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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

 

• I hope you all have had a very merry Christmas and happy new year. After a very mild and wet run up to Christmas, the frosty mornings are now back. Whilst it’s a pain scraping it off the car, the benefits mean that it will check any grass growth and also help control any soil based grubs or bugs.

• Those with fine lawns should wait until the frost has lifted before going on, as you can bruise the grass, leaving unsightly black footprints which can turn brown as the grass leaf dies.

• 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 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, as this can go stale and won’t allow the mower to start 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

• After the rain and the storms come a mixed bag of cold and frosty weather. Hopefully, that will help dry everything up a little
• As the frosts return, 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 have been 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.
• These excessively wet conditions have brought out the moss in certain 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 this “Arctic Blast” now upon us, please wrap up warm as it is set to last until the middle of the month.
With the cold now set for the next couple of weeks, 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 around the garden. If leaf litter is left, it will stop the light from getting to the grass underneath.
Once things start to warm up again, if the lawn’s looking hungry, make a small application of fertiliser. A feed on lawns that are 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 edge after the winter, and will need to be re-established again with 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

• After the weather’s equivalent of a mixed bag (mild, wet, cold and very cold!), things have turned the corner with it starting to get warmer.
• The heavy rains over the winter may have encouraged moss in the lawn, (some people have already rang saying they have more moss than grass), I would look at applying Iron to kill it. This can either be sprayed on or applied as a granular. 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 most common reason that a re-seed fails.
• If the lawn is looking hungry, make an application of a spring/summer fertiliser. 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.
• If you haven’t had your mower serviced yet, please do so; time is running out.

May Lawn Tips

• After lasts month’s ‘mini heat wave’, temperatures have dropped to normal or just below, so the cooler nights may check the growth spurt from the warm weather. But, as mowing has started in earnest, please have a read below:
• Before you start to mow, please ensure that your height of cut is set at between 15-20mm (higher if it is not a fine lawn) and the blade is sharp and clean. A nice clean and sharp blade will cut the grass cleanly, whilst a dirty blunt blade will tear at the grass, and also take a lot of power out of the machine 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. (Allett supply a wheel kit for cutting longer grass)
• 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 of weeds 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 fertiliser your lawn, try using a slow release fertiliser that will help keep the lawn green without too much top growth. You probably have enough grass as it is.
• If you still have any moss, 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 previously 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

  • Some areas have had a mixed bag of weather, what with those horrendous storms which hit a lot of the Midlands area, whilst other parts were sweltering in the heat. With these hot temperatures, and all the rain, the lawns will really be growing well.
  • You need to keep on top of the mowing; at least weekly, but twice a week would be ideal. Not only will it keep the lawn under control, it will also help to thicken out the sward, making it less likely for weeds to invade. Height of cut should be anything between 15mm and 25mm, dependent upon how level your lawn is and the type of grass. Fine grasses, such as bents and fescues, can tolerate the lower heights of cut.
  • Make sure the mower blades are clean, and nice and sharp. Blunt or damaged blades can rip the grass plant, leaving it susceptible to disease.
  • If you haven’t fed the lawn yet, now’s a good time to put on a summer fertiliser; a slow release granular will be perfect. Give it a good watering if there’s no rain in the 24 hours after applying the fertiliser.
  • 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 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.
  • You can also seed any bare areas; rake the area beforehand, then add some top dressing to the seed to ensure there is soil/seed contact. Keep the area watered if there is a dry spell.
  • Don’t forget that we are now in June, and the perfect time to relax and enjoy your handiwork. Enjoy.

July Lawn Tips

• The present mix of sunshine and showers experienced by most of the UK is helping both the grass and weeds to grow well.
• Continue to pull up isolated weeds or carry out spot treatment 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.
• Make a small application of fertiliser on lawns that are thinning and looking unhealthy. 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 for application.
• You should be cutting at least once a week at this time of year, and twice per week on fine ornamental lawns.
• Maintain neat lawn and path edges by trimming back excess grass growth with edge trimmers on a regular basis.
• Irrgation should be applied to any recently seeded or turfed areas as the any hot dry spell could easily kill of the plant before it has had 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.
• Many people now have wildflower areas; now is the time to mow these and leave the clippings in situ to dry for at least a week. Rake up the clippings once they have dried and set seed.

August Lawn Tips

 

 

  • Now that the heatwave seems to have passed (at least for now), this small period of wet weather is allowing conditions for any lawns that were suffering to bounce back.
    You can use the present wetter weather to ‘wash in’ any outstanding 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 with a proprietary lawn weed killer

Please Note: 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.

 

  • As the grass starts to grow again, Red Thread (a fungal disease that turns the grass a reddy/pink colour) may start to show itself in the lawn. This can either be fed out using fertilisers or by using a chemical control.

 

September Lawn Tips

  • After a very warm Bank Holiday weekend, we are now facing some rather autumnal weather, which lets you know that it’s time to start planning the lawn renovations. The work you do this autumn will have positive effect on the look of your lawn next spring/summer.
    These renovations can be:
    • Scarification to remove the thatch build-up (excess organic matter on the surface of the soil). Thatch acts 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, therefore helping prevent moss and also 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 as a way of adding newer more vigorous grasses to the turf sward.
    • Top dressing with a soil/sand mix can be used to cover the recently applied seed and also to level any dips and hollows in 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’ 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. 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. 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 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 heat waves and Indian Summers, and sometimes it happens. Please keep an eye on the weather forecasts before starting your renovations, as any prolonged dry spells afterwards can have a detrimental effect – be prepared to irrigate.

October Lawn Tips

    • As this mild and wet September comes to an end, I suspect that the colder weather is just around the corner, so hopefully your renovations will have been completed by now. For those who haven’t started their autumn renovations for your lawn, 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 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 in areas where the grass is thin or patchy, but also as a way of adding newer more vigorous grasses to the turf sward.
      • Top dressing 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 though 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 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 Tips

    • • As we have just had our first frost of the season, a quick reminder that those with fine lawns should wait until the frost has lifted before doing any work on them as you can bruise the grass, leaving unsightly black footprints which can turn brown as the grass leaf dies.
      • 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 which could encourage lawn diseases such as Fusarium.
      • Also, fertilisers with high iron content can 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 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

·         The winter is now with us and we all seem to be waking up to a sharp frost. Though very pretty, it can bring its own problems.

 

·         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 grass plant, please ensure that you rake up all the leaves off the lawn, otherwise they will block out the light, leading to bare patches on the lawn that are an invitation to either weeds or moss.

 

·         Also, the leaf litter will 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 not only are 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 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 will prevent the mower from starting 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 from everyone at Pitchcare.