Never do this to your lawn in a heatwave, say the experts

It’s tempting to lavish care and attention on your lawn when the temperature starts to climb, but this could be the last thing it needs

lawn with bare patches in hot weather
(Image credit: The Grass People)

As long as a hosepipe ban or other water control measures aren’t in place, you might think it's important to keep your lawn well fed and hydrated during periods of extreme heat, but experts are advocating a ‘less is more’ approach to effective lawn care during the intense heat of the summer.

Their advice is not to fret too much about keeping it lush and lovely as the temperatures reach their summer peak. 

But why can a more hands-off approach be the best solution for your lawn care in a heatwave?

dry, patchy lawn during hot weather

(Image credit: P A Thompson/The Image Collection/Getty Images)

Heatwave lawn care warning

The best advice for lawn care during hot weather, says Chris McIlroy from The Grass People, is to simply leave your lawn alone. 

'The advice is no feeding or mowing the lawn during a heatwave. Feeding the lawn will mean the grass seeks extra water and resources as it strives to grow, while mowing the lawn will increase the stress even further.'

Scattering granular feed can also scorch the blades of grass during periods of intense heat, which is probably the opposite of what you’re intending. So keep it in the shed for now.

lawn with stripes mowed into it

(Image credit: The Grass People)

Wave off weed killer

'Although your grass can be incredibly resilient at times, it’s best to avoid using any weed killer during the heatwave, as it’s another unnecessary stress for your healthy grass to fight,' says Carlos Real, lawn care expert and managing director of Total Lawn

'As the heat takes over, plant growth slows down and the leaves dry out, reducing the amount of herbicide that weeds can absorb – so even if you want to remove weeds, chances are they’re not budging until after the sun has gone anyway!'

lush green lawn surrounded by hostas and other planting

(Image credit: The Grass People)

Technical tips

The lawn-care experts at Power Sheds add that it’s also a good idea to re-think your mowing technique to give your lawn the best chance of hot weather survival. 'You should also adjust the blades on your lawn mower to a higher setting to ensure the grass stems provide maximum shade for the soil.'

If drought conditions persist, soil can become very dry and hard, which can make it difficult for rainfall and water to permeate. Therefore, it is really important to know how to aerate a lawn with either a plug aerator or a spike aerator, which will create holes in the ground allowing water and oxygen to filter through.

When cooler temperatures arrive, a nourishing liquid seaweed food (available from Amazon) will help your lawn look its best again in no time.

Jayne Dowle
Freelance writer

Jayne Dowle is an award-winning gardening, homes and property writer who writes for publications including Sunday Times Home, Times Bricks & Mortar, Grand Designs, House Beautiful and The Spectator. She was awarded the Garden Journalist of the Year accolade at the Property Press Awards in 2021.