Gardeners are being reassured that if their lawn is beginning to turn brown it will return to green once autumn arrives.

That is the message from Portsmouth Water and the Turf Growers Association as this unprecedented situation, which COVID-19 has brought about with people spending more time in their homes and gardens, has combined with record-breaking temperatures.

The Turf Growers Association’s Coral Russell said: “Going brown is the natural survival mechanism of grass.”

“When water is in short supply, grass responds by shutting down and by turning a brown colour shows it that it has stopped growing until more favourable conditions return.”

“Grass is remarkably resilient, and as long as you follow a few basic rules, most lawns will recover completely when the rain finally arrives.”

Bob Taylor, Chief Executive Officer, Portsmouth Water, said: “Our key water workers have been working round the clock to make sure our supplies keep flowing. In the past week we have been pumping an extra 50 million litres of water a day into the water network to keep up with demand – over a third more than usual at this time of year and enough to fill almost 20 Olympic sized swimming pools.” (Google says 2,500,000 litres in an Olympic pool)

On average on a normal day at this time of year around 180 million litres of water a day is treated and sent through 3,300 miles of pipe.

Bob added: “We have enough water but the problem we are facing is that at times people are using water at a faster rate than we can pump it from our sources to
customers’ taps.”

Water is a key tool in the fight against the virus as it keeps people healthy and hydrated and is essential to keep up with the extra hygiene measures everyone is taking. Water is also key for the hospitals and care homes across the South East region.

He added: “The important thing during this hot weather is to keep carrying out the extra hygiene measures such as frequently washing your hands and keeping yourself and your plants hydrated. However, please leave your lawn to look after itself. Nature is a wonderful thing and it will bounce back when the rain inevitably returns.”

Other gardening tips include:

  • Take advantage of downpours by installing a water butt to collect free rainwater
  • Lay a holed hose beneath the surface of a flower bed to drip feed saved water to plant roots
  • Mulch flower beds to preserve moisture
  • Cut grass on the highest setting then leave the cuttings to conserve moisture
  • Water plants early in the morning and late at night to prevent excess evaporation
  • Plant drought tolerant species of flowers and shrubs
  • Use washing up water in the garden

For more water saving tips and free gadgets go to: