To sow seed or lay fresh turf?

Fresh Garden Turf

Choosing whether to use seed or turf to create your new lawn depends on various factors, including the time you have, the area you want to cover and your skill level.

In this article, you’ll see how both methods are quite simple and can be used to achieve equally stunning results.

How to create a new lawn with turf

Laying turf instead of seeding a new lawn is the quicker way to create a lawn, but to produce a healthy and attractive new lawn, it’s important to take your time and get it right.

In the following steps, we’ll show you how to prepare the ground prior to turfing, how to lay the turf and how to ensure your lawns root system becomes well established.

Step 1 – Preparing the ground

Just like when preparing for seeding, use a combination of a sharp spade and fork to strip away the old lawn or perennial weeds and any other obstacles such as masonry, large stones or glass fragments etc.

Whilst clearing the debris, also be sure to break the soil down to a depth of about 15cm (6 inches) to allow the roots of your new turf to easily take hold. 

Pro tip: If your soil is particularly sandy or free-draining, add some compost or a water-saving gel to the soil to help it retain moisture whilst your new turf establishes.

Step 2 – Firming and levelling

Firm and level the ground in the same way you would if you were sowing grass seeds, by using a rake to take out the bumps and then stamping it down or using planks of wood or a light roller. 

Once you’ve completed this firming and levelling process, it’s best to leave the area for two to three weeks to let the rain get to it and to let it settle and compact ready for the new turf.

Pro tip: Just before laying the turf, sprinkle the prepared surface with a general fertiliser to further encourage growth.

Step 3 – Laying the turf

When laying the garden turf, work from a straight edge, such as a fence or borderline, or create your own using string and pegs. Carefully roll out the turf along the line, overlapping the edges slightly, so that you can neatly trim them later. 

As you lay each section, firm it down with the flat of your hand to ensure good contact with the soil beneath and make sure you tightly butt each piece of turf to the next.

Pro tip: Order 10% more turf than you need to allow for trimming and filling in if necessary.

Step 5 – Finishing

Once you’ve got all the turf laid, use a sharp kitchen knife or Stanley knife to carefully trim the edges, remembering to firmly press the trimmed edge back down into the soil.

If you notice any gaps, either between the different sections or at the edges of the lawn, simply fill in with some fresh compost or topsoil, then sprinkle some grass seed and water in.

Pro tip: As you lay the turf, use short planks of wood or plywood boards to stand on, to lessen the damage to the newly laid turf.

Step 6 – Watering

The same as with seeding a lawn, thoroughly water your newly-laid turf daily for one to two weeks. On a large area, it’s best to use a sprinkler system, but for smaller areas, a watering can with a fine rose should be ok.

Pro tip: Avoid walking on your new lawn for at least two weeks after laying.

Grass Seed

How to create a new lawn with seed

Although laying turf is considered the faster way to create a lawn, many people like to start from scratch and create their lawn using seed.

In the following steps, we’ll show you the best way to prepare the ground, sow the seed and create a strong and healthy lawn. 

Step 1 – Clearing the area

Make sure the ground is clear of debris, including large stones, other vegetation such as weeds, previous lawn grass, or anything else that could inhibit the growth of the new seeds.

Use a sharp spade and fork to break down the compacted soil, and to ensure you remove sunken stones and other debris and deep rooted weeds. You may want to use weedkiller, but many weedkillers can affect the growth of new seeds or plants, so read instructions carefully.

Pro tip: Use a good pair of leather gardening gloves, to help prevent getting injured by broken glass or sharp stones etc.

Step 2 – Create a level seed bed

The best way to create a level seed bed is by using the rake to drag the soil in various directions until a visibly level surface is achieved and then tramp it down by walking over it or using a light roller.

Pro tip: After clearing the area to be seeded, add a layer of fresh blended topsoil. Use a rake to make sure you cover the whole area to a depth of around 3-4 cm.

Step 3 – Get sowing

Choose your grass seed depending on how you’re going to use the lawn. Most seed suppliers will clearly state which type of lawn the seed is suitable for, but as general rule, perennial rye grass is a hardwearing grass, whereas fescue grasses make for a more decorative lawn.

Spread the seed sparingly to avoid plants being too close together, which could risk fungal disease or a weaker growth. The recommended sowing rate is about 25-30 grams per square metre.

