Localised Dry Patch

Professional advice

Localised Dry Patch

What is Localised Dry Patch (LDP)?

Localised Dry Patch is a soil condition where the some areas of soil within a lawn becomes hydrophobic, or to put it more simply, they’re unable to absorb moisture. Due to patches of soil becoming hydrophobic, the grass on the surface can become brown and die back, leaving your lawn with an unsightly appearance.

It gets its name ‘localised’ dry patch as usually it does not effect an entire lawn, just sporadic patches. LDP is quite often highlighted in the spring and summer during periods of dry weather where areas of your lawn will dry out and turn brown faster than others.

Why does Localised Dry Patch occur?

Localised Dry Patch is caused by a a white, waxy-like fungus that coats soil particles making it very difficult for water to pass through the rootzone. This quite often happens in soils that are very old or where natural bacteria cannot work efficiently.

LDP can be identified when water is applied to the lawn, it will sit on the surface rather than soaking in. Alternatively, you can dig out a small section of soil that you believe could be hydrophobic, apply small droplets of water to the soil sample, if the droplets ‘bead-up- rather than soaking in, this is Dry Patch.

How can you rectify Localised Dry Patch?

Unfortunately there isn’t a magic treatment that will rectify LDP and make your soils nice a moist overnight. Dealing with the issue requires careful planning with the aim of improving the hydrophobic areas for the following year.

Regular aeration is key as this will open up the soil profile, relieve compaction and allow air and moisture to pass through to the rootzone. Reducing the thatch layer on the surface through scarification is vitally important, as this will also allow water, air and nutrients to more easily penetrate through to the soil.

The Will’s Norfolk Lawns Water Conserver treatment is recommended when dealing with LDP. Our Water Conserver will penetrate into the soil and help strip off the waxy coating from the soil particles, allowing them to hold on to any moisture they receive. This treatment should be applied twice per year, once in the spring and again in the summer. However, if you’re able to water your lawn heavily or rainfall is in the near future, one application would still be beneficial.


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