then find the time taken to fill the bottom 2.5cm of the can. Use the same tap setting and time for all future watering. Droughts may bring a ban on watering. Stop mowing to prevent serious damage to the lawn.

If the lawn has been neglected – while you are away on holiday, for instance – and looks parched with a dry, cracked surface, it is best to prick the surface all over with a garden fork or aerator before applying water.

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