If there’s one thing which can help your garden stand out from all the rest, it’s a neatly kept and luscious green lawn. Grass is a fragile family of plants and as such requires a great deal of care and patience. If everything is done right, it will grow to become an incredible sight to behold. That’s why it’s important to have basic knowledge of how to take care of your lawn. For that reason, we’ve prepared a handy-dandy lawn care calendar just for you.
Disclaimer: It’s important to have all the right tools at your disposal when performing these essential lawn care activities. These include: rake, shovel, garden hose, lawn mower, garden fork, etc.
Fantastic Gardeners are always there for you to assist you in regular lawn care throughout London. Our expert tips and care are at a phone call away. If you need a pro gardening advice on the maintenance of your lawn, the Fantastic Gardeners will be happy to provide it, alongside sprucing up the condition of your green lane. Simply fill in your postcode below to get started or read more for additional tips.
This one ranks among the lawn calendar activities that you will be performing the most. However, mowing your lawn is not as easy as it may sound. You need to adjust your mower tо the right hеight and avoid cutting the grass too close to the ground. Doing the latter would weaken it and make is susceptible to weeds, moss, and drought.
When you first start mowing, adjust the mower to the highest setting. After a week has passed mow again, but this time set the blades a little bit lower. The next week, go even lower. Do this until you reach the desired height. Mow your grass every week to maintain its height and keep this cutting lawn maintenance schedule until autumn.
If you feel confused and don’t know how tall your grass should be, stick with this general rule:
“Never remove more than one-third of the leaf shoots in any one mow.” Source: RHS
Watering your garden has never been much of a problem in the UK where the natural weather is mostly rainy. Depending on your soil type, watering should be carried out every 8 to 10 days. Wait until the soil becomes dry, but don’t let the grass change its colour to yellow or brown.
Always water in the morning before it gets too hot. If you water during lunch time, the liquid would evaporate too quickly. If you water at nighttime, the water would not evaporate at all and may cause diseases.
According to Lawnsmith, you should “water deeply each time you water – at least half an inch for clay soils and an inch (25mm) for sandy soils.”
Feeding the lawn is just as important as all other activities, but it should be done carefully. As you can see on your UK lawn care calendar, there’s a perfect and a recommended time. In spring time, it’s best to use granular feed. This type of feed nourishes the grass and fights weeds.
Be cautious if you feed your lawn during summer days. Sometimes, if the weather is too dry, the fertiliser won’t work as it will need moisture. In this case, you can consider purchasing a liquid feed, which will both fertilise and water the lawn. If the weather becomes too hot, the grass will stop growing and will thus not use any feed. Stop fertilising if this happens!
How often you need to aerate your lawn depends on the soil type. Clay and sandy soils need aeration at least once a year, because they get compacted more easily compared to loam and peat soils. Other softer soils need to be aerated every two years. The proper time for aerating any soil is after the summer is over, for two reasons:
- The grass is usually worn down by kids and pets;
- Rising moisture levels as the weather gets colder.
The sole purpose of poking holes in your grass, which is a simple way to describe this activity, is to improve drainage and increase soil temperature. That’s why the months from August to October are the perfect time for aeration. Try not to do it too late as by then the temperatures would be too low for the soil to recover properly.
Scarification is best done at a time when the lawn is growing actively. That time is in April and later on in September and October. Avoid doing this in hotter months when grass growth is slowed down and recovery is generally moderate.
Thatch (dead leaves, cut grass, dead moss) is harmful for your lawn because it stops valuable nutrients and water from sinking into the soil. All lawns produce this dead organic material but, luckily, it can be removed with a lawn scarifier. Just be careful not to scarify the grass too close to the soil. After that, remove all green waste with a rake.
Overseeding is always recommended for your lawn, because it strengthens it and helps cover any bare patches. August and, especially, September are the best months for this procedure as then the soil is still warm and moisture starts building up. May is also suitable for overseeding.
Before you spread the new seeds, be sure to prepare the soil by giving it a good mowing and removing all the thatch. Sprinkle the new seeds in a way that evenly covers your entire lawn. You can do this by hand or by using a fertiliser spreader. Germination usually occurs 7 to 21 days afterwards, depending on the lawn’s condition, so be patient.
Crabgrass, a.k.a. Couch grass – the key to killing this invasive plant is to spray it while it is still growing. Like most plants, this one also starts to grow in early spring. Be advised, however, that most weed killers are not selective and may harm your other plants as well. You can also try killing off crabgrass between October and November before any frost hits.
Broadleaf weed – you have two options when it comes to this type of weed – removing them by hand or using a commercial herbicide. You can dig out the broadleaf weed during almost any season when the soil is moist. Those are usually the seasons preceding and following winter. Some weeds would likely be harder to dig by hand, so you should spray these with a weed killer.
Chafer grubs – no form of chemical control is available for this type of pest. It can be combated with the help of pathogenic nematodes, called Heterorhabditis bacteriophora. The soil temperature needs to be around 12-20 ºC when these organisms are watered into the ground. Chafer grub infestations are usually hard to spot until it’s too late, so it’s best to apply nematodes between July and September as a preventive measure.
Leatherjackets – no form of chemical control is available for this type of pest, either. The good news is that there is a pathogenic nematode, called Steinernema feltiae, which attacks leatherjackets by infecting them with a deadly virus. Apply your nematodes between September and October before the soil gets too cold for them. The soil needs to be moist, but well drained with a temperature of about 12 °C.
Header photo credits:
- Source: Shutterstock
- Larisa Lofitskaya;
- Evgeni Glazunov;
- Bildagentur Zoonar GmbH;
- Paul Maguire
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