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Friday, 2 December 2016

Lawn Care Guide - December

Just a trim please 

Well, at the end of November we were still seeing temperatures above 5ºC (41ºF) which means in some parts the grass has continued to grow and may still need a light cut. It’s nicer to see a manicured lawn through the winter months rather than have it long and tufty.

December is though more a month of observation, sweeping the last of the leaves off the lawn and brushing out worm casts, if it’s not too wet, as they do promote moss and weed growth. Look out for any signs of disease and keep a note for when you’re able to take action and treat the lawn. One of the commonest diseases is Fusarium patch which develops as small, dead patches. It’s caused by the fungus Microdochium nivale and the dead patches tend to join up to form larger areas of scarring. It can usually be easily controlled by applying the correct fungicide.

Look as well for areas of the lawn that may be shaded by trees or large bushes, causing the grass to die back and encouraging moss growth. If you can, cut back or remove the cause of the shade. Allowing light onto the lawn will encourage healthier growth through the winter.

Consider prevention rather than cure with continued spiking and aeration now to help drainage and allow air to the roots of the grass. Be prepared for when the weather permits for scarification to remove thatch, probably around February/March time or after the frosts. And while it is frosty don’t walk on the lawn, it can damage the grass.

If you are planning to sow a new lawn come spring, and the ground isn’t too hard, it pays to deep dig, rake and tramp down the area and let the frosts make the soil more friable for when you finally prepare and sow seed. Time now for a final trim around the lawn edges, and then it’s indoors for a nice hot drink.

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