The right way to mow your lawn

Mowing your lawn shouldn’t be difficult, as long as you have the right equipment and you’re physically able. But, there is a right way and wrong way to mow your lawn.

In this article, we’ll give you 4 basic steps to mowing your lawn the right way, whether you’re an experienced gardener or a complete beginner.

The basic equipment you’ll need includes:

  • A well-serviced lawnmower (with sharpened blades and a grass collector)
  • A rake
  • Sturdy gardening shoes
  • Gardening gloves
  • A strimmer or long-handled shears

Step 1: Mow when it’s dry

Mowing your lawn when its dry, is usually recommended because of three key reasons, including:

  • Dry grass is easier to cut and puts less stress on the mowers motor.
  • When you mow a wet lawn, you risk compacting the soil which could damage the turf’s root system and restrict growth.
  • Depending on how wet the lawn is, you could be risking electrocution

Step 2: Set the right cutting height

Assuming your mower is in good working order, and has been serviced, the next step is to make sure you’ve correctly set the cutting height.

At the beginning of the growing season on regular garden lawn turf, it’s best to set the cutting height to its highest setting. This helps the turf conserve water, whilst also encouraging a strong root system throughout the rest of the growing season.

After the first cut, set the cutting height to around 4cm (1.5in) throughout the spring, and then lower it to around 2.5cm (1in) throughout the summer.

On the last cut of the season, cut it to around 3cm. If the grass is any longer, it could create an environment for fungus to develop, and any shorter will leave it vulnerable to the elements, particularly frost or snow.

Step 3: Mow in straight lines

This step doesn’t only make the overall cut neater, it also helps make the job a lot easier and quicker. The most important thing about mowing in straight lines is to ensure you overlap the previous cut to avoid leaving un-mowed tufts.

Once you’ve finished mowing in lines, use a strimmer or long-handled edging shears to clean up the edges.

Step 4: Collect the clippings

There’s various advice around the internet about what to do with grass clippings – do you collect them or leave them? The simplest advice is to collect them as you cut, or rake them up after cutting, and use them as compost.

The reason for collecting grass clippings is to prevent them developing into a layer of thatch, which in turn will create an ideal environment for fungus and moss infestation. But, there are exceptions, including:

  • If you live in particularly dry area, with an exceptionally hot climate, leaving the grass clippings on the lawn after mowing, can help to protect the lawn from the suns heat, whilst also providing a natural, all-year-round food source.
  • If you’ve recently applied a chemical fertiliser or weed killer to the lawn, it’s best to leave the clippings down or collect them and dispose of them with other garden waste, rather than composting.

Should I mow stripes into my lawn?

Yes. If you have the time, definitely mow stripes into your lawn. Striped lawns not only look impressive, mowing in this alternating pattern, prevents the lawn developing an unattractive grain, where the grass all leans in one direction.

How do I mow a newly turfed lawn?

After carefully laying your new turf rolls, the last thing you want to do is risk ruining all your hard work on the first mow.

To prevent any potential damage when mowing your newly turfed lawn, follow these simple steps:

Don’t mow until at least 2 weeks after laying your turf.

Ensure your mower blade is always sharp.

Start on the highest setting then gradually reduce the height, being careful not to remove more than a 1/3 of the sward length in any one cut.

Mow once a week until the Autumn.

Collect grass clippings rather than raking.

Don’t let the grass grow to an unmanageable length, otherwise you may risk tearing or lifting the turf.

Turf supplier

Ivinghoe Turf has been growing, harvesting and supplying high-quality turf to both domestic and commercial customers for over 35 years. Get in touch with us today to get all your turf, topsoil, aggregates and add-ons ready for your turf laying project.

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Weeds and how to treat infestations on your lawn

To some gardeners, weeds on their garden lawn turf aren’t really an issue, and are often encouraged, particularly on a wildflower lawn, whilst to others, weeds are the enemy and must be destroyed at all costs.

What are weeds?

Weeds are plants just like any other, they’re simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. In fact, when you think about it, many ‘weeds’ are like ‘super plants – they’re stunning to look at, have a wide range of benefits, and are equipped with phenomenal, natural survival mechanisms.

