Well weather continues to be unpredictable , who would have thought that we would go through June with 2 inches of rain . This provided ideal conditions for newly sown lawns to thicken up nicely and also take the chance to re-seed some at the end of June in the hope that it would stay moist enough to enable germination . Well July has started with showers so you never know what you can get away with .
Even seeing some moss re-emerge on lawns where it had not quite cleared away from earlier iron applications to control it as the rain and warmth provide ideal conditions for re-growth.
Lot of fungi appearing in lawns this is due to warm weather in first half of June followed by wet weather and humidity – nothing to worry about , not harmful and will disappear as soon as it drys out.
Also seeing a lot of Red Thread – particularly on Fescue lawns , again common under the current weather conditions , the grass will grow out of it and only in really sever conditions is it worth treating with a fungicide , and it should really be as part of a planned approach where problems are know to exist
As we move in to July the expectation is that warmer dry weather will slow the release of fertiliser down, so we switch to using an Organic foliar feed to keep grass growing and looking nice and Green
We use a Symbio product made from condensed molasses soluble by amino acid fermentation. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein and improve plant metabolism , sugars act as a bio stimulant for bacteria and the organic content acts as a fungal stimulant . Added to this is a Bio Tab, this benefits the soil micro-organisms , increases root mass, and converts thatch to humus improving water and nutrient retention.
In an ideal world this would be applied after aeration as it has a better chance of getting to where it is needed . Aeration reduces surface compaction and allow air and nutrients in to the soil which stimulates root growth. Aeration can be with hollow tine , in which case it is normal to top dress afterwards normally carried out early spring or autumn or solid tine that can be carried out all year round.
Just a quick catch up – this years weather is rather unusual and not helpful for lawns
- February saw the end of the very wet winter – it was almost as if suddenly the tap was turned off.
- March saw a little bit of rain , approximately 1 inch which was spread over the month in small amounts little and often .
- April nothing in the way of rain – so much for April showers , it has been colder than March with the chilling winds although it has improved in the last few days.
- The outlook is not much better with no rain forecast for early May.
- These winds have also increased evaporation and dried the soil out and you can see areas of lawns that are susceptible to drying out starting to look pale.
- We have also had a lot more frosts this month than I can remember for a long time and so many magnolias in full bloom have been hit – it has also kept soil temperatures down which is not helpful where grass seed has been sown and trying to germinate .
- Its also too cold for the nematodes that we might have put down to control over wintered leather jacket
This cold dry weather means that herbicides applied to control weeds will not work so effectively , fertiliser will be released slowly as it is not moist enough , grass seed unless in contact with damp soil will be slow to germinate and lawns that have been scarified to remove moss will struggle to recover.
I have stopped all cultural work that was planned – scarification and aeration etc due to the dry, this will be re-scheduled
December soon came around and the first morning of the month has started with a relatively bright day after the misty fog of November .
Overall November had 50mls of rain – not a lot , but it came on the back of a wet November – and with the exception of a couple of frosts, the dull days kept surfaces damp and slippery . We also had some remarkably high day and night temperatures that kept the grass growing – and the Moss.
Most lawns I have seen remained relatively disease free, but for any golfers you might have noticed that some of the greens looked pretty bad where they had not been able to apply fungicides. Golf greens are under constant use ( COVID permitting ) and the grass is so much more stressed , and fed to keep it looking fresh , but then it is more susceptible.
With your lawn we try to avoid over feeding and look at the cultural practices to improve the soil which keeps the grass growth in balance. The last of the autumn application have now been applied, which was a mixed feed biased towards root growth and less top growth.
We are now using this period for maintenance and checking over the equipment to be ready for the New Year , also implementing plans for next year , and installing new software that I hope will improve communications with you. By early January we will be back to apply the Winter treatment and first of the year , which will be a combined lawn tonic and moss killer , this is also an opportunity to re-asses your lawn and make any further recommendations for the forth coming year.
If you are struggling to come up with any ideas for Christmas presents for someone we are offering gift vouchers that can be purchased in multiples of £50 – these can be used against any Lawn work we undertake for existing or in the case of new customers against any work following a survey – they only cover the county of Hertfordshire.
Merry Christmas & Best wishes for the New Year
Well we head into the darker days of Autumn , the clocks have gone back and nature seems to be curling up.
We had the wettest October I have known – I recorded 7 inches of rain if you take in the first 3 days of November, combined with a lack of sunshine some older lawns certainly suffered and looking quite pale, in contrast to newer lawns that have either recently been sown and had good soil structure and newer hybrid seed mixes still look pretty good and with relatively warm temperatures of 16 degrees during the day and a couple of evening recently still making growth and requiring cutting when it is dry enough.
