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Lawncare Calendar

Ensure your lawn looks perfect all year around by checking out our top tips using our Lawncare Calendar, whether for a professional or homeowner setting. Month by month steps to achieving a luscious lawn!

Ensure your lawn looks perfect all year around by checking out our top tips using our Lawncare Calendar, whether for a professional or homeowner setting. Month by month steps to achieving a luscious lawn with your reel mower.


January Lawn Tips

  • Well, we’re into a new year and January is a month when you can take it fairly easy with your lawn maintenance. As always advised, keep off the grass if you have any frost; your footprints will cause severe damage to the plant and, in some cases, kill it off completely.
  • Keep removing any leaf or other debris should conditions allow. If leaf litter is left, it will stop the light from getting to the grass underneath and, as the nights have drawn in, the grass will need all the light it can get.
  • On any of the mild, warmer days which may occur, a bit of aeration always helps. A gentle forking of the softer soil will help any water to filter further down into the profile.
  • And don’t forget about arranging to have your mower serviced. At the very least, wash it down and grease or oil the working parts; if it’s a petrol mower, please remove any remaining petrol, as this can go stale and may prevent the mower from starting later in the year when you come to use it. Organising the machine to be serviced by a reputable mechanic is far preferable.

February Lawn Tips

• The weather forecast is telling us that were in for a cold one this month with the usual mix of frost, rain and snow!
• If it does snow where you are, long lying snow can raise the humidity in the grass beneath and result in fungal disease such as Snow Mould. If you haven’t already done it, then I would recommend an application of a turf hardner such as Iron Sulphate in order to try and keep it at bay.
• If you do get a frost, those with fine lawns should wait until the frost has lifted before going on the lawn as you can bruise the grass, leaving unsightly black footprints which can turn brown as the grass leaf dies.
• The strong winds from the gales and storms that have made this winter so far are blowing debris across the garden and probably damaged trees and plants as well. Please collect leaf litter and debris when conditions allow. If leaf litter is left, it will stop the light from getting to the grass underneath and, as the nights have drawn in, the grass in the lawn will need all the light it can get.
• The thin grass caused by last summer’s drought and the wet winter has brought out the moss in most areas of the country. Moss control can be achieved with the use of Iron based feeds; these feeds can either be soluble or granular types. Look to apply these towards the end of the month with the aim of raking out the dead moss in time for the new spring growth
• If you haven’t had your mower serviced yet, please do so, time is running out. Before you know, it will be spring and you may find yourself at the back of a very long queue.

 

March Lawn Tips

• With most of us enjoying a surprising warm dry spell at the beginning of this month, normal service is due to return, with cold spells forecast for later in the month, so some frosty mornings to deal with.
• As a result, I would check for frost before walking over the lawn and examine its overall condition. If they are frosted, please keep off them until the frost has lifted.
• Once the frost has lifted, collect any leaf litter or debris on the lawn. If leaf litter is left, it will stop the light from getting to the grass underneath.
• Hopefully, when the cold spell is over, check to see if the lawn is looking hungry. If so, I would look to apply a fertiliser. A feed on a lawn that is thinning and looking unhealthy will certainly help reverse that, and provide a nutrient boost as it starts grow again.
• If moss is showing though the grass, then a moss control can be achieved with the use of Iron based fertilisers; these feeds can either be soluble or granular types. Look to apply them towards the end of the month, with the aim of raking or scarifying out the dead moss in time for the new spring growth
• Aerate the lawn by lightly pricking the surface with a garden fork; this will improve oxygen levels and help rain and irrigation to penetrate the surface and more easily reach the grass roots.
• These aeration holes are also very useful for re-seeding any areas of the lawn that have either died off or have thinned.
• The lawn and paths will be looking a bit rough around the edges after the winter and will need to be re-established; use long handled shears and/or a half-moon spade.
• If you haven’t had your mower serviced yet, please do so; time is running out. Before you know it will be spring, and you may find yourself at the back of a very long queue.