Take one of the most common lawn weeds, the dandelion. Apart from its deep and lush yellow flower that attracts a multitude of vital pollinating insects, every part of the plant can be used either as food or medicine, it’s rich in calcium, potassium and magnesium, and some species are even used to make latex.

Then take clover, another ‘weed’ some gardeners despise and use all sorts of chemicals and techniques to banish it from their lawns. Clover, especially white clover, has some astonishing health benefits, including treating coughs and colds, helping treat eye infections, and as an ointment for gout, or to clean wounds, boils and sores.

IMPORTANT NOTE: We don’t advise using any weeds as food or health supplements unless you first obtain clear, professional advice.

How do weeds damage lawns?

Of course, if you’re an amateur or professional lawn keeper, the health or nutritional benefits of weeds are neither here nor there – weeds are a pest and need to be removed.

The damage weeds can do to a lawn include:

Cutting off the lawns food supply

Weeds are hungry and thirsty, and some of the more invasive species will suck up the nutrients and water meant for the grass, therefore leaving the lawn weak and vulnerable to further infestation.

Taking up space

Many weeds want to establish a covering across the soil in the same way lawn grass does. To do this it means invading the lawns root system, so that they can dominate the available surface space.

Killing the grass

Some weeds are actually parasites with the built-in function of killing the grass (the host) by attaching itself to the roots and draining all its nutrients.

How to prevent weed infestations

Preventing weed infestations in your lawn, like many other tasks, it better done pre-emptively. To do this successfully, you need to create an environment where weeds can’t thrive. Some of the key methods of achieving this include:

Not mowing too short – By mowing your lawn too short you lower the grass’ ability to benefit from photosynthesis (turning sunlight into sugar), this in turn weakens the plant and allows dominant weed species to invade.

Keeping the lawn hydrated – Lawns can’t thrive without being regularly watered, and if they do become dehydrated they become weak and susceptible to weed infestations.

Not compacting the soil – Compacted soil created by heavy foot traffic, suppresses the lawns root system, whilst also creating the perfect seed bed for weeds to establish.

What to do if your lawn’s already weed infested

Short of heading out to buy new lawn turf rolls, there are steps you can take, even if your lawn is full of weeds.

  • Step 1: Remove larger weeds – Make sure you dig as deep as possible to ensure you remove the root.
  • Step 2: Find out which weeds you’re dealing with and buy a treatment to suit, rather than opting for a more generalised treatment.
  • Step 3: Apply the treatment and reduce foot traffic until you start to see some improvement.
  • Step 4: Maintain a strict lawncare routine, including mowing often, but not too short, watering often and aerating, to help nutrients and moisture reach the lawns root system.

Looking to buy lawn turf?

If you’re looking to buy high-quality lawn turf, topsoil, grass seed or fertiliser, whether for domestic or commercial use, get in touch with Ivinghoe Turf today. We’ve been growing, harvesting and supplying lawn turf for over 35 years throughout Buckinghamshire and all the surrounding counties.

 

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Should I buy cheap garden turf?

Like many things we buy, opting for the very cheap option is often a false economy, and can end up with you having to spend more money in the long run on replacing it or repairing it.

But…

There’s cheap turf and there’s ‘cheap’ turf. At Ivinghoe Turf, we provide high-quality turf for a relatively cheap price. That’s to say, we’ve produced turf cheaply, using our years’ of experience in turf production to keep costs to a minimum, whilst not sacrificing the overall quality.

Less experienced or less reputable turf producers will produce very cheap turf at the cost of quality, which means the end product will be substandard, not last as long, and in some cases, contaminate your topsoil or spread disease to other parts of your garden.

What are the turf production costs?

Producing high-quality turf, can be a costly endeavour, if done correctly and with care and attention. There are many reasons for this high cost, which include:

  • The land – First and foremost, if you’re going to produce turf, you need the land to grow it on. Land, whether you buy it or rent it costs a lot of money, both in the initial outlay and the upkeep.

 

  • Tools and Machinery – To produce high-quality garden grass rolls as a modern turf producer, requires the use of hi-tec tools and equipment, such as tractors, ploughs and cultivators, as well as the skilled workers to operate that equipment, all of which takes up a huge chunk of any turf producers budget.

