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Monday, 2 March 2020

The Lawncare Guide - March

The first cut is the weakest


For many of us, the first cut of the lawn will be in March and it’s all too easy to want to shave off all of that sudden growth spurt. Don’t. Set the mower or garden tractor cutting deck at a high height of cut. We only want to tip off the top part of the leaf. Mowing to achieve award-winning stripes comes later in the season.

Cutting it too short now leaves it at the mercy of late frosts and weeds. What’s important as well is the type of grass your lawn is comprised of. Remember, some weeds in the grass die back when they are cut short but others actually thrive when close mown. Grasses divide generally into low growing narrow-leaf types such as fescue and Agrostis and the taller broad leaf kinds, perennial ryegrass – Lolium perenne and smooth stalk meadow grass or Pro pratensis. Most average lawns will comprise a mixture of both coarse and fine blades of grass. Close mowing encourages fine grasses to dominate.

The higher the cut the more the coarse grass predominates. You can mow fine grasses to a half-inch or less (10-15mm) whereas coarser grasses should be cut to allow ¾ inch (20m) of growth or more. Topdressing we’ve talked about before but it’s worth remembering now is a good time, if the ground is not too wet, to aerate the lawn using a tractor-driven accessory or walk-behind machine. Then you can apply a good top dressing of finely blended, good quality soil to the lawn’s surface to help the grass become more drought-resistant and improve root quality.

You can also fill in undulations in uneven lawns and the stimulated grass becomes more moss and weed resistant. You can make your own top dressing with a mix of sieved soil, garden compost and sharp sand in a 3:2:3 ratio. When the lawn is dry spread the top dressing to a depth of about 10mm using a rake and then brush it to spread evenly.














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