Well April was an incredible month , with many inquiries as to how lawns could be repaired or re-seeded etc I have to confess it was difficult to keep up.
Looking forward to May – weather forecast is for rain – but it remains to be seen how correct that will be, for the time being I would suggest that you continue to water where ever you can – especially on areas that have been over seeded or scarified.
Its only due to the cold weather that lawns do not look worse – with out warm weather they have been growing very slowly , and so the lack of water has not stressed them as much as it could have.
Remember though not to cut them too short , lawns that are left with 3 inches will also be pushing roots down to find moisture . We are now starting to apply early summer treatments and will notify you when we are coming , please try to cut the grass before the visit .
What is really noticeable now are dry patches where the soil is unable to absorb water – really highlighted during the dry spell as the grass there is dying off
Regardless of how much rain we often seem to get in the UK (and don’t we love to complain about it!), Dry Patch is a phenomena which happens to lawns when soil conditions have become so dry that water is no longer able to penetrate into the soil. This means that even when rain returns the soil has become hydrophobic – often this can occur in areas where there is high footfall or on the edges of lawns or mossy areas, where you have been exercising on the lawn during COVID and have compacted the soil or even around the washing line . This is where surface compaction or lack of aeration , or moss has prevented water getting through and the grass is unable to make any root growth .
This condition often happens in lawns that have become old or where the soil is poor and natural healthy bacteria cannot work efficiently, the soil becomes dry and virtually dead with little or no active micro-organisms.
Hydrophobic conditions are caused by a white, waxy mycelium fungus in the soil which prevents any water from penetrating.
In some cases, the issue can be resolved by heavily hollow-tining the dry patches and applying a soil wetting agent, mixed with a fungicide. This process helps to break down the surface compaction of the soil so that it can absorb water and recover.
It may take repetitive treatments of wetting agent at monthly intervals to be successful, but in the worst cases, where treatment is likely to be unsuccessful, it will be necessary to remove the affected soil and replace it.
We need healthy soils to grow good grass , and that is where the benefits of cultural treatments such as our Symbio Bio treatments in the summer help by adding soil fungi and bacteria to keep the soil healthy.
Aeration and top dressing are so beneficial, but conditions must be right – its too dry for aeration on a large scale now – but it is the perfect time for focussing on those patches and giving them the specialist care they need.