 

  • Seed – Turf grass prices are always going to be affected by the quality of grass seed or seed mix. To produce high-quality turf rolls to suit the specific needs of turf buyers, the seed needs to have certain qualities, such as being hardwearing or quick to repair, and due to the demand of this type of seed or seed mix, it doesn’t always come cheap.

 

  • Delivery vehicles – As any commercial vehicle owner will know, buying, running and maintaining your vehicle is costly, especially if that vehicle regularly makes long trips with a full load. As a leading turf supplier, we have a fleet of delivery vehicles, each of which requires regular maintenance and a driver that likes to get paid.

 

  • Staff – A turf producer cannot exist without its staff, whether it’s the people growing and harvesting the turf, the people talking to and advising customers or the drivers delivering the turf, they’re all part of a big picture that’s going to cost money and subsequently affect turf grass prices.

 

So, should you buy cheap turf?

The answer to the that question isn’t entirely straightforward. As we’ve said earlier, at Ivinghoe Turf, we provide a cheaper turf (Ivinghoe Lawn Turf) that is a high-quality turf, but more suited to people who aren’t looking for a show garden, but simply need a hardwearing attractive turf, that doesn’t require much maintenance.

So, of course we’d recommend you buy our cheaper turf, but when looking for cheap turf there are a few steps you can take to ensure you’re getting a good deal. The steps include:

  • Ask questions – Whoever you’re buying the turf from, ask questions, such as what seed they use, how often the turf is mowed prior to harvesting, where and how long it’s been stored, how often is it watered and are they any hidden costs. If the provider is unable to answer any of these questions or refuses, it’s probably best to avoid buying from them.

 

  • Look at the product – Take a look at the turf before agreeing to buy it. Check the colour – is it deep green and healthy looking, or is it yellow or brown? Check the smell – does it have that lush, fresh turf smell, or does it have a rotting, composting or acidic smell? Does it feel moist and slightly springy, or is it dehydrated or crumbly to the touch? If you’re able and your producer refuses to let you see the turf prior to buying, steer well clear.

 

  • Trust your instincts – When buying anything, we often ignore our instincts, especially when faced with a possible bargain. But our instincts are often right, so if you get the feeling the turf producer isn’t telling the truth or there’s something about the website or the location they’re selling the turf from that doesn’t feel right, listen to your instincts before laying out any of your hard earned cash.

Cheap turf UK

If you’re looking to buy cheap, high-quality turf in the UK, that has been produced ethically and with great care and attention, get in touch with Ivinghoe Turf today. We’re a family run business with years of experience in producing turf for both the domestic and commercial sector.

 

 

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Feeding your lawn with home-produced compost.

 

Using organic, home-produced compost on your lawn turf is one of the most effective ways to add vital nutrients to the soil and of protecting the environment by avoiding the use of harmful chemicals.

In this short article, we’ll go over the basics of feeding your garden lawn turf with your own, home-produced compost, including:

   How to make the best compost for your lawn.

–   A 5-step guide to applying compost to your lawn.

  When is the best time to apply compost to your lawn?

How to make the best compost for your lawn.

Creating a good, well-balanced organic compost for your lawn, isn’t too difficult – it’s a simple process of adding organic matter to your compost bin and waiting. But, some organic matter can harm your lawn, so to make the best compost, it’s important to choose your compost ingredients carefully.

Things you CAN add to your compost

Grass clippings: Anyone who maintains a lawn will have grass clippings in abundance, but if you’re going to compost them, make sure they’re not mixed with invasive weeds or recently treated with weed-killer or other toxic chemicals.

Vegetable or fruit scraps: Composting is the perfect way to make use of vegetable and fruit scraps, such as apple peelings, potato peelings, asparagus trimmings or even coffee grounds, but be aware that some vegetable and fruit waste, such a banana peels, will take longer to break down and may need cutting into smaller pieces first.

Egg shells: Egg shells can be a great addition to your organic compost, but this type of waste can attract scavengers likes rats and mice, so make sure you have a good lock on your compost bin and wash the egg shells before composting.

