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Tuesday 4 October 2022

The Lawncare Guide - October

The patient in recovery 

The long, hot summer that led to drought, brown lawns and heavy compaction was heartache for proud lawn gardeners who love their Wimbledon stripes. For many of us, hosepipe bans are still in place. But grass is nothing but resilient and the first real rains for a long time saw the lawn start to recover.

 There is much we can do to help the patient and October is a good time to give the lawn a cut, then scarify to get rid of dead thatch and moss. If you have a large area of lawn, compaction and standing water can be relieved by aerating either with an aerator driven by the PTO on the garden tractor or by hiring in a motorised walk-behind machine. 

Small areas can be treated with a spiker or even the garden fork. Either way, getting oxygen to the roots and allowing drainage go a long way towards getting back that lush green sward. Bare patches can be seeded, and it’s a good time to overseed and top dress. Depending on what you use the lawn for, you can buy seed to suit your particular purpose. A drought resistant mix makes sense for future hot summers, and there are mixes that are designed for sprogs and dogs!

 For top dressing, you can buy ready mixed packs such as Westland and Miracle Grow or in bulk from a supplier like Lawnsmith and Rolawn. Or you can make your own using a sandy loam to top dress lawns that are on clay, loam and sandy loam soils and loam for very sandy soils. 

Ideally, a mix of 3 parts soil to six parts sharp sand and one part compost should be used. After the long drought, the patient will also benefit from an autumn fertiliser feed but one that is low in nitrogen. 

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