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Monday 3 July 2023

The Lawn Care Guide – July

Watering can make all the difference

Less frequent mowing is likely now and it’s good practice to raise the cutting height of the mower or cutting deck on the garden tractor so you don’t cut too short and expose the grass to the harsh sun.

Lawns that are looking a bit thin with weak growth could do with a light dressing of fertiliser. At this time of year you do need to ensure you have the right, low nutrient ratios of Nitrogen, Phosphorous and Potassium. You don’t want more than 10% Nitrogen in the mix. Tomato or rose fertiliser applied evenly make a good tonic for the lawn or you could splash out on a turf conditioner. 

To help green up the lawn that’s scorched and patchy, exposing thatch and irrigating heavily and infrequently will help the plant develop a strong root system. Watering once a week to ten days is enough providing it’s thorough. If you use a sprinkler, an area of one square metre/sq. yard needs about 20 litres/4½ gallons of water every seven days. For an average hosepipe sprinkler that means about 12 minutes of sprinkling is sufficient for an area of 9 sq metres or about 95 to 100 sq feet. Use a trowel to lift the turf and dig a small test hole after watering. You want a 10cm/4” depth of water penetration.

The grass plant and soil microbes have a high demand for oxygen at this time so pricking the grass with a garden fork to aerate it is beneficial. If you have a large area you’ll probably want to aerate using an attachment for the garden tractor or a walk behind aerator, but only if the ground is not too hard. Otherwise, wait until there’s been some rain or do it in the autumn. 

Mulching the grass with a mulching deck on the garden tractor will leave beneficial grass clippings on the lawn. They will help protect it from the sun and drought while acting as a feed. Weeds in the lawn can be persistent in dry spells. You might wait until September to give the grass a four in one weed and feed treatment or, if there are not too many, you can dig them out with a small hand fork.


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