Newspaper: If you’re one of a rare breed of people who still read actual newspapers, when you’ve finished reading, newspaper, even coloured newspaper is ideal for the compost bin, as long as it’s balanced with a good mix of the other waste materials mentioned above.

Things you CAN’T add to your compost

Meat and fats: It’s tempting to chuck all your food waste into your compost, but try to avoid animal-based waste, such as fats and bones. This type of waste doesn’t break down sufficiently, can cause disease, and will attract scavengers likes foxes and rats.

Diseased clippings: If your lawn or any other plant you’ve trimmed or pruned had a disease such as a fungal disease, make sure to keep this out of the compost bin, otherwise you may just spread it to your lawn.

Pet waste: Unless you have a pet horse or cow, pet droppings from meat-eating animals should be kept well away from your compost bin. Fecal matter from carnivores, including dogs, cats and even human beings, carries harmful and toxic parasites that will damage your lawn and other plants.

A 5-step guide to applying compost to your lawn

Now that you’ve patiently created the perfect, home-produced compost, full of all the nutrients a lawn could need, here’s how to apply it.

What you’ll need: a suitable amount of compost relative to the size of your lawn, a spade, an aerator and a rake.

1- Make sure you have enough compost to cover your lawn to a depth or around half an inch (1.27cm).

2- Use your aerating tool to punch holes over your entire lawn to allow for the compost to penetrate down to the root system.

3- Use your spade to carefully and evenly spread your homemade compost to all parts of your lawn. It’s best to start from the outside and work your way to the centre.

4- Once you’ve scattered the compost, use the rake to spread it around making sure it visibly covers every section.

5- Water the compost in, making sure you use the finest setting on your sprinkler to save washing the compost and all its nutrients away.

When is the best time to apply compost to your lawn?

Whether you’ve just created your lawn using fresh lawn turf rolls, or you have an established lawn, adding any type of suitable compost is vital in maintaining its health and overall appearance. But, when is the best time to add compost to a lawn?

In general, the best time to add compost to your lawn is late autumn to early winter. By adding compost around this time, you’re giving it plenty of time throughout winter and into spring, to penetrate the soil and release the vital nutrients ready for the new season.

Contact Us

If you’d like to buy fresh lawn turf or lawn fertilisers, get in touch with Ivinghoe Turf today to speak to one of our helpful advisors.

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Maintaining your lawn without using chemicals

Most of us love a lush green lawn, but if you’re a keen or experienced gardener, you’ll know that great lawns take time, hard work and often the use of chemical treatments and feeds to help keep them healthy and attractive.

But, what if you don’t want to use these potentially dangerous chemicals on your lawn turf? Many chemical fertilisers and weedkillers are fine to use (in the correct dosage), whilst others can be harmful, not only to your soil, but to the wider environment, the watercourse and to wildlife.

If you have decided to look after your garden lawn turf in a more natural way, then this article is for you. We’ve put together 5 tips to help your lawn to thrive and look great all year round, without having to resort to chemicals.

1- Don’t mow too short

 If you’re really serious about keeping a chemical-free lawn, make sure you don’t mow it too short. When grass is cut too short, it makes it easier for weed seeds to penetrate the soil and also offers less protection from the hot sun.

The ideal height for lawn grass is around two and half inches. Having grass this height helps keep the soil moist, aids the photosynthesis process, and also helps keep the weed seeds from working their way into the soil.

2- Keep your mower well maintained

To keep your chemical-free lawn thriving, it’s best to prevent any major damage to the plant and the roots that might require an intensive and possible chemical repair treatment.

One of the most common ways people damage lawns is by using a poorly maintained lawn mower. To help avoid damaging your chemical-free lawn, use this simple checklist each time you mow:

  • Check the blades: Make sure the blades of your mower are sharp, tightly secured and correctly balanced, especially if you regularly adjust them throughout the season. Dull or damaged blades will rip and tear at the grass, damaging not only the grass stems and tips, but also the root system and the lawns ability to absorb nutrients.
  •  Make sure it’s clean: Before connecting your mower up to the mains, give it a brush down with a stiff brush. Make sure the blade is free to spin, and that there’s no dried grass blocking the passage to the grass collector.
  •  Check the cables: For those using an electric mower, checking the cables is important for two reasons – firstly and most importantly for your safety, and secondly so the motor spins and cuts with a consistent motion.

