Spring is in the air, time for a quick lawn blog.
One day of sun followed by a day of torrential rain, at least thats how it has been here in Bucks. Its certainly good for the growing however if you do have an irrigation system keeping up with turning it on and off should be keeping you busy.
As an update to the spiking your lawn to help improve root growth and aeration it is possible to use a spiking method to improve the make up of the top surface of your lawn if you need to aid drainage once we get to Autumn.
Keep an eye on your lawn throughout the summer especially if we have a typical British summer (wet) and then if you find an area that is not draining well then you can do the following.
Get a hollow tine spiker and some agricultural sand (no salt) and use the spider across your lawn, make sure you sweep up the core plugs that will be left on the ground. Then using a lute if you can lay your hands on one or the back of a rake and work the sand into the holes that have been left.
This will help to aerate and change the make up of the top surface.
Merry Christmas bloggers (posted 22.12.11)
So here it is merry Christmas
everybody’s gardening fun
Look to the future now
Growing seasons soon to come.
Wow we’ve made it to the Christmas blog. Blog 20 in fact, could have been 52 but probably a good thing that it’s not or I really would be rambling like a mad man by now. (yes that’s right it could have got worse).
I thought this would have been light on info due to the closeness of Christmas while I write this, but I have remembered a little gem for you all.
If you have an area of grass that you just can’t avoid having to walk over then as soon as it gets a little churned up throw some sand on it. You could use play pit sand if you have some, but your best bet is get some course sharp sand from the builders merchants and spread a thin even layer over the mud. As you walk over this area it will get worked into the soil slowly improving the drainage conditions. Just keep topping it up as soon as the mud starts to appear. Most sands will do but do avoid soft/building sand and plastering sand as these retain water well.
That’s it, like I said a little gem.
So if Santa brings that sleigh
All along my mowing way
I’ll sign my name on the rooftop in the snow then he may decide to stay.
Merry Christmas and a very happy new year to you all from everyone on the Cool Gardens team.
You lot take it
Don’t Panic (Posted 25.11.11)
Don’t be too alarmed bloggers, there hasn’t been an outbreak from a research laboratory or anything like that, I just thought I would highlight something that I have come across recently.
Due to the recent mild but damp conditions I have seen quite a few cases of fusarium patch or snow mould as it can sometimes be called. This has mainly been on turf that has been put down this year due to it not being established well enough. But I have seen it in a couple of other places as well due to the conditions of both the grass and the weather.
Although most articles you read say that it is first noticed as a yellowish patch of dying grass that eventually turns brown and dies, usually most people ask me what it is when the white fluffy mould appears on the grass. This is what I have been seeing these last few weeks. In one place it looked like a dusting of snow over the entire lawn.
The best thing you can do if you have patches of this disease is to try and improve the drying time of the grass. Aeration and drainage will improve things, but seeing as you don’t really want to walk on it and damage the grass further this is not a lot of help. Maybe by pruning some overhanging trees or thinning out some of the surrounding bushes and shrubs you would be able to improve the airflow over the grass and help it dry quicker as well as brushing the dew off in the mornings too. Avoiding a nitrogen rich fertiliser in the autumn would also reduce the chances of infection. But as you can see these are all long-term preventions instead of a cure for a problem you may have right now as you are reading this.
Although there is a fungicide that will treat it, due to the chance of resistance occurring you cannot use it more than twice a year. The best thing to do is wait for the temperature to drop and that will cure it. Then do what is needed to prevent its return in the future.
That’s it for the fusarium special,
Colder than a brass blog (Posted 23.11.11)
Well winter seems to have appeared, ok its not that cold but as far as the lawns go activity appears to have stopped. Its just leaf clearing and worm cast removal at the moment.
So what can I talk about now that it has all been put to bed for winter, well a lot knowing me. I will mention again about not walking on the grass while it is very wet or if frost is present as any damage you do now will not recover till the growing season starts again.
This is because as it is not growing the grass plant will also not be able to heal itself and therefore if damaged it could be susceptible to disease.
