17th July 2009
Being the proud owner of a lawn hasn’t been easy this summer. Wet, warm, dry or hot about sums up the weather since April until now. Such conditions are ideal for fungal diseases while at the same time the grass never stopped growing. Weeds loved the combination of heat and moisture often making a quick recovery from “weed and feed” applications.
At least the grass is green and regular cutting will keep the height at a respectable level. It is false economy of man hours to set the blades low and scalp the lawn. It will encourage moss and you will only have saved a cut per month.
Established lawns may be treated with selective weedkillers to tackle broad leafed weeds, clover and moss.Where there are only a few weeds they may be spot treated with a handy, made up weedkiller designed for that purpose.
Spiking the grass will do more to discourage moss than a chemical treatment. It will reduce surface compaction and encourage good drainage, both of which moss dislikes.
Early September is a good time to apply a proprietary autumn lawn feed. It will have a low nitrogen content hardening up the grass and encouraging roots to prepare the lawn for winter. Apply it using a spreader at the recommended rate. Take care not to overdose or overlap the applications.
If it doesn’t rain within 2 days then use a hose and sprinkler to thoroughly wet the grass and top few inches of soil.
Last winter I had to cut the lawn throughout the season so it is advisable to stay on top of mowing, never allowing it to become overly long. Murphy’s Law states that when you want to give a winter cut the grass is long and wet making the job almost impossible.
If the grass is weed free and has been cut then take the time to edge the lawn. It will make it look neat and tidy.
After the summer games and wear and tear the surface may be thin with baldy patches. Scuffle the surface and sow some seed. Rake it into the surface and cover the patch with clear plastic. This will deter birds and speed up germination.Now you are ready for winter irrespective of the weather.
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