3- Don’t rake the clippings

For many gardeners, it feels intuitive to clear up the clippings after you’ve cut your lawn. But, if you intend to keep a chemical-free lawn, it’s vital to leave what you cut, as these clippings contains nitrogen and trace minerals, and will be your lawns main source of food.

4- Over-seed

The best way to keep a chemical-free lawn naturally weed-free and moist, is by encouraging a thick growth. One way to do this is by over-seeding. To over-seed correctly, follow these simple rules:

  • Only over-seed in spring or autumn.
  • Choose the correct seed for your lawn.
  • Rake off thatch before over-seeding.
  • Spread the seed evenly.
  • Keep the lawn moist.
  • Keep traffic to a minimum for 7-21 days after over-seeding.

5- Don’t stress

Maintaining your lawn naturally will take time, dedication and a little extra work. You may notice a few more wormcasts, different insects, and you might even consider going back to using chemicals to get rid of some of the extra dandelions or daisies.

At these times, try to remember that this diversity on your new, chemical-free lawn is just nature’s way of keeping things in check, so don’t stress, and enjoy everything this new environment has to offer.

Contact us

If you’d like further information on the best fertilisers or treatments for your lawn, or if you’d like to buy lawn turf rolls, get in touch with Ivinghoe Turf today, and speak to one of our helpful and knowledgeable advisors.

 

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Can I grow wildflowers in my lawn?

Wildflower Lawn

Yes, and if it’s done with care, growing wildflowers in lawn turf can look stunning, whilst also creating the perfect environment for a variety of wildlife.

In this short article, we’ll let you know of some of the benefits of growing wildflowers in your lawn and three ways to do it successfully. But first…

What is a wildflower lawn?

A wildflower lawn, sometimes called a wildflower meadow, is an area of permanent lawn turf where wildflowers of different varieties are free to grow.

What are the benefits of a wildflower lawn?

Whilst a neatly-kept, well-fertilised lawn looks amazing and has many uses, a more rustic, wildflower lawn has its own set of benefits, including:

Helping wildlife populations: Most wildflowers are pollinator plants which attract a vast array of pollinating insects, such as bees and butterflies etc. With an increase of these and many other insects, other creatures, including birds, hedgehogs, frogs and newts etc. also thrive.

It helps other plants grow: Again, this comes down to wildflowers in wildflower lawns being mostly pollinator plants and attracting more pollinating insects into the area to pollinate other plants, particularly fruit and vegetable plants.

It’s less work: One of the great things about wildflowers is their preference for low-quality soil, this means for a wildflower lawn there’s no need to apply as much fertiliser as a normal lawn, or to carry out the regular and time-consuming soil improvement jobs throughout the season.

How do I create a wildflower lawn?

Although it sounds relatively simple, creating a wildflower lawn does have its challenges. Below we’ve listed 3 of the simplest ways you can create and maintain your own wildflower lawn.

1. Stop mowing your lawn

This is by far the simplest method, but it will require a lot of patience and time to achieve the aesthetically pleasing look you might have envisaged.

The main problem with the ‘stop mowing and see what wildflowers appear’ method, is that most well-manicured lawns have previously been artificially fertilised, creating a topsoil too rich for many wildflowers to successfully establish. The issue will eventually resolve itself, but it could take up to two or three years.

2. Use wildflower plug plants

A faster way to create a wildflower lawn is by introducing wildflower plug plants into your existing lawn. Plug plants are young plants (either seedlings or cuttings) grown individually in modular trays.

To plant an array of wildflower plug plants, use a bulb planter to cut a few circles in the area of lawn you wish to transform and place your chosen plants in the desired position. And remember, wildflowers don’t require fertiliser, so once the plug plants are in, simply water well.

3. Use wildflower seeds

Sowing a good mix of wildflower seeds, such as common sorrel, hoary plantain, meadow buttercup etc. in a particular area of your lawn, is a great way to create a meadow effect, whether it’s confined to a shady area or out in the open.

