When a heatwave hits the UK, your biggest focus should be making the most of it by enjoying your lawn and slapping on the suncream! But what happens when the heatwave has long passed, and your garden hasn’t bounced back quite as well as you hoped it would?
Well, the great thing about grass seed is that it’s pretty resilient and should bounce back naturally when regular rainfall returns. Yet, you can definitely undertake some tasks to help reduce the damage a heatwave does to your lawn in the meantime. Here’s how to help reduce the damage and how to recover your lawn after a heatwave in no time!
With any hosepipe bans lifted, it’s time to give your lawn a good soak so that it can begin to build up its water reserves once again. All gardens have a ‘water table’, which is a baseline of water that can be found beneath your soil.
During a drought or heatwave, this baseline becomes low as your grass begins to rely on its reserves. You will notice when you water your lawn after hot weather that it drinks it up pretty quickly. This means this water is unlikely to soak through to make it to the water table. Even if it rains, it is still unlikely that your lawn’s water reserves will be back to their pre-heatwave levels. By watering your grass with a hose and making sure that all areas receive at least six inches of water, you can get that water table back up and running in no time, and your lawn will thank you for it!
When your lawn gets a lot of use in summer, particularly in hot weather, it can become very compacted. This can stop the flow of water and vital nutrients that help to keep it healthy. If you have clay soils, your lawn will be more susceptible to this than others as it will become baked and cracked.
Breathe some life back into your lawn after a heatwave!
A great way to literally breathe a bit of life into your lawn after a particularly hot spell is to aerate it. This is also a great stepping-stone to help you recover your lawn after a heatwave! For a small area, you can use a garden fork to spike holes in your soil, or for a larger area, you can use a hollow-tine aerator. These holes create pockets of air in your lawn that allow for the free flow of water and nutrients once again. If you are wondering whether it's necessary to aerate your lawn or not, why not read our blog on this to help you decide?
With ample watering and aeration complete, you should begin to see a difference in your lawn’s condition within a few weeks, and some greenness should return. Although most of your grass should survive, some may not – so scarifying is a great technique to get rid of dead grass and thatch that has built up on your lawn. Scarifying is a fancy word for raking, so you can do this by using a garden rake or by using a scarifying tool that will gather up the thatch for you. Whilst this may leave your lawn looking a little bare, it is better for it in the long run for your grass’ overall health.
As most lawns will gradually recover from a heatwave, if yours hasn’t, it’s a good indication that it may need to be fed. Not only will this fill your soil with nutrients, but it’ll also help your grass go super green again. If you are looking for a quick fix to help recover your lawn after a heatwave, our Oh So Green lawn food is full of nitrogen that will give your lawn an instant boost of greenness within weeks!
Feeding before Overseeding
Alternatively, if you are considering an overseed, using a Pre-Seed First Feed will provide your soil with a balanced range of nutrients to help accelerate the growth of your new seedlings.
Providing a Feed for Long Term Results
Long term, you should consider feeding your lawn twice a year with a longer duration of feed. For example, our All Summer Long lawn feed lasts for up to 16 weeks and will help see your lawn through all that a UK summer has to offer – from blistering sun to a huge deluge! Similarly, you should feed your lawn in autumn / winter to help protect it from winter frosts and diseases.
Think of feeding your lawn in the same way as taking your own vitamins; the more you take and frequently – the better you’ll be at fending off any potential issues! If you would like to know how to apply lawn food, visit our step-by-step guide here.
Reseeding / Overseeding
If your lawn is really struggling to get back on its feet after some seriously hot weather, you may need to reseed it. This could be your whole lawn, certain areas, or maybe just a few patches that need repair. It is better to seed your lawn when there is regular rainfall, as new seedlings will need to be watered daily to grow well.
Choosing the Right Lawn Seed
When choosing a grass seed mix to overseed with, it’s always best to choose one that is best suited for your garden. For example, if you have shade or clay soils, or if you need a particularly tough mixture for pets or family life. If you want to achieve an ornamental lawn, then it's best to continue to overseed with a finer, more luxurious mix. Overseeding can benefit your grass in many ways and can help you achieve the lawn you have always wanted – just check out these reasons why you should give it a go!