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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 2017 Lawn Tips
    • I hope you all have had a very merry Christmas and happy new year. After a very mild Christmas, (you’ll probably find that the lawn didn’t stopped growing), the hard frosts are 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 onto the surface, as you can bruise the grass, leaving unsightly black footprints in the lawn 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 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, as this can go stale and will prevent the mower from starting later in the year. Organising the machine to be serviced by a reputable mechanic is far preferable.

February Lawn Tips

 

  • Pitchcare February Lawn Tips
    • After a mild December, January has been far colder, though with a mix of milder, wetter weather and most forecasts say that this will continue into February.
    • When the frosts set in, I would recommend that you wait for the grass to thaw before walking over the lawn. After that, 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.
    • If the lawn is looking hungry, make a small application of fertiliser; a feed on lawns that are thinning and losing their colour 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 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 path edges will be looking a bit untidy 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.

     

     

March Lawn Tips

 

  • After a mild December and January, February has been far colder and most forecasts say that will continue into the first couple of weeks of March.

 

  • With the frosts set to continue, I would recommend, before you do anything, is to walk over the lawn and examine its overall condition. If it is frosted, please don’t do any work until it has lifted.

 

  • After that, collect any leaf litter or debris littering the garden. If leaf litter is left, it will stop the light from getting to the grass underneath.

 

  • If the lawns 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 to 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 path edges will be looking a bit untidy 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

 

  • Now that spring is finally here and the long bleak and, at times, very wet winter is now behind us, we can get on with some serious work on the lawns.

 

  • The heavy rains over the winter may have encouraged moss in the lawn (some people have already rung into the office 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.

 

  • If there are any bare or thin patches in the lawn, then those areas will need to be re-seeded. Please ensure that adequate irrigation is applied as a lack of water is the most common reason that a re-seed fails.

 

  • The lawn is likely to need a feed; so, an application of a spring/summer fertiliser should be mad. I would recommend using a slow release type as this, alongside regular mowing, allows the sward to thicken out.

 

  • Take your time when mowing the lawn, reducing your height of cut gradually. Hard wearing and well-used lawns should be maintained at around the height of football pitch (20 to 25mm), with finer lawns around 15mm. There is no need to put unnecessary stress on the grass plant by cutting lower.

 

  • I trust your mower has been properly sharpened and serviced. A poorly cutting mower will leave the grass susceptible to disease.

 

  • 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 edge trimmers on a regular basis.

 

Enjoy the springtime.

May Lawn Tips

 

  • With this mix of warm days and then cold ones, the grass growth keeps being checked, however, once the temperature become more consistent then the growing will start in earnest.

 

  • Before you start to mow, please ensure that your height of cut is set between 15-20mm and the blade is sharp and clean. A nice clean, sharp blade will cut the grass cleanly; whilst a dirty, blunt blade will tear at the grass, making the damaged and weakened plant susceptible to disease. It also takes a lot of power out of the machine in the process.

 

  • 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 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 in the lawns, 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. When this happens, lightly scarify to remove the dead moss and allow the grass the chance to recolonise 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 soon dry things out.

June Lawn Tips

 

  • After a slightly delayed spring, we are now into the growing season in earnest, with mowing, feeding and possibly irrigating the main jobs to be done. Hopefully, your mower has been serviced and ready for the challenges ahead. As with last month, ensure that your height of cut is set between 15-20mm and the blade is sharp and clean. A nice sharp blade will cut the grass cleanly.

 

  • Mow at least once per week; try and cut in different directions if possible. If you have a perfectly flat ornamental lawn, you can drop the height to around 12mm, but no lower as it will put the plant under stress.

 

  • The forecast is for a hot June, so If we do get any dry periods of weather, any areas that were turfed or seeded will need irrigating until the root systems are fully developed. If there is a prolonged dry spell, the entire lawn may need to be watered.  Look out for browning of the grass leaf blades, or wilting leaves, which are indicators of the grass becoming too dry.

 

  • Another indicator that the lawn requires supplemental irrigation is termed ‘Foot printing,’ whereby the grass wilts when too dry and flattens under foot, leaving foot shaped depressions.

 

  • If you planning to feed 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. When this happens, lightly scarify to remove the dead moss and allow the grass the chance to recolonize the mossed area.

 

  • 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 weedkiller is suitable for grass, otherwise you will kill the grass as well as the weeds.

 

Don’t forget to sit back and relax and enjoy your hard work!

July Lawn Tips

 

  • We’re starting the month with a heatwave, so irrigation is key to keeping your lawn in a healthy condition. Grass loses a lot of water during the day, called evapotranspiration, and this loss needs to be replenished otherwise the plant will slowly die. Best time to water is during the evening, when the heat of the sun has diminished.

 

  • It is still important to cut the grass, but raise your blades a bit higher whilst this hot spell is upon us. It puts less stress on the plant.

 

  • Avoid applying granular fertilisers, unless you have a means of watering in. Liquid fees, if required, are better at this particular time.

 

  • Continue to trim lawn edges as and when required.

 

  • Continue to pull up isolated weeds or carry out spot treatment of weeds with a proprietary lawn weed killer. Note: Please wait until the grass has recovered fully from the dry weather. If you spray grass which 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 and putting the grass plant under stress.

 

Enjoy the sunshine.

August Lawn Tips

 

  • Now that the cold snap seems to have passed, we are being subjected to warm sunshine and showers, perfect conditions for the lawns to bounce back.  Already the lawns around here are starting to grow again.

 

  • 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 Note: Please wait until the grass has recovered fully from the heat wave. If you spray grass 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.

 

  • Red thread is also prevalent at the moment, (fungal disease that turns the grass a reddy/pink colour). This can be fed out using fertilisers or by using a chemical control.

 

  • 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, preventing the rain from reaching the soil where it’s needed,  making  the grass plant less tolerant of dry weather as the roots cannot find moisture.  Thatch can also harbour turf diseases such Fusarium.

September Lawn Tips

  • After a great Bank Holiday weekend, we have to come to terms that summer has now officially ended and it’s time to start planning the renovations for your lawn. 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 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 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 the lawn with a soil/sand mix can be used to cover the recently applied seed and also to remove dips and hollows. 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 though 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. 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. I would advise using a slow release fertiliser as this will 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 forecasts before starting your renovations, as any prolonged dry spells after this week can have a detrimental effect – be prepared to irrigate.

October Lawn Tips

  • The forecast for October is quite good – mid-teens temperatures with average rainfall, so expect the lawn to keep on growing, especially if you gave it a feed in late summer. It’s too early to put the mower away.
    • For those who haven’t started their autumn renovations, October is really the last month that you can do it; 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 and summer.
    • 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 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.
    • 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 the lawn with a soil/sand mix can be used to cover the recently applied seed and also 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 are now having the usual wintry weather of rain one day and cold the next, those with fine lawns should wait until any frost has lifted before going onto the lawn, as you can bruise the grass, leaving unsightly black footprints which can turn brown as the grass leaf dies.
    • 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
    • Your autumn renovations should now have been completed and the lawn can be left to regenerate at its own pace.
    • If you feel there is a need to fertilise, 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.  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 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 gets to base of the sward the less moss spores that are able to germinate.
    • Continue to trim lawn edges 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 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

 

  • December 2016 Lawn Tips
    • After the heavy rains of “Storm Angus”, things have started to dry out with frosts now becoming more prevalent. These heavy rains may have caused localised flooding in certain areas; 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 any sediment.  Seek advice from your local authority or the Environment Agency for further guidance.
    • 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 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 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, and 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. 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. 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 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 won’t allow the mower to start in the New Year. 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 a Prosperous New Year