April Lawn Tips

• There I was predicting sunshine and showers for June and instead we got enough rain for quite a lot of localised flooding!
• There has also been lot of lawns suffering from Red Thread as an indirect result. This can be best treated with an application of a summer fertiliser which should help to grow out the infection; other than that, a proprietary lawn fungicide can be used.
• It’s time to make a small application of fertiliser on the lawns, especially if they are thinning and looking hungry. A good indicator of when fertiliser is required is when the amount of grass clippings collected is dramatically reduced. Always follow the manufacturer’s directions with fertilisers.
• Another result of all this rain and possible fertiliser is that your lawns will put on a growth spurt, so please keep mowing the grass regularly to prevent it from getting away from you.
• Continue to pull up isolated weeds or carry out spot treatment of weeds with a proprietary lawn weed killer.
• Aerate the lawn by lightly pricking the surface with a garden fork; this will improve oxygen levels and help rain and irrigation to penetrate the surface and more easily reach the grass roots.
• If you have an electric lawn rake, then a pass or two of that before mowing will help lift any lateral growth so it can be cut. This will improve the overall presentation of the lawn, especially if your looking for a good stripe.
• Maintain neat lawn and path edges by trimming back excess grass growth with lawn edge trimmers on a regular basis.
• Irrigation should be applied to any recently seeded or turfed areas, as the present hot dry spell could easily kill of the grass before it has a chance to establish.
• The lawn mower should now be at its summer height of cut – ornamental lawns 10 to 15mm; recreational lawns 20 to 30mm. Do not be tempted to reduce the height of cut, as you may scalp the lawn, resulting in unsightly bare patches.
• Mow any wildflower meadow areas and leave the clippings in situ to dry for at least a week. Rake up the clippings once they have dried and set seed.

Please note : In areas that have flooded, the receding waters can leave sediment; this can be potentially hazardous waste from sewers or industry. Please wear protective gloves, eye protection and a dust mask as a minimum level of protective clothing when you come into contact with the sediment. Seek advice from your local authority or the Environment Agency for further guidance

May Lawn Tips

• After the April cold spell and now that storm Hannah has blown herself out, it looks like things are starting to warm up. With the warmer nights, the grass should start to grow in earnest and mowing will soon be in full swing.
• Before you start to mow, please ensure that your height of cut is set at between 15-20mm and the blade is sharp and clean. A nice clean and sharp blade will cut the grass cleanly; a dirty, blunt blade will tear at the grass and also take a lot of power out of the mower in the process. Also, with the amount of grass going through the mower, you need as few obstructions as possible.
• Please don’t try and ‘push’ the mower though dense grass; allow the mower to cut at a pace that it can cope with. It may take a little longer, but you will get a far better finish.
• Trim lawn edges, as and when required, with edging shears to keep them looking neat and tidy.

• Look to pull up isolated weeds or carry out spot treatment with a proprietary lawn weed killer Note: make sure the weed killer is suitable for grass; otherwise you will kill the grass as well as the weeds.
• If you planning to feed your lawn, try using a slow release fertiliser that will help keep the grass green without too much top growth.
• If you still have any moss in the lawn, it can be controlled with the use of Iron Sulphate, either in a liquid or granular form. This will turn the moss black, and then it should start to die off not long after. Afterwards, lightly scarify to remove the dead moss and allow the grass the chance to recolonize the mossed areas
• Please keep an eye on any seedlings and be prepared to water, there may be some rain about but, as soon as the summer sun makes an appearance, it will quickly dry things out.

June Lawn Tips

  • The long-range forecast for June seems to be predicting sunshine and showers, at least until the middle of the month; the type of weather that will encourage the grass growth.

    As a result, please mow on a more regular basis, at least once per week; the height of cut should now be at the summer height.

    You may need to look at fertilising your lawn; I would recommend applying a slow release fertiliser. This allows the grass to maintain its colour while encouraging a manageable amount of growth.

    Unless the lawn is level and free of any humps and hollows, the height of cut should be between 15 – 20mm.  Lower heights of cut will expose the humps or hollows and can result in the mower straddling the high spots and scalping the turf.  Lawns that are uniformly level can be mowed at a height not less than 12mm.

    Continue to trim lawn edges as and when required, with edging shears, to keep them looking neat and tidy.

    Continue to pull up isolated weeds or carry out spot treatment of weeds with a proprietary lawn weed killer Note: make sure the weedkiller is suitable for grass; otherwise you will kill the grass as well as the weeds.

    Check the mower blades are still sharp and that all moving parts are lubricated as per the manufacturer’s guidelines.