Also, and I am aware I am being a bit previous, if snowmen congregate on your lawn as they sometimes do, then don’t wait for them to completely melt to get rid of them. Although it is kind of fun to have the last remnants sitting there after everything else has thawed, this will cause one patch of grass to be much wetter than everywhere else which is never desirable.
The best thing to do when the thaw begins is to break the offending snowperson into smaller pieces and disperse around the garden. If you think ahead like me then you could hide a large tube of smarties (other sweets are available) inside the body and get your kids get to use it like a giant snow piñata and do your job for you.
Regular readers of my ramblings may remember me mentioning how I was going to attempt a meadow garden at the new residence, this has encountered a slight obstacle that is not weather related. I believe my dear wife believes it will look scruffy and is just an excuse to get out of mowing. As if that would be true. Still I have a few months before that really starts and I will do it anyway as it is easier to seek forgiveness than permission.
That is all I have time for this session so I will end it here.
Click here to blogout.
To the blog, and beyond.
So November has arrived, and although the frosts haven’t hit yet they cannot be far away. By now all autumn work should be finished and you should top the grass off on a high setting only when it is reasonably dry and not frosty. You should brush away all worm casts and remove those leaves. Don’t be tempted to leave them too long on the turf, as they will smother the grass just the same as if you left a sheet covering the ground.
It seems with the arrival of November the wetter weather has started too, so now would be a good time for those of you with irrigation to shut down the system to avoid over watering and possibly burst pipes, valves and fittings. However come the spring turn on there is still a good chance some parts will need to be checked or changed due to being buried in snow and trodden on or disturbed by animals nosing around for food.
Once the winter weather does arrive then that is the time to clean and service all equipment. It would also be best to oil all cutting equipment by using an oily rag on the blades of shears and mower blades so they do not tarnish over the winter months.
So how is my new lawn I hear you all cry, well its not good, but has given me a chance to try something new. I am going to see if I can turn it into more of a meadow. This will be covered in a semi rough grass that will only need cutting once a month or less. My reason is that this will fit in with the new place we have moved to due to looking a lot more natural than a closely cut highly maintained lawn. This will also require a scattering of wild flowers, which are already present so some of the work has already been done for me.
I may possibly break this up with some mown paths to the children’s toy areas and will also have to stop the wife reversing the back wheels of the car onto it, especially if I do bury some bulbs to make a nice pattern. Oooh get me with my new country ways.
Time for me to logoff, and I promise not to leave it so long next time.
A water feature is for life, not for Christmas
Set phasers to blog,
They say that with every cloud there is a silver lining. Well my silver lining is I am moving house, the cloud that has appeared overhead is the news that I can’t pack the lawn. Apparently I have to look forward to the challenge of getting the new lawn to standard. At the moment the new place has no grass but I will be working on that as soon as we are in.
Another cloud on my horizon was damaging a new mower in a extremely novice like way. First I hit the small tree stump with the blade and possibly damaging the shaft that spins it. This caused it to vibrate to a very uncomfortable level so I thought I should tip it over and check underneath. This would be my second “newbie” error, due to being on a slope once I had tipped the mower on its side I let go only to watch it continue to roll over and over down the slope. My position of mowing god has slipped a little but its good for everyone else’s morale.
Now how about all of you? Right now with the current conditions around England if your lawn isn’t green then something is seriously wrong. There may be occasional mud spots from a squashed worm cast but overall it should be looking pretty lush.
As September is now well underway that autumn work should have been started. Also you will want to raise the cutting height just over half a centimetre at this time of year.
Now October is a couple of weeks away and already the morning temperature has started to drop so you need to be on the lookout for early morning frost. Walking on this can cause damage which can lead to fungal infection, so no more short cuts to the car in the morning. As soon as the sun hits it its pretty much gone so you don’t have to wait long before you walk on it.
Ok folks I am off for a sneaky look at turf lifters on the net while the wife isn’t looking.
To Infinity and beyond.
What’s up, my bloggers?
August is here and by the look of it summer is over, the trees are already sending out small leaf raiding parties checking out the terrain before the full assault. Autumn has its foot in the door so time to prepare.