It certainly ensured that any grass seed that was sown germinated well and very even and lawns re-seeded after scarifying are looking excellent.
The big negative of all this wet and dull weather is the incidence of moss – where grass is thin it is producing a lush green thick carpet, but a timely treatment with an iron based product now will keep it at bay – followed up again in early January.
Most important job in the garden now is to keep the leaves of the lawn – they can quickly become fixed and smother grass. Leaves depending on the species can take a long time to break down and if not removed they will sit on your lawn and kill the grass.
With leaves come worms and worm casts which are also a big problem , with the moist weather and the leaves they can become very active .
The late, great Spike Milligan once wrote “Today I saw a little worm wriggling on his belly, perhaps he’d like to come inside and see what’s on the telly”.
There’s no denying that, for gardeners, worms can be as divisive as Marmite. Before you start to worry about worms in your lawn though, let’s not overreact and feel like we have to eradicate them altogether.
Earthworms are not necessarily bad for our lawns as they are an important part of the eco-system. It’s fair to say the ‘pros’ outweigh the ‘cons’ when it comes to worms, as they recycle nutrients, feed on dead plant material and create natural aeration in the soil. That said, worm casts produced on the surface of our lawns (usually between autumn and early spring) can be a real irritation. The casts can cause turf surfaces to become muddy, slippery, unsightly and can create loads of potential ‘weed pockets’ with each cast.
There are numerous types of earthworms in the UK, but only a few varieties create worm casts. Casting worms eat the soil, digesting and extracting the goodness from it as it passes through their bodies. The casts, which are pushed up as they work through the soil, are the by-product of this process.
September Blog – Lawncare
Well there is now certainly an autumn feel in the air – with a cool breeze and warm mid-day sun ,which is ideal for grass growth .
Looking back on August it was an incredible month from the 11th to 28th we recorded 5 inches of rain in that short time , with another 0.5 inch in the first week of September . Very frustrating some projects that were part way through were delayed – but now its all go.
Autumn & Spring are a great time to carry out scarifying and lawn renovations and make overs – the soil is still warm and the moisture from early morning dew makes it perfect for grass seed germination, with less tendency to dry out.
In some cases lawns can never be recovered from weed infestation or moss – the only option is to kill them off and start again. If you go that route you have the option of seed or turf , some people prefer the turf option as it gives them an instant lawn.
However turf is very expensive in comparison with seed and has other disadvantages – you are never sure of what you will get in the grass mix – even accredited gold standard turf can be prone to the odd weed or mixed grass species . With seed you have more control of what you are using, and less need for scarifying in the early years – turf almost comes with it own built in thatch.
I am a keen believer in managing the soil to get the best out of the grass and through August applied some treatments that included Bacteria and Fungi to feed the soil micro biology. I like to follow that through by using an organic top dressing following any lawn re-seeding. This again feeds the soil, I use Finely graded <4mm lawn dressing manufactured from composted organic material in accordance with BSI PAS100 (2018).
What does it do?
Provides a valuable source of organic nutrients and soil organic matter for the establishment and maintenance of a healthy lawn.
What are the benefits?
- Returns provides a valuable source of organic matter.
- Improves the soils ability to hold on to water making your lawn more resilient to drought conditions.
- Provides a slow release of nutrients that grass and plant species need to grow.
- Helps to suppress soil borne diseases, resulting in a healthier lawn.
- Improves the rooting of grass seed and provides a denser more verdant sward.
Newly sown lawn 28th August – just coming through
Bye for now until October
Crazy weather that we have – as soon as I mentioned needing to water last month it seems to have not stopped raining . June we had 3 inches of rain and July we have had 1.5 inches to date .
The outlook for the rest of July after the weekend looks like it will improve – less rain , but still unsettled, which is disappointing.
What is surprising though is the number of lawns that I have looked at recently where they are still dry – often lawns that are relatively old and predominantly fescue grass mix .
They have built up a layer of thatch and debris at surface level and the water often cannot get through this . It becomes a sponge and water sits there resulting in grass going black , and moss creeps in again.
Now is the time to aerate , that will solve the compaction and open up the soil to allow better water movement , and ideally top soil to get some organic material in to the root zone, this will help improve the soil structure and encourage root growth by getting air into the soil .
A healthy open soil will support good grass growth , and now is the time to consider applying a soil tonic to get all those micro organisms reproducing and building soil fertility .
July also seems to bring the ants out – all of a sudden our nice flat lawn appears to have mumps , you can physically try brushing the surface with a hard broom to disperse the mounds and try using one of the Nippon ant killer products , they have a treatment that can be diluted and watered on , easy to use and not so unsightly as the powder .