The best way to do it is by selecting the area of lawn you want to seed, then remove the existing turf with a spade before raking the soil beneath to create the perfect seed bed.

Once you have a fine tilth (a crumbly but slightly moist texture), sprinkle the seed mix over the top. There’s no need to cover the seeds as wildflowers prefer light, so simply water in well.

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Which lawn tools are essential, and how much do they cost?

Lawn Mower

Although keeping your lawn looking nice all year round shouldn’t take too much effort, there are some jobs that can’t be avoided, and to do those jobs will require certain tools.

In this short article we’ll go over all the tools you’ll need to keep a pristine lawn, as well as giving you a rough idea of the prices you’ll expect to pay.

1. A mower

A good mower is an essential tool for the look and general health of your lawn. You don’t have to spend a fortune, but if you do spend that little bit more on a mower, you won’t regret it.

There are various types of mowers to choose from, but your choice really depends on how big your lawn is. For example, you won’t want a ride-on petrol mower for 5m by 5m lawn, and vice versa, a small electric hover mower probably won’t be sufficient for most large UK gardens.

The average price for a decent rotary mower (petrol or electric) will be around £135 – £145.00, whereas the average price of a decent sized hover will be slightly cheaper, at around £100.00- £120.00.

2. A strimmer

Whilst a mower is essential to cut the bulk of the lawn, without a decent strimmer to trim those awkward-to-reach edges, you’ll struggle to get that professional finish.

Strimmer’s come in various types from a regular edge strimmer to a ride-on brush cutter, but most average UK gardens will only require a light corded or cordless edge strimmer, either electric or petrol.

The average price of a good, handheld strimmer will be around £40.00 +.

3. A Hose

As any dedicated lawn keeper or lawn enthusiast will know, keeping your beautifully laid garden turf rolls sufficiently hydrated is absolutely essential, especially during the hotter months. With this in mind, a hose is definitely essential.

How much you spend on a hose depends on a few factors, such as how often you’ll be using it, the size of your lawn and your budget.

A fairly good quality hose with a sprinkler attachment will cost around £25 and upwards. There are cheaper alternatives, but be aware that very cheap hoses deteriorate much faster and are often a false economy.

4. A rake

Raking your lawn to control the build-up of organic matter (thatch) is essential to help create sufficient airflow and to allow water and other nutrients to reach the roots of the grass, as well as preventing weed and moss infestations.

To buy a fairly good flexible garden rake should cost around £15-£20.00+

5. A scarifying tool

Like raking, scarifying helps to control the build-up of thatch. But, unlike raking, scarifying is a much more intensive and invasive task, usually carried out once or twice a year with a specialised scarifying tool that looks a bit like a mower.

To buy a reliable, electric powered scarifying tool, you’d expect to pay £130.00+.

6. A lawn spreader

Lawns don’t look great without a little feed or extra seeding from time to time (especially on newly laid turf rolls). These jobs can be done by hand, but a much more accurate method is using a lawn spreader.

A lawn spreader is a simple push-along tool that has various settings depending on whether you’re feeding or seeding, and is essential for gardeners that want to get quantities just right.

The average price of a lawn spreader is only around £20.00 + and well worth the investment.

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How do you fertilise a lawn?

Garden turf fertiliser

Fertilising a lawn isn’t too difficult, but if you get it wrong you could end up doing your lawn more harm than good.

In this short article, we’ll go over the fundamentals of fertilising lawn turf, including why you should fertilise your lawn, the types of fertiliser to use, when to use them and how to apply them.

We hope you enjoy the article, but if you need any extra help or advice, don’t hesitate in getting in touch with Ivinghoe Turf.

Why should you use lawn fertiliser?

In the UK, garden lawn turf, laid using a nutrient-rich topsoil and good quality lawn turf rolls, can survive reasonably well without being fertilised. But, if you want a lawn to be proud of all year round, one that’s always green and lush, repairs itself quickly and is strong enough to fight back against weed and moss infestations, fertilising is the way forward.

What are the best types of fertiliser for a lawn?

The best fertiliser for your lawn depends on the type of lawn you have, but in particular, the topsoil and the nutrient levels already present.

