Lawn Care Advice

per57Winter – November to March

Mowing the lawn in winter has now become a feature of winter gardening. As long as the lawn is not very wet and the grass is not frozen there is no reason why you should not continue to mow on dry days. Don’t have the blades set low.
Have your mower serviced in the quiet season, or you may have a disappointing wait in spring when you really want to start mowing.

Keep the lawn tidy – brush worm casts off your lawn as they appear and trim your edges with a sharp, half-moon turf knife. If the ground is soft enough, insert plastic or metal edging strips as support. It’s amazing what a difference neat lawn edges makes to the look of a garden!

At the end of March apply the first combined feed, weed and moss killer dressing to your lawn. Use Westland Feed, Weed and Mosskiller* – you can make the job even easier and get a super-accurate result with the Westland Spreader.

Where moss is a problem on lawns, apply Vitax Green-Up Mossfree * – a fast-acting, soluble, iron-based mosskiller suitable for all types of lawns. It quickly blackens and kills moss and, as a bonus, it improves the colour of the grass. Vitax Green-up Mosskiller also acts to strengthen the grass plants and improve resistance to disease. Apply when the soil is moist, with either either a watering can with a rose attachment or a sprayer. Dead moss should be removed by thoroughly raking after seven days.

Top-dress hollows with turf dressing and roll lawns [slowly!] to even out bumps. This is especially effective when the soil is moist.

Spring – April and May

Mow lawns weekly.
New lawns can be sown in April and May, and thin ones can be patched up with more seed. Be prepared to take time preparing a good seedbed, it pays in the long run. Sow hard-wearing ryegrass based mixtures for lawns used by children and pets, but fescue and bent grass based mixes for the best looking lawn. Buy and lay turf if you are in a hurry to get a quick result.

Keep trimming your lawn edges as this simple task has a remarkable effect on the overall impact of your garden. If the edges have become irregular, use a half moon edging knife (stainless steel ones are best) to sharpen them up.

Apply weed killers this month and next for best effect. Use a good lawn weed killer like Verdone Extra. NB: Don’t use the cuttings for composting until the fourth cut after applying weedkillers.

Moles – trapping is the best way to rid your garden of this pest before the lawn is wrecked. Sonic deterrents will drive them away if used as directed – ask our staff for advice.

There’s more on spring lawn care here.

Early Summer – June and July

Keep on mowing, but don’t be tempted to cut your lawn too low! Raising the blades slightly now will give a harder-wearing surface that resists dry periods. And keep trimming your lawn edges. Give some more thought to inserting plastic or alloy edging support strips to stop the edges becoming ragged!

Control clover, trefoils and black medick in lawns with Verdone, and apply a summer feed that is high in nitrogen to get some colour back. Products such as Aftercut Lawn Food will do the trick and are easy to apply.

If you have the odd weed or two in the lawn [who hasn’t?], spot weeding with a selective lawn weed killer now can be very effective.

High Summer – August

Let the grass on your lawn grow longer. This is not an excuse to mothball the mower until next spring but it is a good ploy to help it get through dry periods better without having to use as much water to keep it looking green. Raise the mower blades to about 2 inches and cut the lawn less often.

Check lawns for Chafer grub damage now – signs are yellowing patches and, if pulled gently, areas will come away easily with little or no roots. Sometimes the first signs are Magpies, Jackdaws and especially Badgers making holes to get at the fat white grubs.

There is now a chemical control Provado Lawn Grub Killer, (which comes in 2 sizes).

Alternatively, if you prefer non-chemical methods, we can supply specific natural predators that you water on to control this pest now.

Cut the lawn edges regularly. If floppy border plants make cutting close to the borders difficult, it could be worth laying a line of decorative paving for them to lie on. We also sell very effective plant supports.

Spike the lawn to ease compaction, fill the resulting holes with course sand or Cornish grit to aid drainage.

Autumn – September to November

Scarify your lawn to remove old dead grass. Use a spring tine rake and put the old dead grass and moss that you rake out onto the compost heap with some Garotta compost activator. Follow up with a low nitrogen feed such as Westland Autumn Lawn Feed + Moss Killer.

Spike compacted areas of your lawn with a fork and brush in a turf dressing of premixed compost. This particularly applies to well-used areas. With wet weather, poor drainage on the lawn may cause moss to grow. Treat with a good lawn moss killer such as Vitax Mossfree, September is the best month for establishing new lawns. Sow new seed or turf, both after careful soil preparation, or rejuvenate tired looking lawns by over-seeding with a mix of fresh seed and Lawn Dressing compost. This is what professional greens keepers regularly do.