2 articles Tag lawn

Making Sure Your Lawn Stays Lush

Lawn-envy is a terrible thing, especially if you have vast expanses of flat, emerald green on either side of your browned, pitted and sparse wasteland… There’s no need to despair, though, as you can transform your tatty patch of land into an even, lush green carpet if you make the effort.

It starts with the soil

You can’t expect luxuriant green grass to grow out of nothing, so it’s important that you tend to the soil before you order your seeds from The Grass People. Using the right fertiliser is vital – if it’s later in the year then you need a fertiliser with phosphates in to provide long-term nutrition over the winter.

Make a schedule

This can be as simple as putting notes on a wall calendar or using a gardening app on your smartphone to remind you to buy the right type of fertiliser for the right season.

When it comes to fertilisers, there are two phases. Autumn and winter is for potassium and phosphate mixes, which strengthen the grass and help it to cope with the cold temperatures over winter. These mixes need to go down in October, November and December.

Once it’s spring, then it’s nitrogen time! Nitrogen mixes get used up faster, so you’ll need to apply them every six weeks from March through to August.

It’s important to control weeds and moss

Weeds and moss rob your grass of the vital nutrition it needs to grow healthily. Therefore, they must be eliminated! It’s a good job, then, that you can buy treatments that feed your grass and kill off weeds and moss at the same time. September is the best time to lay this treatment on your lawn because the weeds and mosses are still active so they’ll absorb the compounds.

Get the hose out

The UK doesn’t really droughts, so there’s no need for a built-in sprinkler system. However, you do need a decent hose that can reach all the parts of your lawn and you also need to know which soil type you have. Sandy soil doesn’t retain water so well, so it’s more prone to drying out. Clay or loamy soil holds onto water a bit better, so you can water less frequently.

If you tend to water your lawn a little bit every day, then you should stop doing this. If you water frequently, the grass roots only ever need to “look” for water near the soil surface. Leaving it a few days for the water to sink down further without adding more encourages the roots to travel deeper down in search of moisture and nutrients. This makes the roots stronger and in the long-term helps the roots to access more nutrients.

Do some over-seeding to fill in bare spots

If your lawn is plagued by bare patches where grass just doesn’t seem to thrive, then try some over-seeding. This is sprinkling extra seeds in the area so that it gets a few more blades in the end. Be careful, though, because using too many seeds will back-fire as the seeds will be competing for an insufficient amount of food and none will grow properly.

Common Garden Problems

I’ve blogged about our garden a few times in the past; it’s a really decent size with a large lawn and a patio area and it’s one of my favourite things about this house. There’s more than enough space for a massive trampoline, the girls paddling pool in the summer and various other slides/tents/swingball-type things, without ever feeling cluttered. However, although it might seem like a big blank space would be easy to manage, we still find various common garden issues which make it harder to maintain. Here’s a few of the things we’ve struggled with:

Japanese Knotweed

 Japanese knotweed is probably one of THE most common problems here in UK gardens and although it might seem tricky to deal with for the average gardener, there are companies out there who have the expertise to deal with japanese knotweed eradication with relative ease. Knotweed can look unsightly but if it’s left to go wild, it can even cause structural issues with your buildings to asking the professionals to deal with it is a really good idea!

Slugs

Last year, I thought I’d have a go at growing some tomatoes, strawberries and a few herbs. They were all doing really well, until a bunch of slugs came along and made a very quick meal of them! I don’t like using strong chemicals, but my mother in law swears by putting crushed eggshells around her seedlings as the slungs don’t like to crawl across is and will leave your plants alone.

Ivy

Our next door neighbours seem to have a love-affair with ivy – it grows over almost their whole property and they sem to be quite happy to let it do so. This was fine, until the burgeoning growth started to push one of our fences down. The trouble with ivy is that it’s seriously hardy and even harsh chemicals don’t always kill it off. Ive needs to be attacked from the root and some people advocate using a mixture of boiling water, white vinegar and salt to kill it without using pesticides.

Mosquitoes

Living by a body of water, as we do, means that we have mosquitoes buzzing around for about 9 months of the year, and only the super cold weather ever kills them off. Lots of people use citronella but the sheer amount of them here would never be put off by a candle! We’ve invested in an electric fly killer which also deals with other flying beasties and it’s the first summer where we’ve had a moments peace!

Wildlife

Living in the countryside means that as well as the usual cats and foxes that everyone has to deal with, we also regularly encounter moles, voles, badgers, bats, egrets, herons and many more animals on a daily basis! We love them usually, but they do sometimes bring problems. Largely we let them go about their business, but it does get annoying keeping our lawn in good order only to wake up to a dozen molehills over the grass! We haven’t come up with a kind solution to this yet, so for now we’re just trying to live peacefully with them.