But first the excuses for the delay in posts, everyone has had a holiday in the last month so its been a bit mental work wise. Then there was a spot of running out of ways to say “water, mow and weed” which is all you really want to be doing through summer, otherwise when do you enjoy your garden. Throw in a dash of laziness on my part and we are about there!
Well hopefully we will still get of bit of weekend garden action before the end of the summer so I should mention a few things to keep in mind as the soil underfoot gets a bit softer.
Any mud you make now is not likely to come back before next season. So when mowing you need to be careful of repeatedly rolling the same areas again and again. You can end up rolling the blades of grass into the surface of the soil as it gets softer each time you pass over it.
Also when using a mower that propels itself with a rear roller there is a tendency for them to slip when starting to move or going up even a slight slope. Basically you are just doing a wheel spin on an already soft area smearing mud over the blades of grass.
Any chairs or tables are likely to sink which creates more damage to repair in the autumn when you do your annual work to put the lawn to bed for winter.
Now is the time to vary you route up and down the garden as well so as not to ruin the areas on the way to washing lines or sheds/greenhouses.
One good thing I’ve noticed is the growth rate seems to have slowed down a bit, only needing to mow once a week now which is a relief as I almost couldn’t keep up with it. I know that news will please our maintenance team (email@example.com) who often take on gardens with new lawns that grow like mad for the first season.
Right I need to stop, I am starting to fall asleep.
Nighty night bloggers.
What time is it? Its blog time! (Posted 14.7.11)
Welcome all, I hope you are all well and your lawns are lush. We still seem to be having some amazing weather at the moment. Proper English weather, if you don’t like it do not worry it will change in five minutes.
So can you guess what you should be doing at the moment? Ten blog points to any who got these three-mowing, watering and weeding. Yup same again just rinse and repeat all summer. The only other thing you should be doing is enjoy using it. Oh and of course showing off your little spot of paradise and enjoying the comments of how great it looks from equally green friends and neighbours.
As I said last time we should start to talk about the autumn tasks, early yes but only so we are ready with the tools and an idea of what we are going to do when the season arrives. Some tasks you will remember from spring and some like mowing and weeding are part of the everyday tasks that go on nearly all year round.
So here we go:-
- Mowing- Things will slow down as the temperature drops so mowing can be carried out a little less frequently as the year progresses. I usually raise the cutting height one notch and then just keep topping it off as it grows to keep things looking tidy.
- Weeding- same advice as usual, using a knife and dig it out at the root.
- Scarification- you may have done this in the spring however this time we can be a bit more aggressive and really get to work on it. Done properly should look pretty dramatic but you will really only have torn out the rubbish and any grass removed will just be shallow rooted and therefore not to be concerned about. I would always over-seed with something appropriate for the lawn (take into account shade and soil types as you can get seed suitable for many settings).
- Aerating- I explained the benefits of aeration in the spring in detail so I won’t bore you all again, what I will say is doing it in autumn will relieve the compaction that has built up from using the garden all summer. Mainly frequently walked areas (to the shed/washing line etc).
- Over-seeding- mix some seed with some top dressing and work it into the grass.
- Topdressing- a suitable soil mix that can be worked into the lawn to fill any dips or bumps. Can be combined with seed if repairing an area or after scarifying.
- Feeding- a suitable autumn feed can be applied to see the lawn through the winter but be wary of doing this to soon before or after seeding as you can scorch the new growth. Two weeks should be a sufficient gap.
So not too frightening then and any work you do in the autumn will pay dividends come the following year.
I will end it here for this week blogphiles, after a quick mention of the Cool Gardens facebook page. There done it. Na-nu na-nu.
Yo! Blogsters, (posted 21st June 2011)
First an apology to you all for the recent lack of activity from me but it was a mix of work, bank holidays and as far as last week goes downright laziness. So how are you all coping with the weather? Anyone having recently laid new turf will be struggling to keep up with the rapid growth the current conditions seem to be causing. I know we are!
My advice is still to just keep on top of the mowing the weeding and any pest infestations or other problems that may crop up such as:-
- Leatherjackets- larvae of crane flies common in poorly drained turf. Turns the infected areas brown. Improving drainage is the only real prevention to this.
