Maintaining A Healthy Lawn
The lawn is often the centrepiece of our garden, around which everything else revolves. It therefore deserves the utmost love and care.
Ensure your lawn is watered at least once every ten days – either by hand or rain. Consider the type of soil on which the grass grows – clay and peat soils retain moisture (and risk becoming boggy) while sand-based soils do not hold water well. Dried out grass can be resurrected with water as long as the roots are intact.
Mow the lawn once per fortnight in spring and once per week in summer. This will allow it to regrow fuller. It keeps the length manageable, removes some simple weeds, and reduces stress on the roots – thereby reducing its susceptibility to some diseases. Finish off with a strim, and re-shape of the border.
Mowing will remove simple weeds. Extract larger ones (such as dandelions) by the root – try using a tool like the Wolf-Garten Garden Weeder to minimise lawn damage. Through May and September use weed killer if necessary (keep out of reach of children and animals, and always follow manufacturer instructions). Scarify the lawn in spring or late autumn to remove moss.
Here are some diseases to watch out for:
- Snow Mould – Snow on the grass suffocates it, creating ideal conditions for fungus (damp and dark). When the snow melts there will be patches of rotting, brown grass. Rake away the mould and dispose of it: everything will be fine so long as the roots are untouched.
- Fairy Rings – A fungus that thrives in weak, wet grass, and creates rings of brown rot. Brush it away before it kills the grass – because it will! Preventing this disease, and many others, is simple: keep the lawn well fertilised.
- Red Thread – Red or pinkish blades of grass which will decay. This disease thrives in low-fertility so keep the lawn well-fertilised.
- Pests – Watch out for pests and remove them as they appear.
These are only general guidelines: always follow instructions from the manufacturer. There are different fertilisers for different times of the year. In Autumn use one with a high potassium content to strengthen the grass during winter and make it more cold-resistant. In spring, use a high nitrogen fertiliser to encourage new growth. Water the grass after fertilisation to let the nutrients spread down to the roots. Never fertilise fungus infected grass.
The grass is there to be walked on but be careful. Walking on wet grass will create a muddy mess and walking on frosty grass will snap the blades, potentially killing them. Anti-trample grass is available.
Planting New Grass
This can add new vigour to the lawn or be the only way to reverse damage. Break up the soil, sow the seeds in August or early May, lightly rake the newly planted area, and protect it from the birds. Apply water and it will begin sprouting in ten days – then take around five months to grow.