Lawn Care and Maintenance
Unhealthy lawns could be due to several reasons;
- Pest, Disease and fungal issues
- Poor nutrition – this can mean overfeeding or underfeeding, or just feeding with the wrong fertiliser at the wrong time
- Waterlogging – due to poor drainage caused by soil type, by a lack of natural sunlight or ventilation or by the lawn being a catchment for surrounding water run off
- Dryness – Some soils do not hold on to water due to their structure, Hedges, particularly Evergreen Conifers, tend to suck up all the moisture leaving none for the grass, slopes can lead to run off rather than water retention
- Animals urinating on a lawn can cause a patchy lawn, particularly females who have a much more concentrated urine, this can be caused by domestic pets and by wild animals such as foxes.
Our Lawn Care service will help to identify any problems that may be present, then offer a solution followed by a maintenance programme to keep your lawn in tip top condition. We can either offer a one off service for a particular problem, or you can add Lawn Maintenance into our annual Garden Maintenance Programme.
More information on all our treatments, either as One off or regular visits can be found by clicking through the sections below.
Whether you are buying a fertiliser to feed your Hanging Baskets, your Roses or your lawns, the packaging will always display an N:P:K ratio. N stands for Nitrogen, P for Phosporous and K for Potassium, remember that from your Chemistry days? Nitrogen encourages ‘green’ growth, Phosporous aides root development and Potassium is generally seen to aid fruit and flower production. This is why Hanging Basket Fertilisers tend to have a higher ‘K’ ratio, Vegetables, like Potatoes, benefit from a fertiliser with a higher ‘P’ ratio and Grass growth is encouraged by applications of Fertiliser with a higher ‘N’ ratio. Most fertilisers will have all three of N, P and K within them, but different fertilisers used in different situations will have vaery different ratios. There are lots of other things needed by lawns in order for them to Thrive; Iron (Fe) helps to give lawns a deep green colouring (as well as working as a moss control), Magnesium (Mg) is a trace element that is an essential part of Photosynthesis (the Plants very own renewable energy system), Calcium (Ca) is another trace element that is essential to plant health, and the plants ability to fight off pests and diseases.
Spring and Summer Lawn treatments will have ratio of around X:Y:Z in favour of Nitrogen, whereas Autumn lawn treatments will generally have a ratio of X:Y:Z as ‘top’ growth is not required in the Autumn but root growth and establishment is essential. Autumn Lawn treatments will also have a higher level of Iron to help combat moss.
We can put as many quality treatments on your lawn as we need, but if it does not have the required amount of water, it simply will not grow and look lush and green. We have all ‘complained’ about having to keep cutting the grass regularly deep into summer, and I can guarantee that those comments coincide with a wetter than average summer. Likewise too much water on a poorly drained soil will lead to waterlogging and the problems associated with this, such as Moss.
So, if we are looking after your lawn, and you want it to keep looking fantastic throughout the summer, it will need water, both to encourage grass growth, and also to ensure that the fertilisers and herbicides work effectively.
The most effective way of watering a lawn is naturally, by regular rainfall. But just as we cannot rely on the good old British weather to produce Sunshine when we need it, we also cannot rely on it to rain regularly on our lawn, and we probably don’t want it to rain as regularly as our lawn does anyway!
So, we will need to irrigate our lawns to produce the finish we are after – this is the only bit we cannot do for you as we cannot plan for the weather, but our Garden Centre has all that you need to set up an irrigation solution for most gardens, and if it is an all singing and dancing irrigation system you need, we can also help with organising this for you. These irrigation systems can be set up as a diy project using components purchased through the Garden Centre, or we can work with a specialist team to install a professional system.
However you irrigate your lawn, we would always recommend doing it in the evening for several reasons;
- The water will soak through into the soil without fear of daytime evaporation taking a lot of it up into the atmosphere
- Strong sunshine can be magnified by water droplets, and whereas it is unlikely your lawn will catch fire, scorching can happen, and more importantly your broadleaved plants around the edge of the lawn will be especially susceptible to scorch.
- Water pressure is likely to be higher in the evening (unless all your neighbours have the same idea!) which will mean it will take less of your precious time to do the job.
Thatch is the term given to debris that gathers in a lawn over a period of time. This debris works it’s way down through the grass, so any small debris will eventually lay on the surface of the soil sitting within the grass canopy. Thatch is generally dead and organic matter, which makes it a great place for fungal diseases to establish, and it is also where Moss development initially takes place. Thatch will also prevent good air circulation around the base of the grass sward (leaves), this can also contribute towards disease development as well as preventing thickening of the grass as growth of more shoots is hindered. The most common type of material that forms thatch is the natural build up of old grass leaves that have not rotted away, the grass clippings that some people leave on the surface of the lawn can also contribute to thatch, which is why our grass cutting service will always collect the grass clippings in a grass box on the back of the lawnmower. However general garden debris, such as dead leaves and small twigs from trees, can also contribute towards thatch developing.
A herbicide is the name for products that are used to control and prevent plant growth in many situations, they are generally contact, residual or selective. A contact herbicide will kill anything that it comes into contact with, although as the product may vary in strength, some contact herbicides will only kill annual, young or soft plants. Think about something used to kill a dandelion not harming an oak tree. A residual herbicide is applied to bare ground and forms a thin layer on the surface of the soil and kills plants as they germinate and grow up through this layer. This is generally used where season long weed control is needed. Selective herbicides are products that can be applied and will work selectively, they will work against some plants but not others even if they are next to each other and even applied with herbicide. Another term that you may well hear used in Herbicide terms is systemic. This means that the herbicide enters the plant through the leaves (into the plant system), and then moves through the plant’s internal transport system (think veins and arteries) until it has permeated throughout the stems and roots, the chemical will then work to kill off the plant. Unlike contact weedkillers, which work rapidly by chemically ‘burning’ a plant, most systemic weedkillers will take several days before any visual effect takes place. Most lawn herbicides work systemically and selectively.
Residual herbicides are not used on lawns. Contact herbicides are very rarely used as they would kill the grass, but for those who use a stick (works like a deodorant stick) or brush to apply specific branded products to very specific weeds in your lawn you are using a contact herbicide. The most common type of herbicide used in a lawn is a selective herbicide, this is because the herbicide has the ability to differentiate between narrow leaved plants (Grasses) and broad leaved plants (Dandelions, Plantains, Buttercups etc.). These herbicides can be applied in a granular form using a lawn spreader or via a liquid spray. Liquids tend to be quicker acting and granular products generally require rain or watering in within 24 hours of application.
Annual weeds are weeds that tend to germinate from seed, grow, flower and die within one season. Perennial weeds are weeds that remain in the lawn indefinitely, they may die down over winter but underground their roots are still active and growing and waiting for the growing season. Perennial weeds are a lot more difficult to eradicate that Annual weeds, and may need several applications of herbicide to be brought under control