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COVID-19 & the Allett Business

 

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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

January Lawn Tips

  • I hope you all have had a very merry Christmas and happy new year. With December being its usual mixed bag of frosty and wet, the same is going be said for January as well.
    • Those with fine lawns should wait until any frost has lifted before going on the grass as you can bruise the turf leaving unsightly black footprints in the lawn which can turn brown as the grass leaf dies.
    • If you are concerned about any snow effecting the lawn then Turf Hardeners or iron based fertilisers can be used to ‘toughen’ the plant, keeping any fungal diseases such as Snow Mold at bay.
    • Leaf and debris collection should continue 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.
    • Please 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 this can go stale and won’t allow the mower to start in the New Year. Though organising the machine to be serviced by a reputable mechanic is far preferable.

February Lawn Tips

• Gales and night frosts seem to be the main theme for this month, the best part of this is that both will help in drying out the ground.
• 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 harder such as Iron Sulphate to the grass in order to try and keep it at bay.
• Where 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 will need all the light it can get.
• The excess winter rain 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. If you 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

 

• February’s heavy rains on already saturated ground have caused localised flooding in lots of areas across the country.
It is important to note that, in areas that have flooded, 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.
• Firstly, if your lawn is soggy underfoot, I would recommend that you keep off until it manages to dry out, as you could do more harm than good by working on it.
• For most of us, this rain has caused our lawns to suffer from large amounts of waterlogging, causing the grass to thin, which has then encouraged lots of moss growth.
• If you can get on the lawn, lightly aerate the surface with a garden fork; this will improve oxygen levels and help rain and any water move off the surface and through the soil profile.
These aeration holes are also very useful for re-seeding any areas of the lawn that have either died off or have thinned – when the appropriate opportunity arises.
• 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. This will ‘blacken’ the moss initially and then kill it. I would look to remove it with a rake or scarifier once it has turned brown.
• Once the dead moss has been removed, look to reseed any areas that need it and then fertilise the whole lawn. I would recommend using a slow release fertiliser which, with regular mowing, will help thicken up the lawn again.
• The weather gods are bound to still throw some frosts our way once this wet weather bas blown through. As a result, I would check for frosts 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, I’d collect any leaf litter or debris littering the garden. If leaf litter is left, it will stop the light and air from getting to the grass underneath, which can cause the grass to rot, leaving bare patches
• If the lawn is looking hungry, then I would look to apply fertiliser, again I would recommend a slow release one.
• The lawn and paths will be looking a bit rough around the edges after the winter and will need to be re-established again; use long handled shears and or cut out with 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

  • With the present lockdown I think a lot of us will have plenty of time to work in the garden. Seriously though, I hope you all stay safe and healthy.
  • The sunny end of last month is starting to dry things up and this is allowing us a chance to catch up on what needs to be done
  • The wet winter that we’ve just come though has allowed the moss to thrive, so it would be an ideal time to start to do the necessary renovations.
  • I would look at applying Iron to kill it, this can either be sprayed on or applied as a granular. The moss will ‘blacken’ off and once it is dead then it will need to be raked or scarified out.
  • Following this with some fertiliser will help the grass fill the gaps caused by the removal of the moss.
  • If there are any bare or thin patches in the lawn, then those areas will need to be reseeded. Please ensure that adequate irrigation is applied as a lack of water is the commonest reason that a re-seed fails.
  • If the lawn is looking hungry, an application of a spring/summer fertiliser should be applied. I would recommend using slow release type as this alongside regular mowing allows the sward to thicken out.
  • 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.
  • Maintain neat lawn and path edges by trimming back excess grass growth with lawn edging trimmers on a regular basis.
  • And again, please take care of yourselves in the present climate and stay safe and well.

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

    • Unlike this time last year when most people’s lawns were as brown as a nut, this year thanks to the mixture of warm and wet, the grass has maintained its colour and growth for most of the summer. It’s only now after the hot August bank holiday have I seen much stress in any lawn.
    • Dry patch has still been an issue this summer, with some of this being a left over from last year, and this can be treated with a proprietary product.
    • September for us all is renovation time, repairing both any damage done during the summer and preparing the lawn for winter, starting 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 will make 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. This helps with movement of water through the soil, 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.
    • Reseeding the lawn both in areas where the grass is thin or patchy but also in the ‘dead’ areas as well. This will add newer more vigorous grasses to the turf sward this to help thicken up the lawn and squeeze 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. 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’s 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 can have a detrimental effect – be prepared to irrigate.

October Lawn Tips

  • As September comes to an end, we’ve been confronted with some quite impressive rainstorms that have caused some localised flooding:
    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.
    For those who haven’t started their autumn lawn 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 – thatch (the build-up of excess organic matter on the surface of the soil) will hold water 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.
    • Aerate 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 through the top layer of the turf. This helps with drainage and therefore helps 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.
    • Reseed the lawn in areas where the grass is thin or patchy; it is also as a way of adding newer more vigorous grasses into the sward.
    • Top dress 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 ensue that it is showing through the top dressing, otherwise you can ‘suffocate’ 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 plants’ 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 in the lawn 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

• As temperatures inevitably decline, it won’t be long before we wake up to frosts which will bring its own challenges. Among them, increased leaf fall from the deciduous trees in the garden and the risk of damage when walking across frosted grass.
• 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 plant’s cell walls, therefore allowing the turf to go into winter stronger and healthier. 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 which 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 that come into contact with stone or light paving are be brushed off as soon as possible, as the iron can stain, leaving it covered with pink/orange dots.
• If you are still cutting, 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 over hanging 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
• If there is a frost, I would recommend that you wait until it lifts before going onto the grass, as the foot fall can damage the grass leaving ‘black’ footprints within the sward.
• AS October has been a wet one, there may have been some localised flooding in your area, or if not, the water table may be high enough to create some in November.
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

 

•With this topsy turvy weather we’re having at the moment, one day heavy frost the next day heavy rain, I would advise that you stay off the lawn – you can do more harm than good.

• If you can aerate the lawn, please do, it will help move the water though the soil profile to where it’s needed.

• In regards to frost, those with fine lawns should wait until the frost has lifted before going on, as you can bruise the grass, leaving unsightly black footprints in the lawn 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 leading to bare patches on the lawn 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. While 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 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.

• 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 that are 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 the pruning back any herbaceous plants that are over hanging 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 may prevent the mower to start in the New Year. 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