- Red thread disease- often found in luxury hi grade lawns when underfed. Irregular patches of pink coloured grass up to a metre in diameter. Keeping the lawn fed is the key to keeping this at bay.
- Dollar spot disease- same as above. But smaller patches of up to about 50mm in diameter. The prevention is similar to red thread above
- Bitch urine- circular brown patches with a ring of deep green grass surrounding each patch. You need to treat with a lot of water which even then only reduces the discolouration.
I will do something a bit more in depth on this when time allows.
As to the progress on my own lawn, things are good the dead areas are recovering after raking out the worst of the dead matter and applying a little seed. I have made sure the watering system is fully functioning and will not be causing any more disasters. It’s nearly at a point that I can bear to look at it from the kitchen window.
Next time we will start to prepare for autumn (I know we haven’t had the summer yet) as there a quite a few task to perform before its put to bed for winter.
Sol I will leave you now as I’m off to explore northern Kalimdor in the beautiful land of Azeroth.
Shw mae? Bloggers (posted 24.5.11)
What a week I just had, I abandoned the dry thirsty lawns of Buckinghamshire and escaped to the turf holy land. A place with weather so perfect for lawns Tom Jones sang a song about it. Yes that’s right I’ve spent the week in Wales.
It was perfect, a light drizzle all morning then glorious sunshine for the afternoon. The best conditions for the green green grass of home. Sadly on returning home on Friday I discovered that when I checked the irrigation system to make sure all would be well before we went away I forgot to turn it back on. So a third of the lawn is now a white dead colour. I will keep you all updated on my progress over the next few weeks
Oh well it will give me the feeling of satisfaction as I breath life back into the lifeless arid wasteland that makes up a part of my garden. So it is now I fondly recall the lush green leaves swaying in the breeze as we walked along the shore on holiday ( I say breeze, it was a breeze in Wales so a howling gale in most other places).
The only things to do if you are in a hot dry spell is keep the grass topped off, stay on top of the broadleaf weeds and water, water, water.
Sorry for not posting last week but as mentioned earlier I was away. I did consider trying to write and send one but it was impractical to do so. Its times like that I think how useful one of those fruit based tablet sized web browser computer type thingies would be. Still I’m sure this was worth the wait.
All that’s left is for me to say Dw i,n dy garu di bloggers, hwyl.
Some rain, some rain, my kingdom for some rain (Posted 12th May 2011)
Crikey bloggers hasn’t it turned hot. Welcome to the hottest spring in a very long time, talk about one extreme to the other, after waiting ages for the ground to dry out to a workable state it’s now gone as hard as concrete.
Just keeping that oasis of green watered is a full time job. Every time I glance out of the window I’m looking for a patch of brown where the sprays have not quite reached every bit. I do confess to doing a little dance of joy last time it rained. It’s amazing how I view rain differently in the summer from week to week. One day it’s a joy to see it because the lawn needs it, then if it continues it’s a pain. And if its rain one day then sunny the next for a few days it grows like mental and then I’m moaning about not being able to keep up with the growth.
The hardest hit is the new lawns that have not got themselves an established root base to get at any moisture that does become available.
With a very hot dry spell the only thing to do is keep it as watered as you can. It’s better to keep watering than run out and do it just because it’s been dry and the lawn looks like it needs it. Then it’s just a case of watering a bit more if needed.
Now I know what you are thinking. “What if there is a hosepipe ban?” Well don’t worry this is what two o’clock of the morning was meant for. Some may say that ignoring the hosepipe ban is wrong but if like me you consider each blade of grass a member of your extended family then it’s just a case of perspective.
Only joking…….ahem honest.
Here are a few little tips to remember while enjoying the nice weather.
- Move that garden furniture about so as not to stress one area from walking to and from the same spot, and to allow the grass underneath the furniture to breath.
- Don’t leave the hosepipe lying on the grass in one place as you will have a yellow line on the grass when you do finally move it.
- If after a barbeque you decide to wash up outside do not tip the left over hot water on the lawn as this will kill the grass if hot enough.
Till next time, all power to the engines.
