Greener, lusher lawn
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A lovely green lawn is a great feature for any home and it's something that all of us want for our gardens. Here are 5 great ways to get your lawn in top condition and keep it that way. From tackling yellow spots to creating a feeding schedule to keep your lawn healthy, you'll find all the information you need to create a lawn fit for showing off.
Step 1: Tackle any yellow patches in your lawn
There are various reasons why you might get yellow patches in your lawn – and they’re all easy to treat.
- Yellow patches sometimes occur as a result of cutting off too much of the grass leaf. Try mowing more frequently but on a higher blade setting so that you never remove more than a third of the grass blade.
- If the grass blades are turning yellow in the vein areas but the rest of the leaves are green then you may have an iron deficiency. This can be addressed by spraying the area with a liquid iron supplement.
- Yellow grass can also be caused by applying fertiliser incorrectly. Over-application will scorch the grass. If this happens, water the area thoroughly to wash away any residual fertiliser into the soil.
Step 2: Keep your lawn trim & tidy with regular mowing
Mowing is the one thing all lawn-owners do, but there are right and wrong ways to do it. Here are some lawn maintenance tips to follow:
- Try to make sure your lawn is fairly dry before mowing as this will help you get a clean cut.
- Mowers with a mulching plug cut the clippings very finely and then return them to the lawn as a valuable nutrient.
- Keep your mower blades sharpened.
- In the growing season, try to cut little but often rather than letting the grass get very long and then cutting it right back. If you remove too much leaf blade in one go you damage the plant’s ability to make food.
- Your lawn will need an occasional cut during the winter months, so get your mower serviced but don’t put it away for months on end.
Step 3: Aerate your lawn & scarify to keep it moss free
Aeration is essential for a healthy lawn. There are different types of aeration but they all aim to create small channels down into the soil to allow air to circulate and prevent compaction. As a result water, air and nutrients can all get to the roots. The best time to aerate your lawn is during the time your grass is growing (usually in late spring/early autumn). Avoid mid-summer and very dry conditions as you don’t want the newly opened up soil to dry out.
This is simply the process of raking or combing through the sward to remove some of the dead organic matter that forms the thatch layer. If you don’t scarify, the thatch gets too dense and water can’t get through to the soil and the roots. Scarifying also prevents the conditions that leads to major moss problems.
Both techniques will leave your lawn looking bedraggled, but don’t panic it will soon recover and look so much better than before.
Step 4: Use a fertiliser to feed your lawn
Grass needs feeding just the same as any other plants in the garden. Create a seasonal feeding plan, and choose the right fertiliser for different times of the year. For example a high nitrogen feed should be applied during spring / summer to encourage the lawn to grow whereas a high potash feed should be applied in the autumn to strengthen the roots to prepare your grass for winter.
When you fertilise your lawn you are adding to the nutrients that the grass needs to grow strong and healthy. In order to achieve the best results it is important to read the instructions on the pack and apply products at the recommended application rates.
Step 5: Water your garden
A healthy and well-maintained lawn will not need much watering (unless you have a top-quality luxury lawn). However, if you don’t scarify and aerate, very little rain water will penetrate to the soil below. As water is a precious resource it makes much better sense to focus on good maintenance and leave the watering to nature. However, there will be times when you need to lend a hand, and of course any newly seeded or turfed areas will need additional watering. The right technique and the right tools will make a huge difference to the outcome.
Sprinklers are great for convenience and come with a range of adjustable settings. For smaller lawns or areas, a hosepipe with spray attachment will be more accurate and use less water overall. Whichever method you choose, try to water in the early mornings and the evenings when the temperatures are lower. The grass will be able to absorb more of the water.
N.B. if you do water but find that the grass still seems to be dry, this indicates that you have a problem in the thatch layer or have very compacted soil. In either case you will need to resolve the problem with a scheme of aeration and scarification.
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