Lawn update – 29th June – part b

24th June:

  • Soil temp: 18.9C; Air temp: 21.4C (time data taken 1045)
  • Grass height before mowing – mostly 50mm
  • Cut height 40mm; about 1/8th of a box of clippings.
  • It has been very dry and warm for some time now and it’s getting hotter.
  • Some of the lawn edge is certainly ready for another trim with the long handled edging shears.

I thought I’d try a simple experiment and check the moisture reading for two distinct areas of the lawn: dry (drought stressed) area and a green area and compare the differences.  To provide a visual comparison I also took a picture straight after walking on each area and the drought stress part of the lawn showed distinct ‘footprinting’ whilst this was not visible on the greener area with the higher moisture reading.

A careful hand weeding of the broad leaved weeds – not many and no more than 5-minutes of kneeling on the lawn to gradually pluck them all out; maybe a dozen in total.

Lawn mown on 24th June

Lawn mown on 24th June

I thought I would take a picture from upstairs to give a slightly different perspective from the typical ground based photographs I have been taking.

Lawn: View from upstairs

Lawn: View from upstairs

Foot printing on lawn

‘Footprinting’ on lawn, highlighted by imposed white dots showing the outline

No footprinting on lawn

No ‘footprinting’ on lawn

Moisture meter reading on green area

Moisture meter reading on green area

I wrote down the different moisture readings at the different depths for the drier area compared with the greener area. The distance between these two areas was about 4m only.

This could be used to provide an indication of drought stress and whether the lawn ‘needs’ watering. I’m not sure it really needs watering, just that it is drought stressed and shouldn’t be stressed through other means, such as being used as a kick around area.

Moisture depth analysis

Moisture depth analysis

Hand weeding should gouge out large chunks of weed leaving bare and unsightly areas. If you do it correctly then you will tease out the leaves of the weed and leave a pretty clean and tidy area. This doesn’t remove much or any of the roots of the weeds but it does reduce the photosynthesising power house of the weed and weakens it significantly. All without the use of harmful pesticides.

Dandelion ready to be hand weeding with a knife

Dandelion ready to be hand weeding with a knife

Hand weeded area after use of a blade

Hand weeded area after use of a blade

As can be seen from the completed hand weeded area it looks pretty good. Just be careful when doing this – a gentle teasing action is all that is needed. A screw driver or flat bladed item could be just as easily used.

The first light rain started on the 27th, some more on the 28th and most of the day (as a drizzle) on the 29th.

Chris Gray, 29th June 2017