If like us you enjoyed a week end of sunshine and BBQ’s spare a thought for your grass.

The combination of high day temperatures and strong winds over the last few days has really dried surfaces and with little or no rain on the horizon for the week, this will prove a testing time for your lawns.

On our own lawn I have observed signs of moisture stress. It’s most evident when you look at foot traffic across the lawn, and also a colour change from its normal bright green to a dull blue.

Both suggest that the grass plant has insufficient moisture in the leaves to maintain their structure and is an indication that the moisture status of the plant is critically out of balance.

What can be done?

  • Definitely, raise the cut height to maximum, this will help with cooling the soil surface and reduce leaf stress.
  • If you decide to water, we suggest watering well and consistently throughout this period and beyond.
  • If you decide not to water, that isn’t a problem, the grass will do what it does naturally and go into drought dormancy, it will soon recover when adequate rain fall returns.

For more information see our web site watering advise

 

A week ago the team at Greener Gardens we were concerned about the dryness of lawns but during the last eight days have seen some very wet weather which combined with the mild temperatures is causing other lawn issues.

Keep a watch on your lawn for the following:

  • Red Thread and fungal diseases
  • Ants in lawns


What is Red Thread?


Red Thread is often seen on lawns in the UK from mid summer, it loves this warm wet weather. It is often seen on fine fescue lawns, but can develop on all lawn types. It is a fairly minor disease that in most cases does relatively little damage, but can spoil a well-kept lawns appearance. It is spread by spores within the air.

 

What treatments can be used?

On many occasions an application of fertiliser is more than sufficient to promote lawn growth, affected grasses would then be removed by cutting. The feed will also strengthen the plant, enabling it to “outgrow” the disease. We can also apply a fungicide treatment.

Can anything be done now?

Normally the promoting of new growth with the fertiliser will help, as you then cut out the active fungal growth. We would suggest to check to see if you're looking at the primary effect i.e. red spikes or the secondary effect of the brown ‘straw like grasses’, affected brown grasses will not revert to green, until new grass growth occurs.

If it is red spikes of fungal activity that you can see, this is already the later development stages, an application of a feed would be beneficial, combined with a frequent cut to remove the affected grasses, but you may choose to treat with a contact fungicide for additional protection.

For best results the fungicide should be applied soon after cutting. Our fungicide will give up to 4 weeks protection. If you would like us to treat your lawn, we can provide a quotation for this.
If you want to treat yourself, we would suggest using a product called Bayer Lawn Disease control* is applied, if necessary. (Manufacturers web site Bayer Lawn Disease Control

Notes: Use as directed and always read and follow the manufactures instructions before use.

Please remember that, similar to taking antibiotics, after you have applied a fungicide. It doesn't guarantee you never get the symptoms again.

Controlling Ants

Ant hills left untreated will make your lawn uneven, they can be dispersed by brushing the soil when conditions are dry, this will avoid smearing them on the lawn when mowing.

Most ant species build underground nests. Worker ants dig tunnels and chambers, or rooms, in the soil. As the colony grows, workers add more tunnels and chambers to the nest. Ant colonies can grow to be quite large, their nests may reach 6 meters below the ground.

We recommend Ant Stop granule applied as a drench, repeating applications as required – More product details and available in our shop or direct from the van.

If you require any further information please see our Info section on the web site, or e-mail us.

 

 

It’s May and your lawn grasses will have started growing, as the soil warms up, and your mowing needs to start in earnest. Regular mowing is a vital part of lawn care. A quick whiz with a sharp and well-adjusted mower will only take you a few minutes if you do the job every week. Mowing as often as you are able will encourage the fine grasses and allow the grass enough energy to thicken up to be an area to be proud of.

Lawn cutting can be simplified into the following rules:

  • Never more than 1/3rd off in any one cut
  • Mow frequently – weekly is best when the lawn is actively growing
  • Check your mower regularly for cutting height and blade sharpness

Regardless of your mowers cutting action being Cylinder, Rotary or Hover, the principles remain the same.

The 'One Third Rule’

Never remove more than one third of the grass blade on any one mowing. Therefore, if your lawn mower is set for a 3cm (1 ”) cut then you must mow at or before the grass gets to 4cm (1 ½”) whether that’s 4 days or 8 days between cuts.

Regardless of the mowing height, we recommend never leave your lawn more than 10 to 14 days between cuts.

The chances are in summer you won’t need to cut the grass much, if it is very dry, as there will be little growth. However, don’t go over two weeks between cuts, because some weed grasses will take advantage of the lack of lawn mowing and spread or seed profusely.

Why Mow Little and Often?

For many of us little and often means once a week. This will produce a much denser and more aspirational turf, than if your grass cutting is every two weeks.

A dense turf is the best looking and a great form of natural weed control as it prevents weed seeds from contact with the soil. If the seed doesn't contact the soil then there is a very good chance that no weed grows; perfect!

If I don’t follow these rules, what happens?

Thin patchy lawns are often the result of infrequent mowing or removing too much of the grass when you cut. Mow infrequently AND mow short and before long you won't have a lot of lawn left to mow!