Hail to the turf baby (posted 19 April 2011)
I’m back blogites, hope your all well and enjoying the weather and have been getting up to speed on the spring jobs. It’s all gone green and is pushing upwards so that mower should be coming out once a week now and we should be aiming to get the grass height to that desired height of about 20-25mm (3/4-1 inch for the old school).
You will also have noticed it’s not just the grass that is growing but those pesky weeds too. I read an interesting post about weeds recently at Lawn Care Service which I will share with you. It can be found by pointing your browser towards http://www.lawncareservice.net/blog.2011/10-hardest-weeds-to-remove-from-your-yard/.
Keeping on top of these is a must and with regular mowing and good grass coverage new weeds should struggle to get a foothold.
Something else to keep an eye on is how well your soil retains moisture. A thin layer of thatch will help the soil retain moisture but too much (1 inch/25mm) will reduce water penetration when needed and will then become a thick wet blanket in the autumn. If you think you have too much then aeration will help your lawn until autumn when some heavier scarifying can be done to remove it. Be wary if anyone suggests aerating with hollow tines and thence leaving all the cores from the tines to break down as a top dressing, it will take a long long time for these to break down and when they have they will leave old seeds from weeds and all manner of rubbish on top of the grass ready to germinate. Anyone suggesting this is an enemy of your lawn and should not be trusted near your hallowed turf. Honestly I bet they’d walk the wrong way up the mowing too
Ok I’m done for this edition, I hope you all continue to enjoy my warbling and if anyone has a question then by all means send them in.
Till next time, keep it groovy and give me some sugar, baby.
Cry “havoc!” and let slip the mowers of war, (posted 13.4.11…rather late as Ruth has been away!)
Okey cokey pig in a pokey lawn seekers, we have gone over the tasks that if needed are best done in spring and seeing as most of us have a few jobs to do if we are to achieve the look we desire I thought I would do a renovation guide for those that have what could only be described as a neglected lawn. Whatever the reason there is a series of steps you can take in spring to get back to something more desirable.
Do not go rushing out hacking it down to the ground and then hope to nurse it back to health as this may be either too extreme as there is plenty of healthy grass or a waste of time as what is growing needs completely removing and a whole new lawn should be laid. First go out and inspect what is there, if weeds and moss dominate the few blades of grass then completely starting again could be the only option, however if despite quite a few weeds there is a large presence of lawn grass then these are the steps for you.
First cut it all down about two inches off the ground using a reasonably large rotary mower and clear off all the cut vegetation. Have another good look at the lawn to see what problems you can see (e.g. dips and bumps, rocks etc).
Then mow as high as possible with your usual mower reducing the height each week for a few weeks until the correct height is reached.
In early summer use a weed and feed to give the lawn a boost and deal with the more common broad leaf weeds. Then as you go through the summer keep it watered and if it’s necessary feed the lawn in autumn. then carry out any repairs that are needed re seeding or turfing any areas that need it, however if you have used fertiliser then you want to wait a couple of weeks before performing any other tasks especially seeding.
And finally aerate and top dress if needed mixing a little grass seed with the dressing as well. Then once you get round to spring again just continue with routine spring maintenance.
So even though you don’t get the great lawn this year if you do what is needed then next year things should look a lot better than they do now.
That’s it for this week, I’ll be back.
Hail lawn lovers, (Posted 16.3.11)
Over the past weeks we have gone over the main tasks for spring maintenance for your lawn, hopefully by now you have started mowing without going too short till the frosts have gone, and are getting ready to take on a few of the more labour intensive tasks if necessary. So I thought I would just run over some of the smaller tips to remember as you get started.
These are in no particular order but are just the little things that help.
Ø Never re-fuel anything while still on the lawn, any spillage will kill the grass and undo your hard work.
Ø When applying any fertiliser or other treatment, doing two applications at ninety degrees to each other at half strength is better than one application at full strength if you make a mistake.
Ø Always walk on the light stripes, stops your footprints being visible.
Ø Regularly walk your lawn, this way you can keep an eye out for damage, weeds etc. Don’t rely on mowing for this as you should be concentrating on straight lines.