One way to find out your topsoils nutrient levels, is to carry out a soil test. A soil test is a fairly simple test you can do yourself that will tell you the levels of certain base elements your soil contains, to help you decide on the type of fertiliser to use.

In general, you need to find a lawn fertiliser that has the optimum levels of phosphorus, potassium and nitrogen your lawn requires to flourish. Each of these elements helps your lawn in varying ways. For example:

Phosphorous – Strengthens the grass and its root system.

Potassium – Encourages the grass to use nitrogen.

Nitrogen – Improves the strength and the colour of the grass.

How often should I fertilise my lawn?

As well as having an idea of how much of the base elements your lawn requires, it’s also important to know how often your lawn needs fertilising.

If you’re looking to make your life easy, there are some great once-a-year fertilisers that you apply in the spring and allow the slow-release action to keep your lawn fed throughout the year.

Whilst these once-a-year fertilisers are perfect if you’re time-short, to get a better result, it’s best to fertilise your lawn regularly throughout the year.

Most lawn experts would recommend applying a good quality fertiliser 4 times a year, although this may differ depending on the type of fertiliser you use, so it’s always best to check the instructions carefully or to get advice from a turf and lawn expert.

When should I fertilise my lawn?

As a rough guide, fertilise once at the start of the season (March to April), twice between May and July and finally in the Autumn from September to November.

As a word of warning, make sure you use the right type of fertiliser relative to the time of year you’re applying it. For example, don’t use a spring fertiliser in the autumn and vice-versa, or you may end up damaging the lawn and possibly irreparably.

How do I fertilise my lawn?

For the average sized lawn, to ensure an even application, it’s best to use some type of spreading device, either a push-along or a handheld spreader. You can apply granular fertiliser by hand, but because it’s harder to measure the quantities, you may overfeed certain areas, which could lead to patches of discolouration.

Contact us

If you’d like further information on the best way to fertilise your lawn or to buy lawn fertiliser, get in touch with Ivinghoe Turf where one of our experts will be happy to help.

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Should I lay artificial turf?

Real turf compared to artificial turf

For some people, the choice between real turf and artificial turf is simple – it’s real turf or nothing. Whilst many quality lawn turf producers would agree, it’s also hard to deny the recent increase in homeowners and businesses choosing artificial turf over real and naturally produced turf.

In this article we aim to help make your choice easier by explaining what artificial turf is, the pros and cons and why maintaining a real turf lawn isn’t actually as labour intensive as you might think.

What is artificial turf?

The name says it all – artificial turf is artificial turf. In other words, artificial turf is a type of carpet consisting of artificial fibres created to look and feel like real grass. Over the years, it’s mostly been used in sports stadiums and arenas, but in recent times it’s become the choice for many homeowners.

What are the pros of artificial turf?

The pros for artificial turf are dependent on what you’re looking for in a lawn. Below we’ve listed 3 of the reasons people choose artificial turf over real turf.

1. Low maintenance – If you’re looking for a lawn with very little maintenance, you might consider an artificial lawn. Most artificial lawns will need brushing or hosing occasionally to remove debris, such as leaves, stones or dog or cat mess.

2. It can be walked on all year round – Because artificial turf requires a solid, hardcore base, walking on it, particularly in wet weather, won’t cause soil compaction or dents.

3. It can be laid onto concrete – Some artificial turf can be laid straight onto concrete. A great idea, if you need a lawn in a hurry, perhaps for a garden party or other function.

What are the cons of artificial turf?

There are plenty of cons to choosing artificial turf, such as the fact it looks unnatural and that over time it pollutes the soil, but to keep it short we’ve listed three reasons which many people consider to be most important.

1. It’s difficult to recycle – Despite what many artificial turf suppliers may say, artificial turf is extremely difficult to recycle, due to the contaminants it acquires throughout its life.

This isn’t to say the contaminants can’t be removed, but the intensive work involved to prepare used artificial turf for recycling is costly and isn’t worth the effort to most UK recycling plants.

2. It has a huge carbon footprint – To produce artificial turf (mixing, colouring and moulding) requires the release of a massive amount of carbon. Then, once the artificial turf is produced, more carbon is released during its transportation.

