Thursday, 22 September 2016

Lawn care

Lawn care and advice

I am no lawn expert but I take pride in the lawn at the back of my house.  Here are the things I have learned about lawn care.  I have arranged my findings by Month.


Not much to do on the lawn this month.  Keep it free from fallen leaves and other detritus that may come down.  Typically no mowing this month.  Try not to put heavy loads on the grass and if you need to access other areas of the garden for other purposes, put down boards to spread the load.
If you want turf then it is actually possible to lay turn in January if you get a fine spell


Again, not much to do on the lawn this month.  Don't let worm casts build up - you can swish them away with a broom (a traditional "Witches broom" is ideal for this).  If you want to lay turf then this can be done in February.


The lawn gets much more attention from March onwards.  Make sure you keep the lawn clear of leaves and other rubbish.  You can use a rake on the lawn to get rid of thatch - but be careful not to damage the grass since it is still "tender".  If you had turfed then you may wish to consider rolling the lawn.  Rolling, instead of just flattening, actually strengthens the grass.  First cut for the year should be done at a high cutting height which should be done just to get the grass the same height again - you will lower the blades as the year goes on.
Pick out the weeds if there are any.  I personally like to pick them out manually.


This is the feed and weed month.  Remember to read the supplier instructions carefully.  Start mowing more regularly but leave the grass at least about 30mm high.  You can dig out unwanted patches of wide leaved grass this month too.  You can reseed if there are any blank areas


Once a week mowing can start this month and since this is a growing month.  Feed and Weed is ideal for this month.  Please remember to carefully follow the supplier instructions.


Once a week mowing can turn into twice a week mowing in June and a Summer feed could be in order.  The blade height can be systematically lowered but don't go too low.  Luxury lawns composed of fine seeds can be cut to 15mm but no home lawn should really be lower than that.  Shun the tendency to cut too short - you can kill the grass.  Keep the grass moist and water if there are dry spells.  Trim the edges for a nice border.  Manually take out weeds if they start to appear.

July and August

Likely to have twice a week mowing now. Keep on top of the weeds. you may need to water the grass in dry spells.  If you go away on holiday then make sure someone cuts your grass (high) at least once a week.


This is a busy month for lawn lovers.  Fristly you won't need to mow so much and you should increase the height of the blades.
You may find worms all over your lawn so you may want to discourage them with a treatment.  You may be able to find some at garden centres but pesticides that kill worms are not available any longer.
If you have bare patches then you may have a leatherjacket infestation so this is the month to treat it with something like Nemasys and if you are treating for leatherjackest you may also want to treat for grubs.
You need to feed and weed this month too and get rid of moss by scarifying.  There are plenty of Feed and Weed treatments available.  Also this is the month for aeration of the lawn either with spikes or with a plugging machine.
If you wish to overseed, this is the best period for sowing seed but laying turf should ideally wait till next month.  If you know the seed type of your grass then overseed this month.  Personally, I like to protect the seed with some pegged down fleece.  It lets water and light through but stops birds eating all your expensive lawn seed.


Regular mowing will typically come to an end this month - but a few mowings should still take place!  Make sure you don't cut too shot.  Keep the lawn clear of leaves and dig up coarse unwanted grass.  You can still seed this month and this is the ideal time to start laying down turf.  


Keep an eye on the weather and the length of the grass.  You may need to cut the grass with the blades set high this month.  Make sure leaves do not choke the grass by clearing them away soon.  Too late for sowing seed now but you may be able to lay turf if there is a break in the weather.  Keep an eye on worms again this month and treat if necessary.


Relax, make sure you keep leaves off the lawn and try not to walk all over the grass when it is soaking wet.  If you need to manage your flower beds and the lawn is the pathway to them, then use boards over the grass to spread the load a bit.

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