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Lawn lawn maintenance - Feeding Your Lawn
Although your lawn may be growing well in early spring, it is important to feed it. This will produce a strong root structure, which will also create strong blades of grass, keeping out moss and weeds. The bright green appearance will be maintained over the summer months and it will help the lawn to become resistant to disease.
For most lawns, two applications of fertilizer a year are sufficient. Apply a spring/summer fertilizer at the beginning of summer, and then an autumn/winter one after routine maintenance in early autumn.
Take care to apply fertilizer evenly as uneven distribution may make the lawn patchy: It may also damage or even kill areas of grass. Application can be by hand or a mechanical spreader, which can be purchased or hired.
Lawn care - Watering Your Lawn
Established grass generally resists and recovers from drought well without watering, although growth slows down and the turf turns brown in prolonged dry spells. It is however essential to water newly made and high quality lawns thoroughly in dry periods to maintain growth and colour. The best time to water your lawn is either in the early morning or evening.
Many different sprinklers are available, covering large or small areas:
One of the most popular types is the oscillating sprinkler. It sprays from side to side, has a fine spray, and the area it covers, which is oblong, can be adjusted.
More suitable for larger areas is a pulse jet sprinkler. It sprays in a circle in one direction at a time. Its distance of spray can be adjusted.
The rotary sprinkler sprinkles the lawn in a circle. The fineness and distance of the spray can be adjusted on some models - some have two arms; others have three.
Static sprinklers have a spike at the base, which is pushed into the ground. Water distribution is good and is delivered in a circular pattern.
A sprinkler hose is flat and divided up into three or four pipes joined together and has many small holes along its length, which gives a fine spray. This is very handy on lawns as it is simply laid on the lawn and moved when the grass has received enough water.
Note that the better the water pressure the better the delivery of the spray will be.
Removing Fallen Leaves
In autumn and winter, clear away any fallen leaves from the lawn by brushing or raking them up and removing them; a layer of leaves left on the lawn reduces evaporation, and the resulting humidity can encourage turf diseases.
Aerating The Turf
Aeration is vital since it allows deep root growth and so helps the turf to become established as well as reducing soil compaction. It is also important to reduce excessive thatch, the organic matter consisting of decaying blades of grass, rhizomes, and stolons that accumulates on the soil surface. There are several ways of aerating the soil and removing thatch. These include scarifying, slitting, hollow tining, and spiking.
Scarifying - removes thatch and permits air to enter the surface of the lawn.
Slitting - allows air into the soil.
Hollow tining - removes thatch, aerates the soil, and relives soil compaction.
Spiking - allows air into the soil, and can also relieve soil compaction.
Rolling is not essential; nut done in spring it may help to resettle the surface after any maintenance work carried out in autumn and any possible upheaval caused by frost. The traditional practice of rolling lawns frequently is unnecessary and can cause problems of compaction, particularly in heavy soil.
Immediately after autumn maintenance work, apply a top dressing, on a dry day if possible. This helps reduce the thatch by keeping the lawn open and aerated, fills core holes, and helps to level the surface.
Ensure that the top dressing does not smother the grass by luting or brushing it into the surface and any core holes. Luting also helps level any slight surface irregularities.
Weigh out the correct amount of top dressing for the lawn area and apply it on a dry day. For a large lawn its best to use a machine. For small areas the top dressing nay be applied by hand. Spread it evenly over the lawn with a shovel or spade. Use a lute or besom to work in the dressing, keeping a steady pressure to distribute it evenly, and water thoroughly.