UK Thunderstorms: Tips for tending your garden following UK thunderstorms and flooding
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As many Brits will know, the summer weather doesn’t last too long in the UK and it has once again been the case this season. Following a brief window of warm weather and heatwaves, the UK has been battered with heavy rain and thunderstorms.
The nice weather has spurred on many Brits to get working on their gardens to make them their perfect oasis to enjoy the sunshine. However, the more recent soggy weather conditions may have had a detrimental effect on all that hard work, for example, heavy rain can thin the soil and wash away many of the vital nutrients grass needs to grow, leading to it becoming weak. Stunted roots and thin, flimsy grass that struggles to develop are possible outcomes.
Additionally, Overwatering can effectively drown the soil, which will cause the roots to decay. This might develop into a fungal breeding ground, leading to ugly yellow grass and lawn diseases. Thunderous downpours may harm good grass, but they can also benefit weeds. If neglected, healthy grass could eventually give way less welcome plants in your garden.
With that in mind, tool specialist and owner of Saxton Blades, Glenn Peskett, has outlined key advice on how to mow your lawn during this extreme weather period and how to repair damaged grass, along with highlighting the best methods and techniques to do so while staying safe.
So, what are the best ways to tend to your garden following heavy rain and thunderstorms? Here’s the top tips straight from the experts at Saxton Blades.
Lawn Mowing Advice After Thunderstorms:
- Remove excess water - With a wet lawn posing far from ideal conditions to mow in, it can prove beneficial to drag a hose across the grass to remove excess water and allow the turf to dry at a quicker rate.
- Raising the height of your mower - Raising the height of the blade on your lawn mower will reduce the load on the engine and making sure your blades are sharp, by using a sharpening stone or a suitable alternative, will also prove beneficial.
- Emptying the bag more often - Simply emptying the bag more frequently and going slower to minimise the strain on the blade and the engine will also aid your attempts to cut your grass following a significant downpour.
- Clear out immediately - If the grass is still moist when you start mowing, it is more likely to become congested. Therefore, it’s advisable to turn off the engine before clearing it out and do so immediately after use to prevent any issues.
- Manage your fuel - Purchase only enough fuel for your mower to last two to three weeks. Petrol contains ethanol, which has an affinity for moisture and may interfere with your mowing. Use a stabiliser while filling your mower’s tank to prevent fuel contamination, and only buy more fuel when the current supply runs out.
Natural methods to repair damaged grass after heavy rainfall
- Aerating your lawn - Aerating your grass will allow it to breathe and can help with drainage and the delivery of oxygen to the roots. Stab the ground with a fork before wiggling the spikes gently. Use a hollow-tine aerator and fill the gaps with horticultural sharp sand to soak up the moisture in areas that are particularly waterlogged to speed up the recovery process.
- Cleaning the gutters - This is an excellent preventive action that is sometimes forgotten. Poor drainage can lead to waterlogging. Use a plastic or metal scoop to clear the gutters before washing away any remaining debris with a hosepipe.
- Fertilise - Applying fertiliser to your lawn’s surface is one of the finest methods to speed its recovery following periods of intense rains. Since winter weather is frequently severe, effective fertilisation in the spring can make all the difference. Natural, organic fertilisers include seaweed, hoof & horn, dried blood, fish blood & bone, bone meal, poultry manure pellets, and liquid comfrey or nettle feeds.