Wake up your lawn

PUBLISHED: 16:26 15 June 2009 | UPDATED: 15:08 20 February 2013

Interior

Interior

The smell of freshly cut grass always tells us that summer is just around the corner. After months of lying dormant through the winter our lawns now need some tender loving care.

By Peter Hooker of Lawns Alive


The smell of freshly cut grass always tells us that summer is just around the corner. After months of lying dormant through the winter our lawns now need some tender loving care.


The most common problem found in lawns at the moment is moss. The wet summer and mild winter have provided the ideal growing environment for moss and the use of quick-fix high-nitrogen fertilisers and a lack of good turf practices have only accelerated its spread.


Moss can be removed through scarification and, whilst they should be avoided wherever possible, a suitable iron-based moss killer could be applied in severe cases. But the moss will return next year unless good practices are introduced into an annual lawn care program.


Once the moss is removed the lawn may have a number of bare patches and these areas will need over-seeding. The key to over-seeding is to buy the best seed you can get and ensure that there is plenty of seed to soil contact whilst keeping the soil moist until the germinated seed is established. To successfully renovate a lawn by over-seeding remove any debris and then rake the soil to provide a rough surface. Spread the seed in accordance with the sowing instructions and rake in a fine organic top dressing.


All established lawns need some good hearty food at this time of the year. Lawns are no different from our skin. If you feed them a well balanced nutritious diet and give them plenty of air and water then they will have a healthy glowing skin. Applying chemicals and synthetic cosmetics to the skin will only mask the problem that lies underneath. So when feeding your lawn you need to feed the soil and not synthetically cover up the problem


Therefore, try to avoid using a high nitrogen based fertiliser which turns the lawn into a nitrogen junkie. Lawns don't need this much nitrogen especially when 80% of the air it sits in is made up of nitrogen. Instead considering using a plant based organic fertilisers which provide the lawn with all the nutrients and sugars it needs to stimulate the microbe activity in the soil making the grass plant and roots much stronger and so it can fix it own nitrogen from the air.

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