Of course, real garden lawn turf and lawn turf rolls need to be transported too, but that carbon is offset by the natural growing process of real grass as it takes carbon out of the air and stores it in the soil.

3. It has no benefit to wildlife – Seeing wildlife in our gardens is one of the things that makes a garden wonderful, but when you install an artificial lawn the amount of wildlife you see will seriously decrease.

Think of the worms and other bugs a natural lawn contains and how these creatures attract birds and hedgehogs etc. Without a lawn these animals are deprived of their natural food source and move on.

Is a real turf lawn hard work?

One of the selling-points of artificial turf, is that it’s low-maintenance. But, is a real and natural turf lawn that much hard work to maintain? The answer depends on what you call hard work.

As long as the turf you’ve laid is high-quality lawn turf and has been laid correctly on a nutrient rich topsoil, the only work you really need to do is mow it, rake it, water it regularly and feed it from time to time.

This might be difficult if you have impaired mobility or very limited time, so yes, for some, maintaining a real lawn does have its challenges. But, for those of us who are able to get out in the garden once or twice a week, the feeling of satisfaction when you see your gorgeous, lush green lawn, is well worth the effort.

Buy real garden turf rolls

If you’re looking to buy real garden turf rolls, get in touch with Ivinghoe Turf today. We provide turf all year round to both the domestic and commercial sector.

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How is turf produced?

Harvesting Freshly Grown Turf

Producing turf sounds quite straightforward. But, the actual process of producing and harvesting high-quality lawn turf isn’t as straightforward as you might think.

In this short article, we’ll take you through the 5 key steps of producing turf, from preparing the ground to the production of those satisfying garden turf rolls you might have seen when you buy turf at the turf suppliers or garden centre.

Step 1 – Choosing the seed

For any good commercial turf producer, choosing the right seed mix is crucial. The ideal mix is one that produces a grass which can be used for most landscaping and gardening projects i.e. it’s hardwearing, quick to repair, doesn’t require too much maintenance and has a good colour all year round.

Generally, turf producers use a carefully selected blend of seeds, such as ryegrass and fescue but may include other species depending on factors such as climate, soil type, the eventual use of the turf or for commercial reasons.

Step 2 – Soil preparation

To produce high-quality grass turf requires expert soil preparation. The reason this stage is so important, especially for a commercial turf producer is so that that turf gets the correct amount of nutrients it needs to form a strong root system and to establish quickly so that it can be harvested.
Two of the main priorities in preparing the soil are:

Adding a layer of compost – The compost, in this case, will largely be made up of grass clippings from previous harvests and may contain fertiliser and fresh, nutrient-rich topsoil.
Aerating – Aerating is the process of repetitively puncturing the earth to allow for air, water and essential nutrients to reach the root system unobstructed. On a commercial scale, aerating will be done with a tractor tool.

Step 3 – Seeding

As with the aerating process, seeding is done with the help of a tractor and a seed-spreading tool. Following a carefully mapped out route, the seeds will be evenly distributed across the recently composted and aerated soil.

Once the seeds have been sown, an irrigation system ensures regular and controlled watering to keep the soil moist and to prevent the seeds and subsequent seedlings from drying out and also to help create a healthy sward.

Step 4 – Fertilising

As the grass begins to grow fertiliser needs to be added. The fertiliser will be a quick-release fertiliser usually high in phosphorous, nitrogen, iron, potassium and zinc, designed to strengthen the grass and make the turf more resilient to harvesting and transportation.

Step 5 – Mowing

Mowing is essential to any grass that is soon going to become turf. The reason for this is so that the grass forms a strong and well-established roots system rather than putting all its efforts into growing taller.

Most commercial turf producers will mow about a ¼ of the grass’s length off 3 or 4 times a week and leave the clippings to break back down into the soil to create more nutrients.

Step 6 – Harvesting

Harvesting takes place once the grass has fully established, using a specially designed turf harvester. The process involves a collection of precision-mounted blades slicing from beneath at the grass at the depth of the deepest roots. Once the turf is lifted, other blades cut each piece to the precise length before feeding it onto a conveyer belt where it’s rolled and stacked ready for storage and transportation.

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