Ø Regular brushing is good for covering the point above and grooming your lawn as you go.
Ø Try to cut out weeds with a knife as you find them making sure to get the root out.
Ø Regular mowing is important, once a week in spring and autumn. In the summer its best not to let the grass get more than half an inch above the desired height so you may find yourself mowing twice a week if necessary.
Ø Under no circumstances allow anyone to set foot upon your lawn. It is for admiring and no more.
Ø I mean it, absolutely no one who isn’t on gardening business, point out the rule about walking on the light stripes if it can’t be avoided.
Ø Keep the blades on you mower sharp as a clean cut is best.
Ø Regular maintenance is better than fixing problems.
That’s all I am going to say this week, I can only show you the door you’re the one that has to walk through it.
Hi ho, hi ho it’s time to blog you know….(Posted 11.3.11)
Has it really been another week, and what a week it’s been, the weather has changed for the better and I even dusted off the sunglasses today whilst driving in the sun. Still a light frost in the mornings though just to remind us that spring hasn’t quite arrived yet.
As promised this blog will tackle feeding and over seeding, which are two important tasks at the start of the growing season, over seeding especially if you have been removing moss as discussed last time.
This is a must as your lawn needs to replenish nutrients that get lost with regular mowing. We don’t feed just to make the grass grow as it grows pretty quickly all on its own so don’t be put off feeding just so you don’t need to do more mowing. The main task is to make a closely –knit turf so it’s more difficult for weeds and moss to get a foothold. The colour of the grass should turn a deeper green increasing its attractiveness and will build up a resistance to disease.
Essentially the nutrients that are lost through actions such as regularly mowing and removing the cuttings in a grass box need to be replaced to avoid a pale and sparse lawn. Best bet is use a product that says spring feed on the pack but do check that the main element in the feed is nitrogen as this is what we really need at this time of year.
As to its application pick a time when rain is likely within a couple of days after fertilising, the grass should be dry but the soil moist. If there has been no rain for two days after application then you will need to water thoroughly to get the fertiliser into the soil. Then it’s pretty much the same as mowing, walk up and down the lawn spreading the fertiliser as evenly as possible without overlapping too much or leaving gaps. The best tip is halve the rate at which you apply the feed and then cover the lawn twice (walking at right angles to the first direction on the second application) to eliminate any over or under coverage.
If you use any kind of mechanical spreader then make sure any excess is removed as fertiliser is very corrosive when damp.
This is where we repair any bare areas that have appeared through wear or worm casts that have been flattened or an area that has been churned up during the wetter winter months.
Take some seed and a bit of top soil and mix these together being careful not to add too much seed. Having spiked the bare area spread the mix evenly over the damaged area and firm down gently. The seed should germinate fairly quickly and the visual appearance of your lawn will be improved. Avoid mowing these areas if it is damp on the ground as you will probably just pick up the soil on the wheels or rollers of your mower.
If you are going to feed as well as over seed then feed first and then wait a couple of weeks before seeding to avoid scorching the germinating grass.
Well that’s enough for this instalment, till next time may the turf be with you.
Greetings once more turf lovers, (Posted 1 march 2011)
Did you feel it? Just the other day the sun appeared and it felt like winter was at an end, sadly it rained nearly every day since but just that brief rise in temperature has made my lawn suddenly leap into life.
So now is the time to get out and get started with the spring tasks that are needed. The main things to do are scarifying, aeration and a feed if you regularly box away your cuttings. I have mentioned these in the past but now I would like to go into more detail.
I would recommend keeping the scarification fairly light at the start of spring as heavy scarifying is best left till autumn when we want to remove the most debris and thatch. For now we are just looking for moss removal so aim to go over the lawn lightly a few times instead of one rigorous pass. When using a mechanical scarifyer try to set the height of the blades to just above the soil so that only the moss gets ripped up. A few careful passes should do the trick.
Now is a good time to aerate with a solid tine vertical aeration (spiker) machine so as to help raise the soil temperature and promote a bit of root growth.
