Archive for the ‘Lawn turf’ Category

How to keep your lawn looking perfect

Read our top tips on how to achieve the perfect pitch in your garden

With the recent sunshine, we can all see how quickly everything is growing – particularly the grass in the garden. It’s now time to get the lawnmower out on a more regular basis (I can already hear the groans!) to keep your lawn looking shipshape.

Everyone has their own preference as to how short they like their grass and it is often tempting to cut it right back to reduce how often you need to mow it. However, before you do just that, it’s worth bearing the following points in mind:

  1. Try not to cut your grass too often (we recommend once or twice a week maximum) as too much trimming can stress the leaves and make them more susceptible to disease. You lawn will already be slightly stressed from the warm, dry climate and the sun’s ultraviolet rays, so try not to add to that.
  2. Cutting the grass too short means there is less leaf area to take in the sunlight and oxygen, which means the plants cannot get the nutrients they need to grow back strongly. So think a number 3 rather than a number 1 at the barbers!
  3. Mower blades must be sharp to allow for a clean cut which doesn’t overly damage the grass and then lead to infection – you can always go to a DIY store to get them to check over the blades for you.

 

Pitch perfect

Pitch perfect

 

This all sounds very serious but turf is tougher than you think! It’s just always good to be one step ahead and if you suspect any disease or infection find a fungicide to stop it before it gets started.

No one wants to have an overgrown garden but by avoiding over-trimming you will be supporting the growth of a lush lawn. We recommend cutting back approximately 25% of growth during any one mow and setting the mower to leave around 30mm of grass after the cut

 

Avoid mowing your lawn more than twice a week

Avoid mowing your lawn more than twice a week

 

Don’t forget…

Water is the (not so secret) ingredient to lawn success! You should regularly water your lawn if the weather is particularly warm (although we appreciate that this is not always possible due to hosepipe bans etc.) and also ensure that you keep your lawn free of debris so that is free to grow, without the risk of disease and infection from rotted leaves etc.

 

Just a few key points to remember and you will have a garden lawn to make the neighbours jealous!

Defence against Drought

In very hot weather your lawn turf will have a tendency to dry out and may turn brown.  Although this doesn’t look very aesthetically pleasing don’t worry – it takes a lot more than a bit of dry weather to leave lasting damage! Only a very severe drought would kill off your roll on turf so in most situations, after a bit of rainfall, your turf will revive itself.

However it is always best to plan ahead when dry weather is on the horizon.  Our roll on lawn turf, with its fescue grasses, is more resistant to water shortages than some other finer blends of grass but even so it is always best to take extra car of it during the drier summer months.

 

TurfHDBlog

All lawns require watering during dry weather but depending on their age their needs may vary:

  • Newly created roll on lawns – these require a thorough initial watering followed by regular daily watering, soaking right through to the soil beneath – provided there are no hosepipe restrictions in force.  It is worth assessing watering constraints before looking to lay your lawn as even high quality turf will need good watering in the first stages of establishment.
  • Established garden lawns – these turf lawns are already established and can reach in to the soil for their water supply.  However once the soil becomes dry in the summer months they will require watering so that the grass doesn’t start to go brown. If the dry weather has caused the ground to go hard then you can spike it with a garden fork to help the water soak through in to the soil.

The best times to water your lawn turf are in the early morning, evening or even night-time, to reduce the effect of evaporation.

A bit of cautionary advice

Don’t apply too much water – this can make your lawn turf less drought-tolerant, which could be a problem during hosepipe bans.  Warm, soggy grass also provides the optimum conditions for disease and moss growth which we want to avoid. Watering once a week should be sufficient.

Don’t use weed killer on turf that has been affected by drought -delay application until the following spring, when the grass and weeds are back to their normal healthy selves, otherwise the chemicals may damage the already weakened roll on turf.

Standing Up to the Snow

It is generally thought that there is little you can do to look after your turf in the snow and to a certain extent this is true, but there are still several precautions you can take to ensure your high quality turf is damaged to a lesser extent by the extreme weather.

The best solution to prevent the snow from damaging your grass lawn is to cover it up with an over-ground cover or to install an underground heater; however for most of us this isn’t possible (and seems a little extreme!) so these tactics are typically reserved for football or cricket pitches.

