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Maintenance During Dry/Drought Conditions

The following points are simple rules of thumb to ensure the best maintenance schedules are achieved during particular dry spells and hose pipe bans:

  • Continue to mow, but not as frequently and when possible increase the height of cut (approx. 75mm)
  • You need to prevent any weed grasses from growing to the height when they will produce their seeds
  • The grass will survive better in the long term with careful mowing rather than none at all
  • Aeration is a must, this does not have to be deep, but when it does rain the water must be prevented from running off the surface. Also all endeavours must be to encouraging deep root growth
  • Any verti-cutting or scarification should stop, as the surface area for the sun to dry will only be increased
  • The use of wetting agents will not achieve anything as they only assist when there is moisture in the soil
  • No application of chemical or fertiliser should take place during this period as firstly it will not be properly taken up by the plant and scorching of the plant may well occur
  • If a Water Authority decides to impose a ban, clubs are recommended to look through the precise terms of the ban and¬†assess its impact
  • Clubs may be able to obtain alternative sources of water for Water Boards. For example Sutton and East Surrey, the first Water Board to be granted a Drought Order are offering untreated water that would be suitable for natural turf pitches from a borehole
  • We will not be able to give blanket advice to each club as each Water Board may have different rules