Now there seems to be some misunderstandings about spiking, mainly that it helps drainage. This is true however not immediately. If you spike when there is surface water on the turf all that happens is the water sits in the holes and can make matters worse, if there is no surface water but the soil is very wet then as the spike leaves the soil the sides of the hole become polished thereby sealing the hole against water and air penetration.
Relieve compaction of the soil
Encourage root growth
Help the release of carbon dioxide and the intake of oxygen
Improve nutrient uptake
Increase root depth
Cut down on thatch build up
Stimulate microbial activity
….and improve the infiltration of water and yes here we are right at the end improve drainage. So it’s sort of a case of spike today to improve drainage tomorrow.
That’s it for this week, next time I will mention feeding and over-seeding.
Make it so bloggers…
Once more unto the blog dear friends, (posted 15 February 2011)
Hope you have all had an enjoyable week, as you can see elsewhere on our blog pages the weather has improved around our office area, so it’s easy to believe we have seen the back of winter.
This week I am going to indulge myself by discussing a really good daily practice that will appeal to those who really, really, really want a better lawn than anyone else (let’s be honest, the neighbours). Brushing, yes that’s right I said brushing. This is best done early in the morning before the sun has evaporated the moisture and it gets put straight back into the soil, plus any worm casts that have appeared get dispersed rather than trodden or mown flat. As you walk about you get to spot any new weed growth that can be quickly removed with a knife plus any other defects that may be present.
There are a few different tools you can use, my preference is a drag brush that is six foot wide with a long handle but you can also use a dew switch.
What I like about the brush is you can walk up and down a few times giving a cheeky striped effect as you go and get a good look at the big green carpet. Mix this with a nice summer morning and I can’t think of a better way to start my day. Sadly I can only do this during the summer as I leave fairly early but it feels great when I do. It is true that your neighbours may think you’re mental but who cares what they think with their pale patchy lawns.
I admit for most people this is going way over the top but I had to mention it as I find it so enjoyable. Not just as a method of looking after my garden but as a great way of waking up. While my tea is brewing I creep out make a few passes up and down or left to right depending how I feel and just enjoy being out there.
That’s my huge nerd tip done I will return to discussing more usual topics next week.
Peace and long life turfers
Welcome once again to my turf blog, (posted feb 8th 2011)
So the temperature has risen a little but there is still an occasional frost in the morning, so still too soon to do anything too intensive on the outdoor carpet so as I said last week we will go over mowing in a bit of detail.
With so many makes and styles the choice could seem overwhelming if you’re not sure what you want from your mower. In my opinion you can’t go wrong with a rotary mower as long as it has a rear roller. A lot of people say you must have a cylinder mower for the best results and this is true, however they require quite a bit more maintenance than a rotary which some find a big drawback. Size and weight should be considered if you do not have a great deal of room and maybe a hover mower (shudders) if your patch of turf really is a postage stamp. You want to be able to adjust the height fairly easily as well.
Electric or petrol is another choice but for me just the idea of having to stop to move the lead out of the way ruins the whole mowing experience, so its petrol all the way in my mind.
Now keeping the blade sharp and the mower working well is so obvious I won’t mention it here. Instead I am going to tell you about getting that nice striped lawn. With the first line you mow try and mow in a straight line by focusing on something at the opposite end of the garden and walk towards it without diverting your attention at any time. The moment you look away you will start to stray off course. When you return try to keep you attention focused on the front of the mower which touches your last mown line. Don’t overlap too much and keep your eyes looking where the edge of the mower is and then keep glancing up ahead so you don’t follow any previous wobbles you may have had. *nerdy tip* when you are walking on the lawn, try and only walk up the lighter coloured stripes. This will mean you walk in the same direction that the grass has been flattened by the mower (mainly with mowers that have rollers). If you were to walk on a darker stripe against the lay of grass your feet will lift up the grass leaves and your footprint can be seen. This is a good way of keeping it looking tidy whilst you work on it.
When mowing regularly change the direction you mow in and you can achieve a pattern on your grass which always looks cool.
I hope you find that helpful and I will talk about some simple, and if you’re me fun things you can do to your lawn to keep it in top shape.
Till then Qapla’ bloggers.