Pro tip: Lightly treading or rolling the seed in helps to prevent it being blown away by the wind or washed away by a heavy downpour.

Step 4 – Watering in

Newly seeded lawns need daily watering for up to two weeks after planting. To avoid overwatering, use an adjustable sprinkler attachment for your hosepipe.

Pro tip: In extremely hot conditions, water thoroughly in the early evening or once the sun’s gone down.

Assuming you’ve followed the above steps, your grass seed should start to germinate within a week, and in about 28 days you should have the beginnings of a lush new lawn.

 

We hope this article helps you decide whether to sow or turf your new lawn, but whichever method you choose, if you need any help get in touch with the experts at Ivinghoe Turf.

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Can I lay turf in the winter?

The simple answer is yes. In fact, if you don’t mind the cold and wet, many turf specialists would recommend laying turf in the winter months, rather than the usual early spring or mid-autumn.

Advantages of laying turf in the winter.

The key advantages to laying garden turf in the winter are:

  • You don’t have to rush: Depending on the quality and where you buy your lawn turf rolls, they will last longer in the winter, especially if there’s been a frost, giving you a couple of extra days to get the job done.
  • Less watering: Although newly laid grass turf does need regular watering (even in the winter), the typically heavier rainfall during winter will give it a head start.
  • Less traffic: We tend to use the garden less frequently in the winter, and a lower footfall helps newly laid turf establish far quicker.
  • Less mowing: Growing rate slows down considerably between November and March. So, if you have laid your turf in the winter, there shouldn’t be a need to mow until late winter or early spring.

Note: If you do need to mow (perhaps in an unseasonable warm spell), only do it once the new lawn has rooted (3-4 weeks) and keep the blade of the mower set to its highest setting.

Can I lay turf if it’s raining?

Yes, but make sure the ground isn’t waterlogged. When the ground’s soggy or squelchy it can result in an uneven lay and slower rooting.

Pro tip: Check the ground 48 hours before turfing. If it is too wet, get in touch with your turf supplier as soon as possible and delay delivery until the ground is slightly drier and more workable.

Can I lay turf if it’s snowing?

Laying turf in the snow shouldn’t be a problem, as long as the snow isn’t too deep and the ground isn’t frozen solid.

The important thing to remember when laying turf in any weather, is to ensure the ground is properly prepared.

Preparing to turf in 3 easy steps.

  1. Clear the soil of any roots, weeds or debris.
  2. Use a rotavator or garden fork to dig down to about six inches.
  3. Level off using a rake, then lightly roll or tread to create a level surface.

Caring for your new lawn in winter.

Once you’ve laid the turf, follow these winter lawncare tips to ensure a luscious and healthy lawn in the spring and beyond.

1. Clear the leaves.

To clear leaves off a newly laid turf, it’s best to use a leaf blower on a gentle setting, otherwise use a light rake to drag the leaves to the edge of the lawn or into flowerbeds to use as mulch.

2. Keep watering.

The best way to check if you’re watering enough is to dig a small hole and examine the soil. If you’ve watered in the correct amount, the soil should be dark and moist (not soaking wet).

3. Keep an eye out for wormcasts.

Wormcasts can cause all sorts of problems for new and established lawns, including encouraging moles and creating a weed bed. If they do appear, wait until they’re dry, then use a wicker broom or soft kitchen broom to lightly brush them away.

We hope this answers your questions on laying turf in the winter, but if you need any further advice, visit our knowledge centre.

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5 Time-Saving Lawncare Tips

We all live busy lives. Some of us work two or even three jobs to get by, whilst others work the night shift and sleep most of the day. So, it’s not surprising that the thought of carrying out regular lawncare duties fills many of us with dread.

But, it doesn’t have to be that way. In this short article we’ve put together 5 ways to keep your lawn looking lush without having to put the work in.

Choose the right lawn turf

When most of us think of a nice lawn, we think of the bowling green look, perfectly green, trimmed and levelled. But, to get that look takes time and lots of work, so it’s best to go for a general-purpose lawn turf.

General-purpose lawn turf is mostly made up of broad-leaved lawn grasses that look great all year round, but are able to take a lot more traffic than a luxury or bowling green lawn, and are also great at hiding unsightly weeds and native grasses.

Keep shapes simple

When designing a new lawn or reshaping your old lawn, bear in mind the difficulties in mowing an over-complicated design.

Keep the shape simple (kidney-shaped, square or rectangle etc.) and don’t clutter it with trees, spring bulbs, statues or any other obstacles that might make mowing more difficult and more time-consuming.

Mowing

Even if you choose slow-growing grass, it’ll still need regular mowing. When choosing a mower, make sure you choose one that’s most suited to your lawn shape and size and that doesn’t require too much maintenance.

For most average-sized gardens, a simple 30cm cutting width hover mower should do. Depending on the model, it may not collect the grass clippings, but for the time-short gardener it means a quicker cut, no need to worry about creating fussy lines and it’s easy to store.

Note: If you don’t collect or rake grass clippings, the lawn will benefit from being scarified (raking dead grass and other debris) in the autumn.

Feeding your lawn

During a normal growing season (late March – mid October), a general-purpose lawn will need feeding every six weeks. That might not sound like a time-saving tip, but if garden turf doesn’t get the nutrients it needs, it won’t have the density to prevent weeds and moss taking a foothold, therefore creating more work in the long run.

As a guide, the best lawn fertiliser for a general purpose lawn should be a balanced mix of nitrogen, phosphate and potassium.

Top tip: Lightly sprinkling good quality topsoil over your existing lawn can also have huge benefits, including encouraging new growth and helping to repair bare spots.

Watering

Your lawn will need watering regularly (once a week), especially in the hotter months, but to make things easy, buy yourself a rotary sprinkler.

Most modern rotary sprinklers will have a long enough reach to water your entire lawn from one spot, and some come with water conservation technology that limits the spray to save water and prevents overwatering your lawn.

We hope these 5 lawncare tips help reduce the time you spend on lawncare, but if you require any further help, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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Topsoil for Garden Lawn Turf

One of the most overlooked aspects of laying new garden turf is the soil beneath it. Not all soil is created equally, and good topsoil is one of the major factors affecting the health, resilience and vibrancy of your lawn going forward.

What is topsoil?

Topsoil is the uppermost layer of soil directly beneath your garden lawn, where the roots of the grass will mostly be concentrated. Ideal topsoil is dark brown and porous so that it can hold plenty of moisture and air and is packed with nutrients and organic matter for your garden lawn to feast on. Topsoil usually comprises the top 13-25cm (5-10 inches) of soil directly beneath the ground.

We offer a high quality blended topsoil supplied from sugar beet fields that ensures it contains valuable horticultural properties as well as a budget screened soil which is better if you just want to level off a garden or create a raised flower bed as cheaply as possible.

The importance of high-quality topsoil can’t be overstated in its relationship to a thriving, healthy garden.

What is screened topsoil?

Screening is essentially a large industrial sieve that removes large stones and rocks from soil before it reaches you. All of our topsoil, regardless of the grade, is screened before it reaches you.

What is topsoil made from?

The British Standard BS 3882, last updated in 2015, ensures topsoil meets certain thresholds for nutrient content, extractable phytotoxic elements, particle size distribution, organic matter content, carbon: nitrogen ratio, PH balance and several other factors.

The most vital element of topsoil that will benefit the growth and health of your new garden lawn is its nutrient content. Different plants have slightly different nutritional requirements however there are key nutrients, known as macronutrients, that are widely beneficial to most plants.

Nitrogen: This is one of the most vital macronutrients found in quality soil, particularly for garden turf as it gives the blades of grass their healthy green colour. Lawn grass requires more nitrogen than any other plant nutrient.

Phosphorous: Whilst not required in as high quantity as nitrogen, a healthy level of phosphorous in soil assists plants on photosynthesizing energy from the sun. A low level of phosphorous can result in stunted growth and a darker lawn.

Magnesium: Another key nutrient for lawn turf is magnesium which again hopes in the photosynthesis process. If your lawn is looking discoloured or pale this could be due to a lack of magnesium in the soil.

Calcium: This nutrient helps your lawn grow quickly and makes it more resilient and strong. Plants with access to calcium are able to better fend off disease.

Trace amounts of sulphur, iron, zinc, copper and boron are also found in topsoil and can benefit your garden lawn.

How to keep your soil at it’s best

Tips for topsoil during wet weather

It rains a lot here in the UK and this can result in topsoil becoming overly saturated. When soil is extremely wet and is walked on it causes it to compact, as the water displaces the air and then drains away. This results in extremely dense soil that does not contain the oxygen that roots need to stay healthy.

To avoid this firstly mix in additional organic matter to soil very rich in clay, as this will provide structure and additional drainage properties. When it is exceptional wet outside avoid compacting your topsoil more than necessary by staying off of it.

Tips for topsoil during dry weather

The opposite problem is true in summer when weeks of dry, hot weather can dry out the soil and cause your turf to struggle for water. It’s easy to see if soil needs watering, all you have to do is touch it. If it feels moist things are fine and you shouldn’t water it any more as overwatering can be extremely bad for plants too.

Some tips to avoid dry soil:

  • Water your lawn in the evenings to allow the water to soak into the ground without evaporating.
  • If there is a hosepipe ban don’t worry, as long as your lawn hasn’t just been laid very recently and although it may go yellow, it should recover from dry periods.
  • Invest in a water butt if you’d like to still be able to water your lawn during droughts.

Over many seasons the nutritional quality of your soil will slowly decrease. This is both because your garden lawn is feeding on the nutrients and using them up and also because rainfall washes some nutrients further into the ground where grass roots can not reach. This is particularly a problem with nitrogen, which is drained away from the top soil more easily than other macronutrients.

How to fertilise turf

Compost or fertiliser is a great way to replenish the nutrients that your garden lawn needs. Ideally, you should fertilise your lawn at least twice a year, once in spring and once again in autumn. Over fertilising can harm your turf so be careful to read the instructions on the bag.

Follow these tips to fertilise your lawn:

  1. Maintain your lawn by removing weeds and aerating it with a garden fork, if it is particularly dry be sure to water it.
  2. Cut your grass about 4 days before applying fertiliser.
  3. Spread the fertiliser, ideally in the evening or when it is overcast, using the suggested rate from the supplier.
  4. Water the fertiliser after it is applied, this is extremely important as a high concentration of fertiliser in one area will cause it to burn your lawn. If you want to cheat try and fertiliser just before you expect it to rain as the weather will do the job for you.

How to apply compost to turf

Compost is extremely beneficial to lawn turf as it provides nutrients and improves the soil structure of the topsoil beneath your lawn. However, you can’t just dump piles of compost onto your garden lawn or you will smother and kill it.

Follow these steps to dress a lawn:

  1. Aerate your lawn with a garden fork or aerator if you have one. Aeration is basically just loosening the existing soil as compacted soil is bad news for garden lawns.
  2. Spread a very thin layer of compost across your entire lawn, you should still be able to see most of the grass after doing this. If you’ve applied the right amount your lawn should be mostly green rather than brown.
  3. Avoid walking on your lawn for a few days after you have dressed it – this will give your lawn a chance to grow around the new soil and absorb it.

We hope this helps explain what topsoil is and how it hugely benefits your garden lawn. We can supply screened topsoil and blended topsoil products alongside your order of lawn turf rolls.

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How do you remove weeds from your garden lawn?

Garden Lawn Weeds

What can you do to get rid of weeds without harming your garden lawn – find out in this article. Find out the best methods to get rid of existing weeds and prevent new ones from popping up in the future.

How to remove weeds

There are essentially two ways you can remove weeds – manually using tools or chemically with weed killers.

If you see a few weeds pop up in your garden lawn be sure to deal with them quickly as the problem will quickly spread if they are left unchecked.

Remove weeds by hand

The most straightforward way to remove weeds is just by grabbing the base of the stem, using a trowel to loosen the roots and pulling the whole thing out by hand.
Removing the roots is extremely important as if they are left in the ground the weed will just grow back.

One downside of this method is that it may leave a lump where the grass around the weed has been removed. This can be reseeded and grown back afterwards.
Another negative is that if you have a lot of weeds in your garden this process can be quite time-consuming.

Chemical Weed Killers

If you have a large garden with a significant weed problem you may consider a chemical solution to the issue. Most weed killers will selectively target specific plants or only affect broad-leafed plants. If you have a problem with a specific weed, for example dandelions, you should be able to find a herbicide that targets just this plant and leaves your lawn untouched.
Be cautious when using chemical weed killer that it will not have an adverse effect on the lawn itself – some particularly strong chemical weed killers will kill any plant they come into contact with.

Organic Weed Killers

You don’t have to use harsh chemicals to kill weeds, there are many organic and readily available methods that you can use to kill off weeds.

Salt

Salt water can be used as a natural weed killer. Be cautious with this method though and apply the salt water slowly over a period of weeks as oversalting can negatively affect your soil and cause collateral damage to your lawn.

Vinegar

You can use a highly acidic vinegar as a natural way to dry out plant leaves and kill most weeds. Ideally, you want a vinegar with a 10-20% acetic acid content.

Again be cautious not to overdo this as it can have a negative effect on your lawn, target the weeds specifically and reseed once they are dead.

Boiling Water

You can use boiling water to kill off weeds quite effectively. Boil your kettle and pour directly onto the base of the weed – keeping in mind boiling water will also harm turf. This has the advantage of the water becoming completely inert once it has cooled down. Simple reseed the area once the weed is dead. Be careful not to burn yourself whilst doing this!

A healthy lawn makes it difficult for weeds

The best defence against weeds is a thriving garden lawn. If your garden lawn is thick, mowed regularly to a medium length and well-watered there will be a lot less opportunity for weeds to sneak in. If you keep conditions perfect for lawn grass rather than other species of plants you’ll spend a lot less time weeding and more time enjoying your garden.
Bare areas of grass, compacted soil and lack of water can all cause problems with weeds.

Water your lawn regularly during drought and ensure you don’t overwater it when it’s raining as moss likes dark and damp conditions. Also, be sure to keep your lawn from getting too long and sheltering moss and weeds whilst they grow. In contrast, don’t cut your lawn too short so that your grass isn’t competing with weeds to get ahead in growing.

Use a combined feed, weed and moss killer treatment every year to give your turf a boost and keep weeds and moss at bay.

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Garden Turf in Wet Weather

Here in the UK, it rains a lot and you may be wondering what the benefits and disadvantages are to laying or caring for turf when the weather is wet.

Should you lay turf in wet soil?

You may be planning to lay turf when it’s raining to give your lawn a natural free watering or maybe you’ve ordered turf and been hit by a surprise downpour and are wondering whether to put off the job.

Laying turf during wet weather can actually be extremely beneficial, especially when compared to trying to lay it during hot summer months where you have to worry about your rolls of turf drying out the longer they are left. If it’s wet outside it gives you a lot more time to work whilst your garden lawn is in rolls, often several extra days.

Rain is usually great for gardens and plants, including turf. Garden turf should never be left to completely dry out, however, excessively muddy soil can have its own considerations.

Compacting

One of the main drawbacks to laying your turf when it’s raining heavily, apart from the fact you’ll get soaked doing it, is that the soil beneath your turf is more likely to become compacted whilst you are working.

Your garden turf is only as good as the soil it is growing in, and there are a number of factors that make for great garden soil. The optimal mix for great soil is around 1 quarter air, 1 quarter water and 2 quarters solid minerals and organic matter. When you are laying brand new turf one of your aims should be to aerate and loosen your soil, something which becomes much more difficult when it is wet.

When soil is oversaturated and muddy it is far easier to compact; every time you walk or push a wheelbarrow over it you are squeezing the soil together and pushing out the air from it. Once the soil dries again it remains compressed together which makes it much harder for the roots of your lawn to penetrate into it.

Tips for laying turf when it’s raining

    1. Spreading your weight is even more critical when it is wet – ensure you use turf laying boards.
    2. Spread some dry topsoil right before you unroll the turf if possible.
    3. Rainwater can wash nutrients vital for new turf from your soil; be sure to apply a fertiliser and lawn feed appropriate for the time of year.
    4. For small lawns, using a garden fork rather than a rotavator to aerate your soil is often more effective when it muddy.
    5. If you’re just waiting for your new turf, spread a tarp over your garden to keep it dry until you are ready.
    6. Make sure your turf is well watered even after it has been raining. If the weather gets drier and your soil drains quickly it may start drying out again.
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Preparing your lawn for winter

It’s September and, fingers crossed, we get a few more days of sunshine, however, it’s time to start considering preparing your garden for autumn and winter. No matter how attentive you’ve been to your garden lawn over the warm summer months it’s probably going to be looking a little tired after months of sunshine and using up all nutrients in the soil.

Late September and early October is the perfect time to get some tools and feed together and prepare your garden lawn for a successful winter.

What you’ll need:

– Garden Rake
– Garden Fork
– Gardening Gloves
– Autumn Lawn Food
– Grass Seeds

Clear your lawn

The first step is to rake falling autumn leaves from your lawn, 

you’ll need to keep doing this to ensure your lawn doesn’t get smothered by them.

If your lawn has patches of moss spread a mosskiller product over the lawn and leave it for 2 weeks. Some lawn feed is also a mosskiller – so you might not have to buy two separate products. 

When you are raking leaves from your lawn you’ll also be able to rake the dead moss and thatch that builds on the surface. A build-up of dead leaves and moss hinders drainage of rainwater and can encourage lawn diseases and the growth of weeds. Never rake live moss however as this will spread its spores and grow more moss; you can tell moss is dead because it will go black.

In the autumn mow your grass roughly every 10 to 14 days, different varieties of grass should be mowed to different heights but a general rule is 0.75 inches. This recommended cutting length is long enough to allow the grass to protect itself and reduce fungus growth in the snow.

Aerate your lawn

Where people and animals have walked over your lawn the soil beneath becomes very compacted which makes it harder for your turf to grow and makes it difficult for the drainage of water. Stagnant water sitting on your turf is the ideal place for weeds and moss to start growing.

Aerate your lawn by pushing a garden fork as deep into your lawn as you can and then wiggling it in the soil to create air channels in the earth. Pull the fork out and repeat this process for every 4 inches (10cm) of lawn.

If you have a large lawn a powered aerating machine can be purchased or rented to speed this process up.

Seed bare patches

If your lawn has bald patches from overexposure to sunlight or heavy foot traffic it’s now the perfect time to treat this.

Loosen the top layer of soil with a garden fork, sow grass seed over the bare area, lightly rake over the seeds to mix them with the top layer of soil and then gently water with a fine spray or sprinkler.

Don’t walk over the area and after roughly 10 days you should start to see the new garden turf sprouting.

Feed your lawn

Now you can feed your garden lawn with a bag of autumn lawn feed which will give your grass what it needs to grow stronger roots and toughen itself up for the cold winter months. Autumn lawn feed is readily available in garden centres and supermarkets or can be purchased online by simply searching “autumn lawn feed.”

It’s important to note that autumn lawn feed is not the same as spring feed or fertiliser. Spring lawn feed contains a high level of nitrogen that will encourage soft leaf growth that won’t be able to withstand frost as easily.

Water sparingly

With the weather cooling down and the number of hours of daylight dropping you can ease back on the amount that you water your garden turf. Only water your lawn if it’s looking especially dry – if there is regular rain you may not have to water your lawn at all.

Over-watering is an extremely bad thing in winter as it can freeze and damage your garden turf overnight.

Keep pets and people off

Autumn and winter is a great time for your turf to recuperate without footfall trampling it. With the weather getting colder you’ll naturally use your garden a lot less, but be sure to keep pets off of your garden lawn too to give it the best chance of strengthening and surviving the cold winter months.

Once you’ve followed all these steps your garden lawn will be strong and ready to withstand the UK winter, when spring comes next year your lawn will be lush and green much faster.

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How can I fix my yellow garden lawn?

Summer is here, and although sunshine is unreliable here in the UK it’s finally time to get outdoors and enjoy our gardens. But as you get out in your garden to BBQ, sunbathe and enjoy the British summertime you may notice your lawn is not looking it’s best.

Yellow or dry grass is a common problem with many different causes. Read on to learn what is troubling your lawn and what you can do to fix it.

1. Heat on Garden Lawn

Hot weather can quickly dry out your lawn and make it turn yellow. If this happens constantly it could be a sign that the root structure of the lawn is quite shallow.

How to fix this

Watering your lawn will bring back its colour however to tackle shallow roots you actually need to water less frequently to encourage your lawn to root more deeply. By watering thoroughly but less often the roots will grow downwards looking for additional hydration and as a result, be more able to withstand periods of drought. It’s best to do this early in the morning so that it reduces the amount of water that evaporates.

2. Dog Urine on Garden Lawn

Your dog may be your best friend but the same can not be said for your dog’s relationship with your garden lawn.

Nitrogen is important for green, healthy growth in garden lawn turf however too much of it can cause a lawn to yellow. Yellowing happens because the nitrogen burns roots and alters the pH balance of the soil.

Dog urine is the main cause of nitrogen-based lawn damage, although using too much fertilizer and not watering it deeply can also have a similar effect, as nitrogen is a component of fertilizer.

It will be obvious if dog urine is the cause as the yellow patches surrounded by greener borders are very distinctive.

All dogs that squat to urinate can cause significant grass burns as the urine is concentrated in one area. Male dogs tend to do less damage as they lift a leg and spread their urine over a wider area.

How to fix this

Fortunately, it’s usually a quick and easy fix to repair damage from dog urine – and if you wait long enough it can even resolve naturally on its own. Where there are areas of dead or dying grass: water the area deeply to flush out the extra nitrogen and salts from the surrounding soil.

3. Garden Lawn Diseases

Unfortunately, diseases affecting garden lawns are more common than people realise. If your garden turf is affected by a disease the telltale symptoms are a small yellow patch that keeps expanding into irregularly shaped patches.

How to fix this

If your lawn has been badly damaged by disease this can be one of the most difficult issues to resolve. You may need to completely renovate disease-ridden areas of the lawn with methods such as scarifying, aeration and over-seeding.

We have other guides with more detailed information on specific lawn diseases and general damage to your lawn:

How to reduce nectrotic ring spot
How to repair damaged turf

4. Lack of Nutrients for Your Lawn

One of the most common reasons for a lawn to turf yellow or brown is a lack of vital nutrients in the soil.

Garden lawn turf needs more than just water and sunlight – it also needs a mixture of nutrients to thrive.

How to fix this

Lawn fertilisers are the key to topping up your lawns nutrient levels, but be careful not to overdo it or you could risk damaging the roots with too much nitrogen.

It’s important to apply fertiliser all year round, a good system is to do it once per season following the manufacturer’s instructions.

5. Compacted Soil

If your garden lawn is discoloured is high traffic areas or where children play frequently the cause of the yellowing could be that the soil underneath your lawn has become compacted.

This prevents water from permeating the soil and getting to the roots, causing it to dry out.

How to fix this

The most straightforward way to loosen the soil is to prod it with a garden fork at regular intervals. If you have a large area with this issue or need to aerate the soil frequently you can get a specialised aerator to make the job easier for around £20-30.

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5 Spring Lawn Care Tips

Lawn Aeration

Spring has arrived and summer is just around the corner and now your lawn has begun actively growing again you can perform some easy maintenance so it’s healthy and attractive for you to enjoy in the warm weather.

1. Mow Regularly

Like cutting your hair you know that mowing your lawn keeps it looking neat and tidy. Did you know that mowing your garden lawn regularly also helps it stay healthy though?

Setting the ideal cutting height can make a huge difference to the health and vibrancy of your garden lawn. You’ll get better results with sharp mower blades and if you really care about your garden lawn invest in a cylinder mower which offers the highest quality finish.

Between the months of March and October is when you should start mowing your lawn regularly. In spring ideally mow once per week, moving to twice per week during summer, unless it is very dry for long stretches; in which case ease off.

For the first mowing at the start of the year set the cutting height to its maximum setting and gradually reduce it each time afterwards. Avoid mowing your garden turf extremely short as this can weaken the grass and make it more susceptible to issues such as weeds, bare patches and drought.

2. Kill Moss

Moss is, unfortunately, a common problem on garden lawns, but easily remedied with a few steps.

The most critical step to keeping moss out of your garden is to keep your garden lawn as healthy as possible.

First, loosen and remove the moss with a rake and then use non-chemical bacteria-based lawn feeds that mention moss control on the packaging. Before applying the lawn feed mow the lawn fairly short and then leave it for around 10 days before mowing again.

You can also purchase dedicated moss killer products – although these are only a temporary solution and the only longterm fix is strong and healthy lawn grass to keep it at bay.

3. Feed your Lawn

Starting in March give your lawn a boost by feeding it with a spring or summer lawn fertiliser, as guided by the manufacturers instructions. Fertilisers should be applied when the soil is moist or just before rainfall is expected. After feeding your lawn it will have more vigour, be more attractive and will help prevent weeds and moss from establishing alongside it.

Lawn fertilizer products are easy to get hold of, with supermarkets carrying a lot of stock in spring to meet the demand.

4. Re-seeding

If you have bare patches on your garden lawn it’s possible to over-seed these areas in early spring so they’ll be healthy and ready for summer.

  • Rough up the dirt on the bare surface area with a garden fork so it is not compacted.
  • Sow the grass seed over the bald area.
  • Lightly rake over the seeds to mix them in with the top layer of soil.
  • Use netting if birds are a problem in your garden, to stop them eating the seeds.
  • If it’s not due to rain, water gently with a fine spray or sprinkler.

After about 10 days you should see the new garden grass sprouting.

5. Watering

Garden lawns are very hardy and can recover from dry periods – when it rains regularly you can usually leave your lawn to be watered naturally.

In the summer, during times of drought, you’ll need to water your lawn every 1 or 2 weeks to keep it green, but this can use a lot of water – as much as one person uses over a whole week. Even if your lawn starts to turn brown that doesn’t mean it completely died off – and garden lawn will recover from all but the most severe droughts.

Keeping your lawn healthy and strong using the other steps in this blog will go a long way to helping it fight a drought. When it’s very dry allow your lawn to grow a bit longer and protect itself.

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Enjoying your garden during the Coronavirus lockdown

Coronavirus Gardens

If you have your own garden you don’t have to stay shut up inside all the time, sat in the dark reading the latest depressing news and statistics on your mobile until the government tell us its safe to go outside again.

Self-isolation and the Covid-19 lockdown has limited a lot of the usual activity we all enjoy as the weather starts to get warmer – but if you have a garden you can still make the most of the weather. In fact now is the perfect time to get outside work, exercise in and enjoy your own garden.

Can I still use my garden during the lockdown?

Yes – the NHS website and the government has very clearly stated that if you own a garden you can still use it, but do not invite visitors or family members round or have gatherings in your garden.

“You can use your garden, if you have one.”
https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/self-isolation-advice/

Community gardens and parks are places you should avoid, and you should only be leaving your home at all only when it is absolutely essential. By staying in your own home and garden you are both avoiding overloading the NHS and not contracting the nasty and potentially life-threatening virus yourself. Do this for the brave people working and risking their own lives on the frontlines of the health service but also for yourself and your family.

With that said, provided you are not doing so with people living outside of your household, there is absolutely no reason why you can’t make use of and enjoy everything your garden has to offer at the start of spring and summer.

Here are 4 things to do in your garden during the Coronavirus lockdown:

1. Sunbathe

Annoyingly, the sun seems to have appeared right alongside the government’s decision to lockdown the country to help the NHS deal with the outbreak.

With borders closed and planes grounded obviously holidays are completely off of the agenda. And visits to UK beaches, parks and other public places are strictly prohibited at the moment.

If you have a garden you can still soak in the sun though – lay back on your lawn, close your eyes and pretend you’re in Portugal.

2. Exercise

The government are currently allowing “one form of exercise a day” which could be a 30-60 minute run, cycle or walk. Keeping active and healthy is important for your physical and mental wellbeing however you should be sensible about this and consider the risk you are taking by leaving your home every day to exercise.

If you have a garden why not exercise there instead – there are a huge number of fitness instructers offering free workout routines through social media currently. Not only are you working out and staying strong and healthy whilst avoiding contagion but you can also benefit from the boost in morale and camaraderie of doing so online with other people.

3. Gardening

Whether you’re growing flowers or produce now is the perfect time for green thumbs. Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or are just starting out; getting outside and working in your garden is the perfect way to pass time and feel productive.

Being at home all the time gives you lots of time to work in your garden, and its the perfect time of year to do so. Soft, moist soil makes weeding and garden work easier and it’s the opportune time to plant a lot of different seeds.

The recent panic-buying and supermarket shortages make growing your own food and self-sufficiency even more appealing also.

4. Renovate your garden lawn

We’re a garden turf company and so we’re obviously leading to this – it’s now the perfect time of year to renovate your garden lawn.

Garden centres and nurseries have had to close but as we sell directly online we’re still able to provide our usual services (with the exception of being able to collect yourself orders from our depot.)

Our delivery service is still operating as usual and you can order garden turf, topsoil and other garden supplies for delivery online or by calling our friendly and knowledgable team.

Whether you’re looking to replace your tired old lawn with fresh new turf rolls or just purchase some nutrient-rich topsoil to topdress and reinvigorate your existing lawn we can help you.

You’ll want to make the most of your garden whilst you’re self-isolating and pre-grown rolls of garden turf, rather than seeds, are the fastest way to do this.

We hope this has helped inspire you with some ideas of ways to use your garden to still enjoy the outdoors during the current Covid-19 lockdown. If we all stick together (at a distance of at least 2 meters) and support each other we will get through this.

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