    Lightly scarify the lawn with a spring tined rake to remove thatch (the build-up of excess organic matter on the surface of the soil).  This is necessary as thatch will hold water on the surface like a sponge, encouraging the grass plant to grow only shallow roots, which will make the grass plant less tolerant of dry weather as it does not have roots extending deep down into the soil to find moisture.  Thatch can also harbour turf diseases

    Maintain surface levels on formal lawns by topdressing with an appropriate soil dressing, which fills low spots and dilutes the build up of organic matter.

July Lawn Tips

• There I was predicting sunshine and showers for June and instead we got enough rain for quite a lot of localised flooding!
• There has also been lot of lawns suffering from Red Thread as an indirect result. This can be best treated with an application of a summer fertiliser which should help to grow out the infection; other than that, a proprietary lawn fungicide can be used.
• It’s time to make a small application of fertiliser on the lawns, especially if they are thinning and looking hungry. A good indicator of when fertiliser is required is when the amount of grass clippings collected is dramatically reduced. Always follow the manufacturer’s directions with fertilisers.
• Another result of all this rain and possible fertiliser is that your lawns will put on a growth spurt, so please keep mowing the grass regularly to prevent it from getting away from you.
• Continue to pull up isolated weeds or carry out spot treatment of weeds with a proprietary lawn weedkiller.
• Aerate the lawn by lightly pricking the surface with a garden fork; this will improve oxygen levels and help rain and irrigation to penetrate the surface and more easily reach the grass roots.
• If you have an electric lawn rake, then a pass or two of that before mowing will help lift any lateral growth so it can be cut. This will improve the overall presentation of the lawn, especially if your looking for a good stripe.
• Maintain neat lawn and path edges by trimming back excess grass growth with lawn edge trimmers on a regular basis.
• Irrigation should be applied to any recently seeded or turfed areas, as the present hot dry spell could easily kill of the grass before it has a chance to establish.
• The lawn mower should now be at its summer height of cut – ornamental lawns 10 to 15mm; recreational lawns 20 to 30mm. Do not be tempted to reduce the height of cut, as you may scalp the lawn, resulting in unsightly bare patches.
• Mow any wildflower meadow areas and leave the clippings in situ to dry for at least a week. Rake up the clippings once they have dried and set seed.

Please note : In areas that have flooded, the receding waters can leave sediment; this can be potentially hazardous waste from sewers or industry. Please wear protective gloves, eye protection and a dust mask as a minimum level of protective clothing when you come into contact with the sediment. Seek advice from your local authority or the Environment Agency for further guidance

August Lawn Tips

 

  •  These mini heat waves and then heavy rainstorms are definitively making the grass grow! Resulting in people coming back off holiday to find the lawn is tall enough to have tigers in it.
    • The heavy rain can result in the nutrients in the soil to be washed out which can result in outbreaks of Red Thread in the lawn. This can be corrected with an application of fertiliser to replace what’s lost.
    • You can use the present wetter weather to ‘wash in’ these fertiliser applications, minimising any chance of scorch.
    • Continue to trim lawn edges and mow as and when required, different grass varieties will recover at different times giving the lawn an uneven look.

    • Continue to pull up isolated weeds or carry out spot treatment of weeds with a proprietary lawn weed killer.

    Please Note: Please wait until the grass has recovered fully. If you spray a lawn that is already drought /heat stressed, you could kill it.

    • Check the mower blades are still sharp and that all moving parts are lubricated as per the manufacturer’s guidelines.

    • Mowing height should be between 15-20mm, any lower and you run the risk of scalping the lawn.

    In areas that have seen large amounts of flooding, the receding waters can leave sediment; this can be potentially hazardous waste from flooded sewers or industry. Please wear protective gloves, eye protection and a dust mask as a minimum level of protective clothing when you come into contact with the sediment. Seek advice from your local authority or the Environment Agency for further guidance

 

