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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.

Tuesday 1 February 2022

The Lawncare Guide - February

Breaking new ground

If the weather permits and it’s not too wet, now is a good time to create a new lawn by laying turf on prepared ground. This will be an area that has been dug over, made weed free and levelled, ready to accept the turves. Ideally, you need a month between preparing the ground and laying the turf. The cleared area should drained if necessary. 

Unwanted vegetation can be removed using a total weed killer or, if you don’t want to use herbicide, skim the surface with a spade or use a flame gun. The latter two, though, will still leave roots. You can improve the soil by adding organic matter or sand. Before laying, break down any lumps for a fine tilth, fertilise a week before laying and give the area a final levelling. Good turf can appear expensive compared to seeding, but you have the benefit of an instant lawn and buying from a reputable supplier saves heartache later on. 

If you choose a mature grass type, it should be about 12 to 18 months old with a good soil base and plenty of white roots present. The grass should have good, uniform colour, no bare patches and virtually no weeds. Lift a turf at one end, shake it and it should not tear or fall to pieces. Lay the turves on a fine day when the soil is reasonably dry. If the weather prevents this and the laying gets stretched into March or even April, then the lawn may need watering. 

For existing lawns, other jobs may be to brush off worm casts when it’s dry, rake up debris, look out for signs of disease and apply lawn sand towards the end of the month to ward off moss and daisy growth. Soon it will be time to mow and if you are considering a new mower (you might be moving to a new property, for example) a large lawn area calls for a ride-on tractor mower or zero-turn mower. The garden tractor can offer the option of cut, collect and stripe while the zero-turn will speed up your mowing and easily negotiate difficult areas.

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