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Lawn care hints

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Lawn Care

A good looking lawn will take time and effort.
You may have to compromise if you're not prepared to work hard and settle for the odd weed in it - although if you look at lawn care as a long term issue you will probably feel less stressed by the odd daisy.

A good lawn is all in the preparation. If you're starting with someone elses old lawn you may have a long way to go, rolling, sorting out bumps and cutting to get a better looking lawn. If you want instant results then the obvious thing to do would be to rip up all the turf and relay brand spanking new turf. Instant beautiful lawn.

However it is a lot of time and trouble to returf a lawn and you might not have the money to hand, so a good alternative would be to keep what you have and to work on getting it better.

Most lawns will be improved no end by regular mowing. By cutting the grass you will encourage it to grow and keep down weeds. Your basic lawn care will therefore consist of regular mowing.

trim edge of lawnThe edges of the lawn are important to keep tidy for the overall appearance. You can trim them with a half moon edger if they're not sharp. If you want a straight line edge then use a piece of string and two sticks stuck into the ground. If you have a curve then use the same arrangement but use one end of the string attached to the half move and keep the other stick fixed in and move round in a circle. Make sure you plan carefully so you're not taking off loads of lawn, although any offcuts of edging might come in useful for patching up any holes or weedy patches.


lawn care curves

By using a string and cutting a curve you will get a lovely neat edge to the lawn, and a perfect arc.

 

I did this curved effect once at a garden at the bottom of a tower block - I'm not sure how many of the residents appreciated it when looking down, but I knew it was there and thought it looked very smart.

 

 

 

If you have large bare patches in your lawn then you will need to patch them up, either by reseeding or using spare turf. Cost wise reusing old scraps of turf is cheaper, although if you have a lot to do then you might find it less hassle with seed. Shake the box of seeds to make sure the different types of grass seed are well mixed. You will need to do some basic soil preparation and water the seeds after.


So watering a lawn? Is watering a lawn a good idea. Well to use fresh tap water on it is a pretty horrific waste of good water - and if you're on a water meter then this will be a huge no no. Compromises include storing rain water and using that. My grandmother used to collect the rainwater from her greenhouse for watering with. Modern systems can take the rain from the entire house roof into underground storage tanks to store it for later use. This is a good use of resources although perhaps more valuable if you're growing vegetables and want to ensure healthy growth.
A lawn will survive a hot summer - it might look a bit awful but there will be occaisions when its very hot and dry and wasting water on a lawn is not a good thing.

Of course if you have plenty of organic material in the soil under your lawn it will retain water much better than if it has very little. This is something you need to think about when you're laying new lawns rather than as something you can do easily to an existing lawn.

Feed your lawn. You can buy lots of lawn food to give your lawn a boost. Always read and follow the instructions very carefully. You might want to look at organic lawn food.

Worms in the lawn. Lots of gardeners consider worms a real nuisance. But worms are a sign that your lawn is health and they are aerating it for you for free so be nice to them! If they throw up worm casts either brush them in if they're dry or just pick them off. The soil in worm casts is excellent and makes a good soil conditioner. Do not ever kill worms. Without them your garden will die. Respect the worm.

Aerating the lawn yourself if your worms are on strike. Aerating a lawn is only usually needed on a thick clay type soil, one with heavy thatch or one that is compacted by regular football games or being driven on, and you can use a simple fork to make holes - you can also buy core aerators which actually remove a small core of soil. Whatever you use its hard work but can have good results.

Removing weeds from the lawn is probably the hardest part of lawn care. You can use weedkillers *but* they are never as effective as actually removing the weeds yourself, and a little handweeding costs nothing and is better for the environment.

Hint: Dandelions will do their best to seed even if you pick them yellow or in bud so destroy them and NEVER put them into your compost heap as it is unlikely to be hot enough to kill the seeds. (Save them for the bonfire perhaps or send them out in the refuse)

For weeds with a long tap root a knife is a good way of cutting them out. The more of the root you remove the better. Tap root weeds include dandelions and are generally perrenials. The annuals are less bother as they can be usually easily removed or even killed and outgrown by the grass if you cut the lawn often enough.

Patches of daisys can be scalped out (If you don't like daisys in the lawn of course) and the area patched or seeded. Don't leave bare patches in the lawn as the soil will be coloniesed quickly by annual weed seeds.

Buttercups generally mean that the soil is slightly damper and you might want to investigate the cause of this and perhaps improve drainage. Buttercups grow by sending out runners - just as strawberries do - and you can often pull them all out together. If you remove buttercups slowly you should be able to follow the runners along until you have them all.

Some people like wild flowers in their lawn, others don't. Remember anything which throws out seeds will be a potential hazard to lawns - so if you a neighbour with an overgrown garden then that might be the cause of your problems. You could always offer to give their lawn a quick trim if they're elderly! It'd save you lots of time in the long run having to deal with the problems. Most people however are happy to get on with their garden so a polite word might give them a little nudge.

If your lawn care routine includes something we've missed out then why not contact us and let us know what you do to care for your lawn.

 

Rolawn Direct

Rolawn
Dealing with Moles & Ants.

Moles can have a devastating effect on any lawn, although they are most common in sandy, well-drained soils where there is a high population of earthworms, their main food source.

Damage by moles is caused by mounds of earth which may suddenly appear overnight and their tunnelling activity which can lead to an uneven lawn where tunnels have collapsed. They do not usually eat plants, but may eat through plant roots where they interfere with tunnels.

Moles are very territorial and once in your garden can be very difficult to eradicate, so it is best to try to prevent them if there are signs of mole activity in neighbouring areas. There are numerous methods of controlling moles, although success is variable.

Rolawn Mole Repel is a humane and safe way to deter moles. It is non-toxic, safe for the environment, children and pets. The garlic granules are poured into the runs under mole hills and do not harm moles, but stop them burrowing further.

Ant hills can also disfigure lawns and are more common where the soil is sandy. They usually appear in summer and should be dispersed by brushing the soil when dry. This will avoid smearing them on the lawn when mowing, which over time will lead to the lawn becoming uneven. Ants can also damage grass roots which may cause yellowing.

Ants can be controlled by treating with a biological nematode, such as Rolawn Ant Killer. The nematodes act as an irritant and the ants are displaced from their colonies. Now is an ideal time to apply a biological control such as Rolawn Ant Killer as the soil must be moist for the nematodes to be effective. Lawns can be treated from April to October when the soil temperature is warm enough. Rolawn Ant killer is specific to the pest concerned therefore safe for the user, children, pets, wildlife and the environment.

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