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Monday 30 May 2022

The Lawncare Guide - June

A weed is a plant growing in the wrong place 

The long range UK weather forecast tells us we could be in for a fair bit of rain throughout June (as it stands at the moment) and the month will get progressively warmer. So, while that encourages the grass to grow, the weeds in the lawn can also proliferate. A weed may be defined simply as a plant growing out of place or where it’s not wanted, but to the proud lawn owner, it’s undesirable and needs to be eradicated.

All weeds compete fiercely for water, light and nutrients and spread mainly by seed which can lie dormant in the soil for many years. In the majority of cases, annual and biennial weed will be controlled with regular mowing, but the most troublesome, the perennial weeds with a horizontal growth, can evade the lawn mower blade. The most effective way to deter weeds is by keeping a dense, thick lawn through regular maintenance. 

Improving the general condition of the lawn and occasional hand weeding is preferable to using a selective herbicide, but the latter may be necessary to achieve that lush, desirable lawn. Weak, sparse and thin growing lawns are ideal beds for weeds like greater plantain, daisies, lesser trefoil, slender speedwell, yarrow and dandelions, with their deep tap root, to name but a few. You may have applied a 4in 1 weed and feed back in April and are seeing the benefit now, but if not, systemic herbicides can be applied at any time during the growing season. 

Most lawn weed killers you will find at your garden centre will act systemically, being absorbed into the leaves and stems of the weed and killing them. Spring and autumn are still the best times to apply lawn weedkiller since it allows the actively growing grass to spread into the gaps left by the dead weed. But if you do need to apply it during the summer, and depending on your type of grass, follow it with good maintenance of fertiliser (not too much nitrogenous fertiliser throughout the year), top dressing and light scarifying to remove thatch.   

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