September Lawn Tips

  • September Lawn Tips
    After a very warm and dry summer and due to that excessive dry weather, a lot of people’s lawns are only now starting to recover. On closer inspection you may find that the grass is still quite thin in the places where it is recoverin,g but there are areas where it still hasn’t.
    I would advise a complete re-seed in the ‘dead’ areas and an over seed in the others. This will replace the grasses lost due to the drought and prevent those areas being taken over with either weed grasses such as Annual Meadow Grass, (Poa Annua), or with moss which will exploit the gaps in the surviving grass.
    So, let’s start with –
    • Scarification to remove any dead grass or thatch build-up (this is excess organic matter on the surface of the soil). This dead grass and thatch will act like a sponge, encouraging the proliferation of moss and reducing the need for the grass to develop a deep root base. This makes the grass plant less tolerant of any dry weather next year as the roots cannot find moisture in the soil beneath it. Thatch can also harbour turf diseases such Fusarium.
    • Aerating the lawn with either solid or hollow tines. The alleviation of compaction in the surface of the lawn will allow the movement of both air and water though the top layer of the turf, helping prevent moss and encouraging root development within the lawn. When hollow tining, the cores will have to be removed, these can either be disposed of or recycled as a dressing for the spring or next autumn.
    • Re-seeding the lawn both in areas where the grass is thin or patchy but also in the ‘dead’ areas as well. This will thicken up the sward as well adding newer more vigorous grasses to the turf sward, and squeezing out the weed grass and moss.
    • Top dress the lawn with a soil/sand mix to cover the recently applied seed and to level any dips and hollows in the lawn. Once applied, use the back of a garden rake to level off the dressing. Please do not try to ‘bury’ the grass, always ensure that it is showing through the top dressing otherwise you can ‘suffocate’ the lawn and kill the grass beneath it.
    • Fertilise the lawn with an autumn/winter fertiliser, these are usually low in Nitrogen but have a higher amount of Phosphate and Potash than summer feeds. Phosphate and Potash help with root development and strengthen the plant cell walls, therefore helping the turf to go into winter stronger and healthier. I would advise using a slow release fertiliser as this will slowly release nutrient into the lawn without you having to deal with a growth flush
    • Raise the height of cut after renovations to 30-40mm. Any lower and you encourage the build-up of moss within the lawn. The less light that can get to the base of the sward the less moss spores that are able to germinate.
    • Continue to trim lawn edges as and when required, with edging shears to keep them looking neat and tidy.Note-
    As always at this time of year there is talk of heatwaves and Indian summers, and sometimes it happens. Please keep an eye on the forecasts before starting your renovations as any prolonged dry spells after renovations can have a detrimental effect – be prepared to irrigate.

October Lawn Tips

  • As September comes to an end, the lawns are starting to recover from the effects of the summer. For those who haven’t started their autumn renovations, October is really the last month that you can; once the weather turns cold, it will be too late. Emphasis should be on the type of renovations required and the materials needed. The work you do this autumn will have positive effect on the look of your lawn next spring/summer. These renovations can be:
     Scarification is necessary as thatch (the build-up of excess organic matter on the surface of the soil) will hold water on the surface like a sponge, encouraging the proliferation of moss and reducing the need for the grass to develop a deep root base. This makes the grass plant less tolerant of dry weather as the roots cannot find moisture. Thatch can also harbour turf diseases such Fusarium.
     Aerating the lawn with either solid or hollow tines. The alleviation of compaction in the surface of the lawn will allow the movement of both air and water though the top layer of the turf. This helps with drainage and therefore helping prevent moss, and also encourages root development within the lawn. When hollow tining, the cores will have to be removed; these can either be disposed of or recycled as a dressing for the spring or next autumn.
     Reseeding the lawn both in areas where the grass is thin or patchy, especially after this summer’s heatwave, but also as a way of adding newer more vigorous grasses to the turf sward.
     Top dressing the lawn with a soil/sand mix can be used to cover the recently applied seed and to remove dips and hollows from the lawn. Once applied, use the back of a garden rake to level off the dressing. Do not bury the grass, always ensure that it is showing through the top dressing otherwise you can ‘suffocate’ the lawn and kill the grass beneath it.
     Raise the height of cut after renovations to 30-40mm; any lower and you encourage the build-up of moss within the lawn. The less light that can get to base of the sward the less moss spores that are able to germinate.
     Fertilise the lawn with an autumn, winter fertiliser; these are usually low in Nitrogen but have a higher amount of Phosphate and Potash than summer feeds. These two last nutrients help with root development and strengthen the plant’s cell walls, therefore allowing the turf to go into winter with stronger and healthier plants.
     This is also the time that trees shed their leaves, so leaf collection should be done at regular intervals. If leaf litter is left, it will stop the light from getting to the grass underneath and as the nights draw in, the grass will need all the light it can get.
     Continue to trim lawn edges as and when required, with edging shears to keep them looking neat and tidy.

