Whatever the weather, it’s lacking for a lawn
Back at the end of April the weathermen forecasted an extremely dry May with virtually no rain. This was caught up by the Express newspaper which reported Vantage Weather Services representative, Jonathan Powell, predicting drought like conditions with May being ‘the driest on record’. Memories were cast back to last year’s premonitions of hose-pipe bans and a summer resembling 1976.
Well, as is the want of the British weather, as I write the rain is lashing against the window pane and we huddle together wearing extra woollies. Just like last year this is hardly a drought, but this abnormal weather does have its downside.
May started off very warm and dry, and this unseasonable start to our spring really required lawns to be regularly watered to keep them moist enough to encourage good growing conditions.
But then everything changed very quickly to rainy and very cold. As the growing conditions of a lawn depend on temperature, dropping below 10oC will have hindered the start of the growing season.
And for a newly reseeded lawn in early spring, say during March and April, this dry, hot weather lurching into colder than the average for the time of year will hinder the germination progress of new grass growth.
The result is patchy new growth, quite neglected looking in spite of being carefully reseeded. May should be a time of gradual warmth full of moisture, perfect for new grass seedlings, but our present weather has not contributed to adequate growth in time for a full, luscious bank of green in the summer.
Reseeding now has its risks too, as warmer dry spells will mean more care & watering for the new areas if the new growth is not to be scorched and killed off. If it has been three weeks or less since the seed was set down, as well as praying for an increase in temperature, fork in some fertiliser into the reseeded area to give the seeds a bit of a boost once they do decide it’s time to wake up.
But if it has been a month or more, the seeds may well have rotted into the ground, or may come up most unsatisfactorily. In this scenario, there is much to be said to wait for re-seeding again in the early Autumn; warm ground, more moisture, minimal weeds and the chance of good strong root development.