Greener Gardens are able to help with all your seasonal lawncare needs including weed and pest control. Contact us on 0115 837 8439 or visit us www.greenergardens.co.uk

 

Without doubt, November and December 2015 have broken most of the weather records we probably didn’t want breaking for our lawns and gardens, warmest, wettest, windiest, least sun, most consecutive days of rainfall, the list is endless. But even more widespread is the waterlogging that has affected gardens – particularly those on heavy, clay soils – and any garden with naturally wet soil.

The short-term effects of flooding and waterlogging may subside. But for plants and gardens, it is the severe longer-term problems that waterlogging can cause that gardeners need to be aware of. The longer the soil is saturated, the more severe the problems become.

Few garden plants, apart from willows and those such as bog plants that naturally grow in water, can survive prolonged periods of waterlogging. The water replaces the air in the soil and as roots need air to breath, they literally drown, start to rot and die. Above ground, the leaves of affected plants show the first signs of the problem, turning yellow, wilting and dropping prematurely. Such symptoms are similar to those of drought, because the dead roots are unable to take up water.

Other symptoms may include:

  • Shoots may start to die back and the plant may start to wilt – a sign that it is short of water, since the damaged or dead roots can’t absorb any from the soil.
  • Bark may start to peel off stems.
  • Herbaceous plants may fail to come into growth in spring, or their leaves may open initially but then wilt and die.
  • Bulbs start to rot and die.
  • Plants may look stunted with poor, thin growth and, in the worst circumstances, completely die.


The good news is there are several things you can do to help rescue your plants and gardens - both in the short term and more permanently. Once the water has dissipated, plants will hopefully start to revive. Helping to build up the strength of your plants once the water goes down is the best way of rescuing them from these serious problems.

How you can help?

  • Avoid walking on waterlogged soil - especially heavy clay soils
  • As plants start to come into growth, apply a foliar feed, this will help encourage new root growth to replace those killed by the wet conditions.
  • Feed flowering plants with a season long plant food.
  • You may need to prune out badly damaged or dead shoots, but wait until May or June at the earliest, as it can take plants this long to show signs of recovery.
  • Spike the lawn using either a garden fork or, better still, a hollow-tine aerator.
  • Feed the lawn in both spring and summer to replace lost nutrients.
  • Where areas of grass have died out, reseed them. We recommend Green Velvet Grass Seed.
  • This may sound bizarre, but you may have to water plants thoroughly during dry spells following waterlogging, as they will be more susceptible to drought stress due to their reduced and damaged root system.


In the worst circumstances, it’s possible that some established plants will be killed by long-term waterlogging.

November and December 2015 have broken most of the weather records we probably didn’t want breaking for our lawns and gardens, warmest, wettest, windiest, least sun, most consecutive days of rainfall, the list is endless. But even more widespread is the water logging that has affected lawns – particularly those on heavy, clay soils – and naturally wet soil.

Due to the mild weather grass is still growing which means it may need cutting. It's difficult to mow wet grass at the best of times but if you leave it until spring it'll be even longer and therefore harder.  Make life easier for yourself this Spring

  • Put the mower on the highest setting
    • This will help especially on clay soils
    • Longer grass will grow more slowly
    • The grass will use more energy growing for roots
    • The extra leaf will aid in photosynthesis improving health and disease resistance
  • When you mow you'll mow higher up the leaf where it is drier
  • Leave the cylinder mower in the shed, use a rotary

The mower will ride on a cushion of grass with fewer muddy tracks


Mowing wet grass – top tips

  • Dry off the lawn first: use a length of hose and drag or drag a brush this will disperse any water down into the soil

  • Mow in the afternoon or evening: choose a dry day which gives the grass leaves a chance to dry

  • Choose a windy day: it will assist in drying the lawn

  • Clean the mower: grass left from a previous cuts attracts wet grass like a magnet

  • A sharp mower is even better

  • A rotary mower will be better than a cylinder mower


If your lawn is thinning?


Some lawns, particularly those with clay soil, poor drainage and/or shady are beginning to thin quite alarmingly. Basically the roots are so saturated the grass is drowning.

What do you do?

Don't panic and don’t start digging it up or installing drainage. Just leave it alone until spring when the weather starts to warm.

As conditions improve, consider over seeding with new grass seed. This will help rejuvenate your lawn.  We recommend Green Velvet Grass Seed.

About Blog

The team at Greener Gardens offer lawn care and other garden maintenance services. We provide a Free lawn care consultation backed up by a professional service, from our own fully trained staff. We are proud to be a local business.

Office

  • 32 Mowbray Gardens,
    West Bridgford,
    Nottingham.
    NG2 6JN

Where we work...

We operate both North and South of the River Trent, many of our customers are located in: West Bridgford, Radcliffe on Trent, Bingham, Cotgrave, Tollerton, Keyworth, Ruddington and North of the River: Beeston, Chilwell, Wollaton, Bramcote, Nottingham, Mapperley and Arnold.

Call: 0115 837 8439 or email for a FREE quotation.