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Each month, receive tips on the top jobs needed in your garden as well as a wealth of information on a range of gardening topics. From sowing seeds to picking fruit, each month get access to information on the care and maintenance of your flowerbeds, vegetable plot and lawn. As with your own gardening diary, the journal is split into separate sections, each covering a different area of garden care.

Wednesday 1 May 2019

The Lawn Care Guide - May

Early warning: weed attack

Just when the lawn is looking good you step out one morning and notice there are a lot more weeds than there were yesterday. Or so it seems. The speedwells, chickweed, dandelion and daisies all find your lawn a nice place to live. The buttercups with their pretty yellow flowers are creeping around and may be regarded as not offensive until, that is, off they go covering the turf at an alarming rate.

Selective weed killer is your answer and the same goes for the plantains and dandelion if hand weeding is not practical. Lawn sand will keep slender and germander Speedwells, with their mauve and blue flowers respectively, at bay as it will the clovers.

The commonest, white or Dutch clover can be a headache in the drier months. Raking before mowing will lift the stems to meet the blades on the mower, watering the lawn in drought spells, lawn sand applied in spring, feeding the lawn with a nitrogen rich fertiliser, again in spring, and selective weekiller applied in June or July are all effective remedies.

Many weeds will be dealt with by applying one of the weed and feed products which deal with moss, as well as a variety of other weeds, and fertilise the lawn at the same time. There will be plenty of mowing to be done given warmth and rain and too close a cut is an encouragement for the weeds to grow.

If it’s very dry in your area then consider mulching rather than collecting the grass, though usually you would be doing this in July or August. Brown patches on the lawn are the subject of many possible causes and it’s easy to make a wrong diagnosis. The sun, compaction, fertiliser overdosing, leatherjackets under the grass, dog urination, the list goes on. In spring and summer consider what might be the cause. Was there a prolonged dry spell?

Can the grass be pulled up easily revealing grey or brown grubs in the soil? Did you over fertilise? Did you spill petrol or oil when re-fuelling in the area. Has the dog used the area regularly as a toilet. A little detective work will help find the answer and suitable treatment. 

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