Summer Lawn Care

Lawn care

Fertilising your Lawn

Question: If lawns are fertilised regularly, do they require mowing more often than lawns that have not been fertilised?
Answer: Well-fertilised lawns are healthy and have a dense growth habit with a thick and even coverage. They’re also likely to have fewer weeds and other undesirable plants competing with the grass, so the lawn will be green and picture perfect. They will not need to be mown more frequently but the amount of grass clippings will be greater than that produced by a sparse, spindly lawn with little lawn care.

Question: Is chemical or organic fertiliser better for lawns?
Answer: The best fertiliser is always the one that was applied last week, as it’s already having a profound impact on the lawn growth. Many gardeners argue whether chemical or organic fertiliser is best, but at the end of the day choose a fertiliser that suits your beliefs and lifestyle. Whichever fertiliser is chosen, apply it immediately after mowing and water in well after application. This will allow it time to work down into the lawn before the next mowing.  Correct dosage or application rate is critical.

Question: What causes big brown patches in lawns, especially during summer?
Answer: In some years, severe infestations of lawn caterpillars appear in summer, although in other years they are completely absent. The small greenish brown caterpillars hide in the grass or just below the surface during the day. At night they appear and can literally devastate patches of grass overnight. Irritatingly, they only feed on grass and leave many weed species well alone! During the day, throw a damp sack or piece of cloth over the damaged area and the caterpillars will appear in a few minutes.

Lawn Care Tips
• Mow regularly, making sure that you never cut off more than 1/3 of the length of a leaf blade.
• Water and fertilise regularly from now on.
• Keep the lawn level and free of depressions where water and debris can accumulate.
• Rake up grass clippings and leaves to allow the lawn blades to photosynthesise efficiently.
• Get rid of broadleaf weeds by spraying with a selective weed killer. Before spraying, fertilise your lawn, water well, wait two weeks and then spray for weeds. Repeat if necessary.

The Gardener