Instead there are simple actions that we recommend to help protect your roll on turf from the worst of the damage:

  1. First off the better the quality of your lawn turf and the more effectively you use fertiliser to increase the strength of your roll on turf throughout the year, the better its chances of survival in harsh weather conditions.
  2. Avoid walking across your lawn when the snow has settled.  We know that it’s fun creating footprints or snow angels, but the downside is that this can cause compaction of the snow in to the turf which damages the frozen tufts of grass beneath.
  3. Furthermore, when your lawn turf is soaked through following a thaw avoid walking on it, as this can cause compaction and damage to the delicate grass leaves. This is particularly important during the first year of establishment of your roll on lawn turf as, like a young child, it is more vulnerable to extreme changes in its environment.
  4. Watch out for the development of diseases such as snow mould, which you can’t see until the snow has melted away. The best thing to do in this case is to ask for advice and take action to remove the disease as soon as you see it forming. See more detailed information below to know what you are looking for.

Spotting Snow Mould

This is one of the severest lawn turf diseases and it is hard to manage.  Although it can be found throughout the year the most obvious time is following a snow thaw, hence the name snow mould.

The disease starts out as small patches of yellowish, dying grass, which eventually turn brown. These patches increase in size and may start merging together as the disease spreads.  In wetter conditions a white or pink fungus may also start to grow at the edges of the patches.

If you are concerned about snow mould then the best thing to do is to get in the experts but there are also actions you can take yourself:

  1. Help your lawn turf to dry out quickly after wet weather by airing it out.  Raking or spiking your roll on lawn turf will help with this, as will pruning back overhanging hedges and trees.
  2. Improve general airflow over your grass lawn by removing any dead leaves in the autumn

There is only one fungicide available to homeowners for the control of the disease, which is trifloxystrobin. It can be used throughout the year and in frozen conditions but the disease can build resistance to it so it is best to use it sparingly (about twice a year) and in conjunction with other fertiliser methods.

Lawn Turf – Standing up to the Storm

Have you ever considered how well your turf stands up to the worst of the winter weather?  Given the extreme wet conditions we are seeing across the UK, we thought it was important to highlight the benefits of lawn turf and how it is supporting us in our fight against the floods.

Lawn turf has 3 main strengths when it comes to extreme wet weather:

1. Nature’s own sponge  – Turf has sponge-like attributes as it allows rain water to seep in through the air gaps in the soil, reducing the impact of flooding and decreasing fast water flowing over the ground.  If you think about it, these issues are particularly present in urban areas where lawn turf is not present

2. Water Quality – Turf protects our water quality by filtering it through the tufts of grass, allowing cleaner water to run off the land, in to our streams and drainages systems

3. Erosion Prevention – Turf acts like a barrier between rainwater and the soil.  It stops the impact of the rain hammering down on the soil, which causes it to break off from the ground and mix with the water that then runs off in to our streams and rivers

What Should I Do When Laying Turf Rolls in wet weather?

Rolls of turf can still be laid in wet weather; it just takes a little more care and attention. If the weather is particularly wet or the ground is soaked then it’s better to wait if possible until things dry out but if you are on a deadline then with care and attention you can still go ahead and lay our high quality lawn turf or carry out repairs .The key things to remember are:

  1. Prepare the soil correctly  – When preparing to roll out your lawn turf make sure the soil is raked through to a fine consistency.  Raking means you can level out the surface of the soil and it helps create lots of pockets of air between the soil particles so that the grass can grow.  In wet weather raking is sometimes less effective as the rain water hitting the ground may compact it again, but it is still necessary – it may just take a bit more physical effort in the heavy, wet soil!
  2. Do not walk on the soil –It is important not to press down on the soil when rolling out the turf so use wooden planks to walk on, which will spread your weight over a larger area.  It is not easy to resolve any issues with compacted soil after the roll on turf has been laid.

Once laid, the main thing is to keep off your garden lawn as much as possible during very wet and frosty weather as it can damage the grass leaves and cause ‘muddy’ patches where the grass has been trodden.

If it helps then talk to us about your needs and we can reserve your turf  in the field for you, until the weather conditions improve.

 

Should I be mowing my lawn in such wet weather?

Mowing should not really be necessary at this time of year but if the weather warms up, or you notice that your grass is growing more quickly than expected, then a mow may be necessary. Always wait for the grass to dry out before beginning to mow and do so with the blades set high. The main issue when mowing in wet weather isn’t usually damaging the quality of your turf lawn,  it is more to do with clogging your mower up – especially if using a cylinder mower!

Above all in wet weather, try and keep your newly rolled out lawn turf free of fallen leaves and debris.  A light rake will help with this and will also lightly expose the surface of your turf to the air, letting it breathe, which will help reduce the risk of disease developing.