LAWNCARE CALENDAR

Ensure your lawn looks perfect all year round by checking out our top tips. Month by month steps to achieving a luscious lawn!

January Lawncare Tips

•I hope you have all had a very enjoyable Christmas and new year, in spite of the pandemic restrictions and impact
  With December being its usual mixed bag of frosty and/or wet, the same is going be said for January as well.
  Those with fine lawns should wait until the frost has lifted before going on, as you can bruise the grass and leave unsightly black footprints which can turn brown as the grass leaf dies.
  If it looks like it is going to snow (it’s January after all), and you are concerned that the snow will affect the lawn, then Turf Hardeners or iron based fertilisers can be used to ‘toughen’ the grass and 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 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 starting. However, organising the machine to be serviced by a reputable Allett Dealer is far preferable.


February Lawncare Tips

  • After a December being a mixed bag of mainly overcast and wet, January has been surprisingly dry with some good frosts. 
  • As with any frosts that settle, anyone with fine lawns should wait until it 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.

    • If it looks like it is going to snow (the Daily Express has promised some, again!), and if you are concerned that the snow will affect the lawn, then Turf Hardeners or iron based fertilisers can be used to ‘toughen’ the plant and keeping any fungal diseases such as Snow Mould 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 days are still short and overcast, 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, remove any remaining petrol; this can go stale and could prevent the mower from starting. However, organising the machine to be serviced by a reputable Allett Dealer is far preferable (Find your nearest Allett Dealer using our Dealer Locator. It won't be long until the Spring daffodils appear! We're counting down the days!

March Lawncare Tips

· After the storms and the flooding, hopefully things may start to calm down as we edge towards spring:

It’s important 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 it until it manages to dry out, as you could do more harm than good by working on it.

· If you can get on the lawn, firstly clear any debris that may have occurred after the storms and then lightly aerate the surface with a garden fork or machine, if you can; this will improve oxygen levels and help rain and any water move off the surface and though 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.

· For most of us, the winter is likely to have caused our lawns to suffer from lack of light and waterlogging, which will have caused the grass to thin and encouraged lots of moss growth.

· If moss is showing though the grass, then moss control can be achieved with the use of Iron based fertilisers; these feeds can either be soluble or granular types. These will ‘blacken’ the moss initially and then kill it. I would then look to remove the dead moss with a rake or even better with your scarifier cartridge. Make sure it is not too wet before scarifying as this will do more damage than good- also DO NOT scarify if night frosts are due.

· 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.

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  
• We are bound to get some cold spells before the end of this month; as a result, I would check for frosts before walking over the lawn and examine its overall condition. If it is frosted, please keep off until the frost has lifted.

· Once the frost has lifted, 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 and leaving bare patches

· If the lawn is looking hungry, then I would look to apply a fertiliser; again I would recommend a slow release fertiliser

· 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 Lawncare Tips



  • As the end of March was dry and sunny, and this seems to be continuing into April, this is allowing things to dry up allowing us a chance to catch up on what needs to be done.
  •  That very wet February we experienced 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 the moss, 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. Be aware of night time frosts- you don't want to be scarifying if it is frosty as your lawn needs the best conditions to recover.
  •  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.

                May Lawncare Tips

                •  After a very dry April (only 30% of the rainfall we usually get), we’re all looking forward to some decent showers.
                • When or if the rain comes, it would make sense to take advantage of the wet weather to fertilise the lawn, and give it chance to recover from any wear and tear or spring renovations that may have been done earlier.
                • If you do fertilise your lawn, try using a slow-release fertiliser that will help keep the lawn green longer without too much top growth.
                • You should be mowing at least once per week as we move into the peak growing period.
                • Don’t forget to trim the 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 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. You should be scarifying with your spring rake cartridge AT LEAST once a month.
                • Please keep an eye on any seedlings and be prepared to water; with the dry spells we are getting, it doesn’t make sense to let do all that work and then let the seed die.


                June Lawncare Tips

                • This time last year we were in the middle of a drought with all of us all hoping for rain. Move forward to this year and we just want it to stop!
                • As the grass is now growing, please mow on a more regular basis, at least once per week (probably twice or more with a cylinder). The height of cut should now be at the summer height of cut.
                • After all this rain, the nutrients in your soil may have been washed away, so you may need to look to fertilising your lawn. I would recommend applying a slow release fertiliser. This allows the lawn 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 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 verticut once a month to help give weeds a hard time- this will also thicken your lawn.
                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 once a month 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 to grow only shallow roots, which will make the 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.

                July Lawncare Tips

                • As we move out of June with its mixed bag of sunshine and showers, July is looking to provide much of the same.
                • Red thread is once again an issue, but with the range of weather we’ve been having and the resulting humidity, it’s not too surprising. For those lawns not effected by Red thread, 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.
                • For those affected by Red Thread, I would recommend trying a heavier application of fertiliser before using any chemicals. A good feed will usually deal with the problem, thereby limiting the amount of pesticides you end up using.
                • Another result of all this sunshine and rain, and any fertiliser application, 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 a lawn rake or spring rake scarifier 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, especially if your looking for a good stripe in the lawn.

                • 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 any hot dry spell could easily kill off 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.

                August Lawncare Tips


                • Now that the heat wave has broken, we now seem to being subjected to sunshine and showers (with the occasional thunderstorm as well); perfect conditions for the lawns to recover. Already the lawns around here are starting to green up again.

                  A light feed can be applied to help the grass recover.

                  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. You should be lightly scarifying with your scarifier cartridge at least once a month aswell as verticutting to help keep on top of weeds.

                  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.

                September Lawncare Tips

                • The relatively wet August and warm soils have kept the grass green and growing. Please don’t let the lawn get away from you as it will be difficult getting it back.
                • The mornings now have an autumnal feel, reminding us that the season is on the change
                • As a result, it’s now renovation time, repairing both any damage done during the lockdown 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 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. 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 thicken up the turf as well adding newer more vigorous grasses to the sward, 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 from 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 plants’ cell walls, therefore helping the turf 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 fewer 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 Lawncare Tips

                • As a pleasantly mild September finishes, the air temperatures have started to drop; this will encourage the leaves to fall, so please be prepared to collect these regularly. If they are left, the grass beneath them will be deprived of light and will suffer as a result. As air temperatures fall, so will the soil temperature, so if you haven’t started your autumn renovations, I would before it’s too late:
                • 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 through 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 into the 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 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.
                • Continue to trim lawn edges as and when required, with edging shears to keep them looking neat and tidy.

                November Lawncare Tips

                •  As with last month, the ongoing drop in temperature will accelerate the leaf fall, it’s important that you collect these regularly, especially if you reseeded this autumn. If this is left, then it will smother the new grass, leaving dead patches in the lawns that moss will colonise, and you’ll be back to square one.
                • · Your autumn renovations should hopefully 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 slowly introduce 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 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.

                · If a cut is required, raise your mowers 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.

                · If the grass has a frost, I recommend that you wait until it lifts before going onto the grass as the footfall can damage the grass, leaving ‘black’ footprints within the sward.

                · As Carlisle has recently had some localised flooding, there may be some flooding in your area over the next month or so….
                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 Lawncare Tips

                • With everyone recovering from the recent storm, there will be lots of debris to remove; also I would examine any trees or shrubs that may have been damaged. After that came the frost, which meant we had some lovely, if cold, days.
                · With regard to 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. 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 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 rapid 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 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 mowers are usually 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 not allow the mower to start in the New Year. Organising the machine to be serviced by an Approved Allett Dealer is far preferable (Check the Allett Dealer Locator).

                · Finally, I’d like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and hope for a much better year in 2022!
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