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Lawns still recovering from 2018 heatwave

From left to right, a range of drought damage in grass, from light to severe. Photo: Westland.

Garden centre customers will begin to look at maintaining and replenishing their lawns after last summer's drought and the recent winter. Now is the time for retailers to begin addressing the increasing demand in lawn repair products.

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24 March 2019 | 0

Last summer’s heatwave and droughts turned lush Irish lawns into baron, dusty patches all around the country.

There are three stages of drought: light, medium, and severe – but none of these mean the grass has died. The grass is in fact lying dormant in order to protect itself and focus its resources on keeping the roots alive.

Whilst some colour came back towards the end of last year’s season, lawns are still in need of a helping hand to get them back to their best and repair last year’s damage. This provides garden centre retailers with an opportunity to promote lawn care products and offer in-store points of information.

To rejuvenate lawns, Westland has the following tips:

Step one: Raking

Customers should lightly rake their lawn to remove loose material, then give the grass a generous watering (assuming there has been no rain fall and being mindful of any water shortage warnings).

Step two: Fix patches

As spring comes round and temperatures begin to rise, customers can begin to fix any patches in their lawn using Gro-Sure Smart Patch, which contains water retaining granules.

If their entire lawn is looking like it needs a boost, Gro-Sure Smart Lawn Seed can be used. It contains an aqua gel coating that can absorb 400 times its weight in water to guarantee germination, so it is ideal for over-seeding, worn grass, or for filling in bare patches.

Step three: Thicken and feed

To help gardeners get ahead, Westland has developed a new product that can be used much earlier in the season. Most lawn seed germinates when the soil temperature is 10C, but Gro-Sure Fast Start begins working at 7C, meaning it can be used earlier in the year when ground temperatures are lower.

Three to four weeks after seeding, customers should apply a balanced fertiliser to replenish soil nutrients and boost the lawn to keep it strong and healthy. Westland SafeLawn releases nutrients gradually to avoid stress and includes grass seed to fill thinning areas. It is an organic fertiliser with added lawn seed, made using only natural ingredients, so it safe to use around pets and children.

Tips you can offer your customers if their lawn still looks dead

The test to find out if grass has died is simple. Give a gentle pull, if it is easy to pull up, it has died, but, if your customer faces some resistance, then it is alive. If the grass is dead, customers will need to sow a new lawn. Smart Lawn Seed can be used for this, and it will also prevent future damage if a dry spell occurs. Dead matter should be removed before sowing, leaving your customer to start work on bare soil.

If drought returns in 2019, customers should simply leave the grass alone without mowing or using any care products, then begin their lawn care regime again once the heat wave passes.

For information and advice on how your customers can keep their lawn healthy, visit www.gardenhealth.com.

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