Mowing your lawn the right way
When thinking about maintaining your lawn, mowing your grass may be the first thing that comes to mind. Believe it or not, there is a right way and a wrong way to mow your grass. Cutting your grass super short to make mowing intervals last longer may seem like a good idea. However, it can harm your grass and impact its long-term health. For optimum growth, only aim to cut 1/3 of the grass length every time you mow.
Lawns are made up of several types of grass – each with its own characteristics, e.g.; perennial ryegrass is quick to establish and grow – found in the majority of lawn seed mixes, or, Creeping red fescue – grows slower and helps keep soil from wear & tear. You should, ideally, be cutting up to twice a week in summer and once in spring and autumn.
Top Tip: Never mow your lawn when it’s wet, as it can clog up your mower, lead to compaction of the soil, and give your lawn an uneven cut.
Controlling your weeds
If you are struggling with weeds in your lawn, selective weed killers can be used to kill weeds but not grass. Green Force weed killer treats common active weeds, including clover and dandelion. Two applications are recommended per year in the months of April – September.
Top tip: fertilise your lawn one to two weeks before treating your weeds to maximise the effects—since the faster the weeds grow, the faster they die! Always follow the application rates specific to watering cans or sprayers so that you don’t damage the grass.
Feeding your lawn
Water and sun can only do so much for your grass. Applying fertiliser will help give extra nutrients to the soil, making the grass greener and healthier and improving recovery from wear and tear. Fertilisers can come in a liquid or granular form depending on preference. The Amvista range available at Progreen is a great lawn fertiliser.
- Amvista G3 is great for spring and summer, a balanced analysis centred on growth will improve grass.
- Amvista G9 is preferred for autumn and winter use, low nitrogen and high potassium to improve root strength, the grass is able to capture available nutrients and cope with harsh weather conditions better.
- Amvista G4 is an all-rounder granular fertiliser, a 3-in-1 treatment for strong grass growth and health. Its combined elements and increased nitrogen will kill weeds, moss and fertilise grass. Use with a low application rate to achieve excellent coverage. To maintain results, apply another fertiliser about 6 weeks afterwards and tailor your own treatment plan.
Soil Analysis kits can be used to target the correct fertilisers to apply to your lawn. Liquid feeds can be a preferred option in the warmer, drier summer months as nutrients are readily available in drought conditions. Few nutrients sit on the ground as they are absorbed directly into the plant via the leaves.
Getting rid of your moss in your lawn
Moss in your lawn is a sign it’s unhealthy with an imbalance due to lack of nutrients, wet/damp soil, high humidity and shade. Moss swamps healthy grass and colonises bare patches quickly. It grows best in damp or shady soils and acts like a sponge, soaking up water and keeping an area waterlogged and restricting the passage of water to the soil.
Moss can be killed with spreadable granules or a sprayable liquid – some even contain fertiliser or seaweed to help grass re-establish (Maxicrop moss killer and lawn conditioner). Sul-fe is an ideal product for controlling moss in your lawn as it greens up grass as well as blackens moss.
Dealing with pests in your lawn
Two of the major pests that can affect people’s lawns at certain times of the year are chafer grubs and leatherjackets. Chafer grubs are maggot-like larvae – found living in the soil, starting out as eggs in July and feeding on grass roots during the summer time. They make an appearance again in spring feeding until they grow into chafer beetles typically in the middle of May. Crows, foxes, and badgers can ruin lawns very easily by tearing up grass to look for grubs. Effective control of these can be achieved using nematodes (microscopic worms) which hunt down chafer grubs. Nemasys G is a safe, approved way to control the chafer larvae.
Leatherjackets can also potentially damage your grass. Adult crane flies, or daddy-longlegs, actively lay eggs on the soil surface from August to October and hatch a few weeks later, they are greyish brown in the soil and up to 30mm long with no legs or a head. Signs of potential leather grubs can be seen if your grass turns yellowish brown and often dies. The best method to naturally control leatherjackets is to use Nemaysy J to kill the larvae and stop them feeding within 3 days of infection. The larvae then die within 10-14 days.
You should now have a good understanding of what is required to keep on top of your lawn throughout the year. You can find a range of lawn care products online and a number of experts are available to help you find the right ones for your specific lawn needs.