How To Service Your Lawnmower

Even if it doesn’t seem like it at the moment, spring is just around the corner and we will soon be dusting off our mowers for the first mow of the year. Servicing your lawnmower is best left to a professional, however with a small amount of knowledge and the right tools, there is no reason why you can’t do it yourself at home.

Lawnmower Servicing Steps

The following steps will point out what should be done during a lawnmower service, for more comprehensive instructions consult a professional or your lawnmower’s manual.

Lawnmower Maintenance

Lawnmower Maintenance

Blades – Whether your mower is petrol or electric, the blades are the most important component. Blunt blades can cause damage to turf, cut unevenly and make your lawnmower much less efficient.

Clear the mower decks – Ensure that your clean out any clippings and dirt from around the mower deck and remove all the covers to make sure that each mower component is thoroughly cleaned. On electric mowers, keep the vents free from clippings which might restrict the airflow and make sure all water is kept away from the electrical components.

Keep things running smoothly – For electric mowers lubricating the wheels is the only maintenance required, however on petrol-powered models, the engine will also need to be serviced. For more involved procedures such as spark plugs and replacing pull starter cords refer to your mower’s manual for the particular maintenance schedule.

Here at Ivinghoe Turf we are lawn turf specialists and we have been growing and supplying high quality garden turf to our customers across Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire for over three decades. During this time we have built up a strong reputation as one of the leading suppliers in the area providing an unrivalled level of service to our clients.

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February Gardening Tips

With winter slowly drawing to a close it is important to start considering your turf. We have put together a few key tips to help you achieve your dream garden:

Keep it Clean – One way to ensure that your lawn grows strong is by removing any dead leaves or debris that has fell on it throughout the winter. As well as helping to keep your lawn turf dry, it also allows for some sunlight to reach the grass which is then used in photosynthesis. Moreover the likelihood of disease is also considerably reduced through preventing your lawn from becoming overly wet.

Aerate Your Lawn – Aeration can help to make your garden turf healthier by improving air exchange and water intake. One way to aerate your lawn is by using a solid tine spiking machine, this process enables the roots to grow much deeper and helps to reduce the level of soil compaction. If you do not have a spiking machine you can always use a garden fork to aerate your lawn.

Forking Turf

Forking Your Turf

Get to Mowing – Now that the coldest period has passed by the mowing can begin once again. Give your grass a mow every couple of weeks to help and regulate the height of your turf.

At Ivinghoe Turf we have been growing and supplying high quality lawn turf to our customers across Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire for over 30 years. Our hard wearing garden turf is used by gardeners, builders and landscapers to create beautiful lawns. We are able to deliver your garden turf to the majority of destinations across the UK using our very own fleet of trucks.

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Natural or Artificial Turf?

Since their invention in the 1960s, artificial lawn turf has come a long way. Artificial lawns now have a realistic looking feel and supposedly low maintenance make them an attractive alternative to the real thing, but are they?

Artificial Turf

Maintenance Costs

Many people assume that a synthetic lawn will require less attention and maintenance work, however this isn’t the case. Artificial turf requires continuous monthly maintenance: they must be brushed to stop them lying flat, leaves need to be removed to stop the growth of moss and they also endure weed problems. Moreover an artificial lawn will require servicing once or twice per year using specialist equipment to preserve it’s quality thus adding to the cost.

Which is the most durable?

Whilst artificial lawns can withstand very heavy usage better than natural garden turf, it doesn’t have the ability to repair itself. If natural lawn turf is worn, it can recover on its own or with some seeding. Damage to astroturf however isn’t as straightforward to fix, if it is worn or torn the only solution is to replace it entirely.

Which is best?

Synthetic turf is still a poor substitute to natural rolls of turf. Above all else it can never match the quality and environmental benefits of garden turf. The maintenance costs are also lower for a natural lawn and the quality is much higher.
Natural Turf

Here at Ivinghoe Turf, we have been growing high quality turf for over 30 years in our fields in Buckinghamshire. Our hard wearing garden turf is utilised by gardeners, house builders and landscapers to create beautiful lawns. We deliver turf to locations in Hertfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Bedfordshire using our own transport vehicles and also offer further afield deliver using established courier companies.

 

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Advantages of laying turf in winter

Generally speaking turf is best laid in mid-autumn, but can be laid any time between mid-autumn and late winter – whenever the soil is not frosty or too wet. Usually only a little mowing is needed in spring and autumn so newly-laid turf can be left mostly undisturbed during these months.

Other advantages include:

  • Little to no watering, mowing or feeding is required with the cooler weather
  • Turf should be well established by the summer when you’ll want to make the most of your lawn
  • Turf will survive for 3 days to a week rolled up on the pallet so you can take your time laying it

The most optimum time to lay turf is early autumn when the soil is moist and the predictable rainfall helps it establish. However, laying turf in winter gives your turf plenty of time to settle and root before spring arrives. You also save time and money with less watering and fertilising required.

Turf is naturally unaffected by frost and even if your turf rolls freeze it will keep and can be laid as normal once the ground has thawed.

At Ivinghoe Turf we harvest all year round as required. Harvesting is only impossible on frozen ground which is uncommon in our location.

Order your turf online now and plan ahead to have your lawn ready for next summer.

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Aeration Helps Your Turf to Absorb Water

Aeration (also called Scarifying) is the process of poking holes into the soil to improve the filtration of rainfall and irrigation in your lawn turf. A fork, specialised boots, or specialist machinery can be used to loosen compacted soil to enable air and water to penetrate the root zone. This process also reduces runoff and minimises water waste.

Aerating Your Lawn

How Often Should I Aerate?

Several factors have an effect on the recommended time between each aeration process including soil conditions, foot traffic and others. Generally aerating annually in the spring or autumn is good practice for maintaining your turf.

What Should I Do After Aeration?

Once you have aerated your lawn it is recommended that you feed your lawn using a fertiliser to enhance it’s water holding capacity. This process will ensure that your garden turf remains in excellent condition all year.

Here at Ivinghoe Turf we have been supplying lawn turf to customers across Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire as well as further afield for over 30 years. Unlike many of our competitors, who only supply turf, we grow it ourselves in our fields and you can also order your turf online. We are also able to deliver your garden turf to the majority of UK destinations using our very own transport trucks. For more information contact us today and one of our team will be more than happy to assist you.

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How to reduce Necrotic Ring Spot

What is Necrotic Ring Spot?

Necrotic Ring Spot

Necrotic Ring Spot

Necrotic ring spot is caused by the fungus Leptosphaeria Korrae. Necrotic ring spot frequently occurs on 2-5 year old sodden lawns and is especially prevalent in vigorously growing lawns. These lawns will often develop a thick thatch layer, thus stimulating fungal growth. Necrotic ring spot is also common with unmixed layers of soil, for example 1-2 inches of topsoil laid down over hard compacted native soil. This produces turf with shallow roots and poor drainage. The disease is spread from plant-to-plant contact or mechanically with lawn equipment and the fungus survives winter in infected plant material. The fungus then becomes active during cool and wet periods in the Spring and Autumn where grass sheaths and roots are infected and eventually killed.

Symptoms

The first symptoms, rarely observed, are reddish brown or straw-coloured grass blades. Usually, the disease is not detected until the many plants have been killed which form small patches of dead, straw-coloured grass. Multiple rings then often combine, forming irregular patterns in the lawn. Damage is most evident in the summer, as damaged root systems can no longer support the plant during hot, dry weather, and the plant dies.

Managing the disease

Necrotic Ring Spot can be problematic, however some practices can help to manage the disease.

Dethatching – Dethatch preferably in the autumn season if the thatch layer is over 1/2 an inch thick. This may need to be repeated for several years to reduce the thatch layer.

Aerating – Aeration will reduce compaction, increase nutrient and water penetration, and increase microbial activity, helping decompose the thatch layer.

Watering – Water frequently and lightly during the summer due to shallow root systems. Water the lawn 3 to 4 times per week for a total of 1 inch including rainfall.

Mowing – Mow the grass to a height of 2-3 inches in the summer. Mow frequently and never remove more than 1 inch of growth at a time.

Reseeding – Reseeding dead areas with resistant varieties of bluegrass may speed up the recovery process.

Here at Ivinghoe Turf we have been growing, harvesting and delivering high quality garden turf for more than 30 years. Through our extended experience in producing turf we have developed the knowledge to allow us to grow and maintain healthy garden turf. For an enquiry please contact our customer advisory team who will be more than happy to assist you.

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How to lay turf to create a lush new lawn

Laying lawn turf is an excellent way to create picturesque garden. The following guidelines will help to make it a straightforward process.

For many people the lawn is the foundation of the garden, defining shape and providing a sense of space in the garden. It is also often used as an outdoor space for relaxation and activities. Seed is the cheapest option, however the grass takes a long time to settle. Garden turf on the other hand produces instant results, reducing problems of weeds or moss.

Laying

Turf gives instant results, reducing problems of weeds and moss

Turf gives instant results, reducing problems of weeds and moss


Turf is usually laid in either Spring or Autumn. Prior to laying, remove any existing grass, stones and weeds. Rake the soil flat and firm down with a roller or your feet.

Lay sharp sand across the soil to improve drainage. On top of your sharp sand lay approximately 150mm of topsoil. Topsoil is reasonably porous and is therefore able to provide essential nutrients to encourage establishment for turf to grow.

It’s a good idea to mark out the area of the new lawn with wire or string before you begin. Starting with the longest edge, unroll each strip, working your way across the area and make sure each strip joins up neatly to the previous one whilst staggering the joints. As you move forward, stand on a board to avoid direct contact with the turf. If you encounter any bumps or hollows just peel back the turf and add or remove soil where necessary.

Preparation

When you’re satisfied with the laying, tidy the edges up with an edging iron or knife and firm the lawn with a light roller or flat piece of wood. Finally, water the lawn once or twice a day if the weather is warm or windy until the grass is established. Avoid walking on the area until it has rooted which could take weeks.

Trim Edges of Turf

Trim Edges of Turf

Once established, you can mow the space using the highest blade setting for the first few cuts.

And that’s it, a simple and effective guide to creating your perfect lawn.

Here at Ivinghoe Turf we have a selection of high quality garden turf available. We grow our turf in our very own fields in Ivinghoe, Buckinghamshire and deliver across Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire. Our turf is available to buy online or contact our customer advisory team who will be more than happy to assist with your enquiry.

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Weed control in turf lawns

Although selective, the name ‘weed’ is usually given to invasive plants in lawns that compete with grass for space to grow, e.g. clover and dandelions, coarse-leaved grasses, daisies and buttercups.

Identifying weeds in lawn turf

Patchy grass. An uneven growth rate or areas of different colours or textures from the rest of the lawn.

Flowers. Even in a closely mown lawn flowers may appear, however is more prevalent in lawns where the grass is allowed to grow longer.

Green or brown patches during dry spells. Lawn weeds can perform better or worse than the lawn grass during periods of low rainfall or scant watering.

Daisy weed flowers growing through turf

Daisy weed flowers growing through turf

 

Lawn weeds survive regular, close mowing and spread by seed or creeping stems. They can be more problematic where the grass is thin. Finding weeds early and dealing with them quickly can avoid a larger problem later.

Consider controlling the weeds without using chemicals, such as digging them out of the turf grass. Other chemical-free options to try include the following.

Feeding, aerating and scarifying will help the grass to grow more vigorously and crowd out the weeds more effectively.

Remove rosette-type weeds, such as dandelions and daisies with a handfork.

Dig weeds out of turf grass with hand tools

Digging weeds out of turf grass with hand tools

Dig out weeds and re-turf or re-seed.

Rake over and then mow to discourage creeping weeds.

Avoid close mowing, as this can weaken the grass and allow the weeds in.

If digging out the weeds is not feasible, selective lawn weed killers will usually control weeds while not harming the turf grass itself. Read the label carefully to choose an appropriate weed killer.

Ready-to-use sprays are useful for spot-treatments.

Some lawn weeds are controlled by a single treatment, but others may need further treatment at four to six week intervals.

New lawn turf can often be badly damaged by chemical weed killers if used on the turf within six months of laying. Look for products containing fluroxypyr, which may be safe to use after two months.

Here at Ivinghoe Turf, we grow our turf in our own weed-free fields in Ivinghoe, Buckinghamshire and deliver across Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire. Our turf is available to buy online or contact our customer advisory team who will be more than happy to assist with your turf enquiry.

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Turf disease guide for Spring

With Spring in the air, keep an eye out for disease appearing in your lawn turf. See our helpful tips below for keeping your garden turf healthy.

Red thread

Red thread can occur any time the weather is cool and wet and is caused by fungus. Ryegrass and fescues are most susceptible to red thread, and it generally occurs in poorly fertilised areas.

Symptoms include an irregular thinning of the lawn, this can result in depth differences of the turf. You may also see patches of turf with a reddish tinge at first, later turning light brown in appearance.

Treat red thread with an application of fertiliser rich in nitrogen. Prevent future outbreaks by collecting and disposing of mowed grass cuttings to reduce the risk of re-infection of the lawn turf. Allow more sunlight to reach the turf and take action to improve drainage and aeration of the turf.

Large patch

Large patch can appear as blighted, dead or dying grass in areas up to 10 feet in diameter. Turf varieties that transition into active growth in early or mid-April are particularly susceptible. If an area of lawn turf has a history of large patch, April is the time for a fungicide application.

Applying fungicide in early spring can help prevent the disease and transition the turf grass better or more easily into active growth.

Pink snow mould

Pink snow mould technically doesn’t require snow to appear. Cool, wet temperatures cause the fungal disease to form in turf grass, and the turf health generally improves with warmer temperatures and sunlight. Prune shrubs and collect mowed cuttings to increase exposure to sunlight.

Fusarium patch or Snow mould

Caused by fungus, it is one of the most damaging diseases of lawn turf. It is most frequently found in autumn, winter and early spring, however it can occur at any time of the year.

The first symptom is small patches of yellow, dying grass that turn brown. The patches increase in size and may reach 30cm or more, sometimes merging together to form larger areas.

Wet conditions can cause a cotton-like, white or pink fungal growth, particularly at the edges of the patch, this isn’t to be confused with slime moulds in turf.

You can help your garden turf recover through ensuring the lawn dries rapidly after rain and dewfall and improving the aeration and drainage. Prune back overhanging trees and shrubs to improve airflow over the turf.

High doses of nitrogen fertilizer in late summer or autumn should be avoided – use an autumn turf feed instead.

If you need garden turf to replace any turf damaged by disease, here at Ivinghoe Turf we have a range of high quality fresh garden turf available. We grow our turf in our very own fields in Ivinghoe, Buckinghamshire and deliver across Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire. Our turf is available to buy online or contact our customer advisory team who will be more than happy to assist with your turf enquiry.

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Winter Turf Maintenance

It can be difficult to know how to care for your turf in winter months, luckily we’re on hand to provide you with some tips for the winter maintenance of your turf.

Keep your turf clear

One of the key factors to maintaining your lawn throughout the winter months is to leave your turf clear. Try to ensure that you clear up any leaves or debris that are left on your lawn during the colder months. Clear up any toys and remove any outside furniture that you would usually leave out. Anything left on the grass can put pressure on the turf and it will end up smothering it, this can lead to a build up of moisture which in turn may lead to disease within your turf and even pest infection.

Snow on turf

Keep your turf clear

Don’t walk on your turf

Where possible it is also important to keep off your turf, especially in excess. If you must walk across your lawn then try to take a different route each time, it may sound silly but if you continually walk over the same patch over and over again you are likely to damage that patch and it will take longer to grow and may come out noticeably less green than the rest of your garden.

Winter Garden

Don't walk on your turf

Don’t feed your turf

Another tip for the winter maintenance of your turf is to avoid feeding it. It will speed up the rate of which your turf is growing which means that your turf will have grown too fast too quickly. Your lawn will not be able to cope with the mild winter conditions and as a result of this it will not grow.

Wintery garden

Don't feed your turf

If you’re considering new turf for your garden, here at Ivinghoe Turf we have been growing, harvesting and supplying high quality lawn turf to gardens throughout Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire as well as further afield for more than 30 years. Using our website you can easily order turf online and have it delivered to your door.

We also source and supply top grade loam and screened topsoil. Topsoil is the uppermost layer of soil, usually the top 5cm. It has the highest concentration of organic matter and is extremely beneficial for the successful establishment of garden turf. Just like our turf you can also buy topsoil online through our website.

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