November Lawn Tip

• With temperatures fluctuating from mild to frosty, we seem to have your typical late autumn temperatures. Though it has been quite a dry October (in the South at least), I imagine that will change this month coming and hopefully that will refill the aquifers in the ground.
• Your autumn renovations should now have been completed and the lawn can be left to regenerate at its own pace.
• If you need to fertilise the lawn, please use an autumn/winter fertiliser; these are usually low in Nitrogen but have a higher amount of Phosphate and Potash than summer feeds. These two last nutrients help with root development and strengthen the plants cell walls therefore allowing the turf to go into winter with stronger and healthier plants. N.B a slow release fertiliser would be better, as this will trickle nutrients into the ground over the 3 months or so of its life rather than a sudden flush of nutrients and growth could encourage lawn diseases such as Fusarium.
• Also, fertilisers with high iron content can also be used to harden the grass and help prevent moss. N.B Please ensure when using these types of fertilisers that any granules which come into contact with stone or light paving should be brushed off as soon as possible, as the iron can stain, leaving it covered with pink/orange dots.
• Please raise your mower’s height of cut so it is between 30-40mm; any lower and you encourage the build-up of moss within the lawn. The less light that can get to base of the sward the less moss spores that are able to germinate.
• Continue to trim lawn edges if you already haven’t done so, with edging shears to keep them looking neat and tidy.
• Also prune back any herbaceous plants that are overhanging the lawn, or may do so once the growing season starts again in the New Year. These obscure the light to the lawn creating unsightly bald patches and can encourage moss or weeds.
• Please don’t stop collecting the leaf drop; not only is it unsightly, but if this is left then it will smother the grass leaving dead patches in the lawns that moss will colonise

Please Note: Heavy rains in winter can cause localised flooding in certain areas; the receding waters can leave sediment; this can be potentially hazardous waste from flooded sewers or industry. Wear protective gloves, eye protection and a dust mask as a minimum level of protective clothing when you come into contact with the sediment. Seek advice from your local authority or the Environment Agency for further guidance.

December Lawn Tips

After a rather mild and dry November, the colder and wetter weather is only now making an appearance. Whilst we might not like the rain, if you were to go down to a certain depth in the soil profile, you would find that it is still quite dry; as a result, any rain is welcome.
• If you can aerate the lawn, please do, it will help move the water though the soil profile to where it’s needed.
• With regard to frost, those with fine lawns should wait until the frost has lifted before going onto the surface, as you can bruise the grass, leaving unsightly black footprints which can turn brown as the grass leaf dies. To improve the amount of light getting to the lawn, please ensure that you rake up all the leaves, otherwise they will block out the light leaving bare patches that are an invitation to either weeds or moss
• The leaf litter will also encourage worms to the surface to feed on the dead leaves. Whilst this can aid the biological health of the lawn, it will lead to large amounts of worm casts on the surface which are not only unsightly but can provide nice little seed beds for weeds in the spring.
• If you haven’t fed your lawn with an Autumn/Winter fertiliser, I would do so soon. These fertilisers are usually low in Nitrogen but have a higher amount of Phosphate and Potash than summer feeds. These two last nutrients help with root development and strengthen the plants cell walls, therefore allowing the turf to go through winter with stronger and healthier plants.
N.B a slow release fertiliser would be better, as this will trickle nutrients into the ground over the 3 months or so of its life rather than a sudden flush of nutrients and growth could encourage lawn diseases such as Fusarium.
• Fertilisers with high iron content can also be used to harden the grass and help prevent moss. N.B Please ensure when using these types of fertilisers that any granules left on the stone or light paving should be brushed off as soon as possible as the iron can stain, leaving it covered with pink/orange dots.
• Also, finish pruning back any herbaceous plants that are overhanging the lawn or may do so once the growing season starts again in the New year. These obscure the light to the lawn creating unsightly bald patches and can encourage moss or weeds.
• At this time of year, the mower has usually been put back in the shed and forgotten about – please don’t. At the very least wash it down and grease or oil the working parts. If it’s a petrol mower, please remove any remaining petrol, as this can go stale and could prevent the mower from starting when you next come to use it. Though organising the machine to be serviced by a reputable mechanic is far preferable.
• Finally, I’d like to wish you all a Happy Christmas and prosperous New Year