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Wednesday 8 March 2023

The Lawn Care Guide – March

Fix your patch and clear the thatch

Coming out of winter into spring, the lawn can often suffer from bare patches which might have been caused by drought the previous year, dog urine or disease. If the soil is compressed and hard where the patch occurs, scratch the surface with an old knife or a rake to loosen it. Then apply grass seed mixed with some topsoil to the area.

If you wish, you can cover the patch with some clear polythene staked down and with some slits cut into it to allow in air and water. This will help the seed germinate, but it’s not practical for large numbers of patches. 

Constant mowing during the grass cutting seasons means the grass doesn’t get the chance to seed itself naturally and it may periodically need a helping hand. This can be done by ‘overseeding’ by adding seed to the lawn to improve its quality and appearance. You need to treat for moss and remove thatch before overseeding to give the new grass the best possible start. 

Scarifying will get rid of dead grass and thatch, using a spring tine rake or on large areas the garden tractor with a scarifying cassette. Choose a day when the ground and grass is dry for best effect. Then you can overseed, spreading by hand or with an applicator. 

Once you start mowing again, set a high cut height on the mower or tractor deck, so you are only cutting the tip of the grass. You will gradually lower the cutting height with successive mowing. 

Now is the time to look for any disease in the lawn and treat accordingly. Fusarium patch, take-all patch, red thread and fairy rings are the more common diseases and these generally can be prevented with good lawn husbandry. Scarification, aerating and correct use of fertilisers will all contribute to prevention and cure. In bad cases the services of a lawn expert company might be needed for chemical treatment.

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