Greetings once again bloggers, February is but one sleep away so best we get on. (posted 1st Feb 2011)
Well I for one have started looking out of my window at the lawn outside and am getting the urge to get started, and weather permitting a quick mow to “top off” the grass may happen this weekend. Then I can have a look at any areas that have suffered due to snow and foxes and get a feel for what I want to do in the weeks ahead to get things in shape for summer. But before we get carried away I would like to just like to finish my brief guide on some spring jobs that I promised at the end of last week’s blog
Quite simply food for your lawn, this will put essential nutrients that grass requires for the spring growth period. It should be applied in early spring and then about six weeks later. Often this can be obtained as a weed and feed and is a good idea because weeds will be trying to establish at the same time as the grass.
If you have some areas that are a bit worn and bare then combine a suitable grass seed with a good lawn top dressing and spread in any areas you wish to repair and press down firmly. Once germinated the sparse areas will fill and the visual aspect of your lawn will increase.
The art of turning a bumpy uneven lawn into a flat one. This is where generally larger areas of lawn are worked on with a lawn topdressing spread and levelled off. This we will go over in more detail later.
As soon as you spot a broadleaf weed the best thing to do is take a small knife and dig it out making sure to get the whole root. *nerdy tip* if you regularly brush the dew off your lawn every morning then this also gives you the chance to inspect the lawn as you go as well as the other benefits this brings (more on brushing another time).
Scarifying that I talked about earlier this month will help remove moss. If you wish then you can apply a moss killer before scarifying. This will usually turn the moss black making it easier to see so you can be sure you have removed it.
So we have gone over the tasks, now onto performing them over the next few months. Next time I will talk in detail about mowing, which for me is the most satisfying part of owning a garden and luckily for me something that needs doing once or twice a week for months.
So tune in next week, same bat-time, same bat-channel.
Welcome back bloggers End of January and time to look again at the lawn…
Wow hasn’t it been wet, but don’t despair because now is the time to service that mower and sharpen the shears and get ready for the coming spring. If you have an aeration tool either manually powered or motor you want to check the tines are in good shape as well as all the teeth in your garden rakes there’s nothing worse than not being able to seize the weather opportunities because your equipment isn’t ready.
So here is a rundown on the tasks and tools for the first part of the year. Each task will be gone over in more detail in the coming weeks.
Obvious I know but still something that can get you into trouble later on if not done correctly. For the first cut you don’t want to take off more than a quarter of the grass height and then don’t cut too short until the temperature has stopped dropping very low. As the temperature rises and you are cutting more frequently you can reduce the height to the desired level.
Aerating early will help raise the temperature of the soil and stimulate some root growth. I would only use solid tine spikes or a slitter at the moment. I will be paying more attention to aeration at a later date as it’s a task which achieves a lot but generally is done for the wrong reasons because of a lot of conflicting ideas and lack of knowledge.
This is the job of removing some of the dead organic matter that builds up over time. Everyone’s least favourite, not so bad if you have a machine, but for a lot of us its hard work on the end of a rake. Can look a bit severe and as if you’ve uprooted a load of grass but this should only be shallow rooted material and will have left the healthy grass in place.
Next time we will go over the remaining tasks such as feeding, over-seeding and top dressing and a bit of weed and moss treatment.
Thanks turf lovers, see you soon.
Welcome to the turf blog…
If you’re like me then when you picture a lawn in your mind you see a neat green lawn with nice mowing stripes, neat edges and lush tightly clipped turf. However for a lot of us this is nothing like what we really look out on from day to day. It doesn’t need to be like this though, and hopefully over the coming months our blog will help you on your way to the lawn you desire.
This guide will be updated with seasonal tips as we move through the year as well as the occasional extra tricks you can use if you really, really are as obsessed as I am!
Plus we will try to explain why certain tasks are done so you are aware when not to do something as opposed to carrying out a task because “this is the time of year for….”
its currently still too wet to be working on the lawns- leave it a week or so, in spring there might well be moss killing, top-dressing, over-seeding and spiking- so I hope you will join me in the next week or so when we will go through the basic items and tasks required for spring.
Cheers and see you soon,