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Seasonal Lawn Care Guide: Winter Prep to Summer Maintenance

Seasonal Lawn Care Guide: Winter Prep to Summer Maintenance

Seasonal Lawn Care Guide: Winter Prep to Summer Maintenance

Looking out of the window today it can be a little hard to believe that spring let alone summer is promising to arrive, however the first signs of new growth are there to see, the last few softer days have gently ignited the new season as lawns slowly wake and push up a little growth though admittedly this is sure to slow over the next week as temperatures temporarily drop, even so this is the perfect time to plan for the necessary maintenance and improvement of your lawn. Read on for all your seasonal lawn care tips in this article ‘Seasonal Lawn Care Guide: Winter Prep to Summer Maintenance’.

January-February

If weather allows and the ground is soft this is a great time to aerate the lawn either manually with a fork or with a mechanical Tine forking machine, this will aid in drainage, and counter compaction and allow both air and water to the roots as your lawn starts to grow.

Wait until conditions allow for more involved lawn renovation works, generally in March, if required and conditions permit, mow the lawn on a high cut to neaten but avoid this if the lawn is wet and certainly keep off frosted lawns.

March

As a rule of thumb and barring a final Arctic blast, once soil temperatures reach 10 degrees with a 13–15-degree average air temperature is a good time to consider scarifying your lawn to rid it of moss, and thatch. Firstly, a treatment of Iron sulphate or a urea-based spring weed and feed will blacken the moss and green the grass, once the treatment has worked it’s time to get on with the scarification either by hand with a stiff wire rake or a machine, once this is completed it time to overseed and fertilise the lawn with a spring feed. Now let the lawn gently recover for a short time after which the mowing frequency will increase as the weather warms.

Again, never mow when the lawn is wet as the mower will tear rather than cut the grass. Depending on temperatures, the lawn will need mowing every other week and the cutting height should be lowered by one notch after a few cuts, you can adjust this once you have decided what length of grass you would like. Most lawns are made up of a mixed number of grass varieties, leaving the grass to grow too long will result in the shorter cultivars dying off resulting in gaps in the lawn. It’s a good idea to break up wormcasts with the back of a wire rake as they appear after rain and spoil the appearance of the lawn. Cutting height should be set to keep the grass marginally longer in shady areas.

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Early-Midsummer

The lawn will still require regular mowing every week to thicken the grass, The mowing height should be progressively dropped to the desired setting, remember that slightly longer grass tends to be harder wearing which is a good idea when it comes to children or pets. April through August is an ideal time to apply a granular Summer nitrogen-rich fertilizer, remember to water all granular fertilisers well to avoid chemical scorching and keep to the instructions religiously.

Mid-late summer

Depending on weather conditions mowing will be required less frequently. Grass needs to be kept slightly longer in dry weather as it will endure the heat better but if the summer is showery then cutting heights can be kept to the desired height. Late summer tends to be slightly wetter, and the cutting height can be left a little higher to face the autumn and winter months.

Autumn & early-mid winter

The time for an Autumn feed treatment, application will be low on nitrogen but is higher on trace elements to replenish the soils after the growing season. All fertilisers if applied incorrectly will damage the lawn. If you are in doubt about how to apply the fertiliser, ask us.

The lawn will only need mowing on an infrequent basis or not at all and never during periods of heavy rain or frost. The aim should be to keep the long grasses from overcoming smaller grasses in the turf. It is more important to keep the lawns leaf-free as prolonged coverage with leaves especially Plane tree leaves will suffocate the grass beneath them.

Watering

Watering aims to dampen the turf and allow water to penetrate the soils to a depth of 1-2” (where most root activity occurs). Watering is weather-dependent. In the absence of rain, watering should be for 40 minutes per area (maximum) twice a week. Try to water early morning or late afternoon when the heat of the day has reduced. The aim should be to dampen, not soak areas of turf.

Alter frequency according to rainfall and try to note the heaviness of rainfall. A very light shower is not sufficient to cancel a watering but may reduce the amount of time to water. Likewise, very heavy overnight rain may negate the need for water at all.

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