SUNDAY SAY: The grass it can be greener
With recent hot weather, what can we do to help our grass along? What should we do to help maintain it and make sure it can get through such periods of dry hot times?
Looking around paddocks, lawns there is a lot of dead grass, hit by the sun, eroded patches and areas where nothing is growing.
When the grass grows, root systems go into the ground in search for water, nutrients, and minerals which is essential for its survival. The leaf sits at the top taking in sunlight to convert that sunlight into energy which helps the grass grow.
It is interesting to observe, when you look out at a paddock, lawn or grassed area there will be areas of bright green, and the next to that is a brown area where the grass is struggling or has died off.
Generally speaking, the green area will be a slight concaved area with which water would have been captured and the grass can easily access. On the area that has died off, this will be an area of soil that water could not have been captured, ran off and hence the grass would not be able to access this water.
When we cut the grass, or that grass has been chewed off by stock what we see above will be what we see below. So if the grass is really short, this will see that the roots are really short. Hence in hot dry periods, that grass has a limited access to the water hence we get a major die off of the grass, which leads to exposed soil which then leads to compaction, erosion and eventually the soil too actually die.
This leads to big problems (especially on a macro scale). Hence if we allow some length the grass and not constantly keeping it short will allow for a healthier lawn, paddock, and grassed area. Give the lawn some length, allow the root to push down into the soil, this will also create more aeration (oxygen) to penetrate through the soil, this will allow for water to go further into the soil, and allow the grass access to water when the hot dry times come.
Keeping the grass so short all the time is not benefiting the grass or the soil. If you have found this has happened to your grass, give it a good aeration (a roller with spikes that breaks the soil apart) just before some rain and maybe some plant food and seed will help get things going again.
One last thing, having a 'meadow' of grasses as opposed to only having one type of grass will allow the lawn extra resilience to get through hard times. The answers always lie with nature.