Spring lawn care tips 0The perfect summer lawn is an asset to any property but it doesn't happen like magic. This article explains how spring lawn care and renovations can improve an existing lawn to create a beautiful lawn for summer.
Restoring your lawn after a drought 0Not every lawn is recovering from drought as well as it could. If your lawn is one of the ones that is still looking patchy, brown and a perhaps even a bit weedy. This blog is for you.
What makes May such a good month for turfing? 0
We’re often asked “what is the best time to lay turf?” Well, turf can be laid at any time of year but the month of May certainly offers the ideal weather conditions for laying a lawn from turf. Here’s why.
Rapid root growth makes for faster establishment
Usually by May, even if the air temperature is sometimes on the chilly side, the soil has warmed up beautifully. Older farmers and gardeners claim that if you can drop your trousers and sit comfortably on the soil, it’s OK to start planting. It’s up to you whether you try it or not.
Even a small lawn can look so much better when it's refreshed with new turf.
When the soil is warm and moist and the days are longer, plants grow fast. Not only the leaves, but the roots too. When you lay new turf you want it to root into your soil as quickly as possible. The month of May provides the perfect conditions for that to happen.
Longer days are better for the plants
Green plants harness energy from the sun to make their own food. The more daylight hours there are in a 24 hour period, the more food they can make and the quicker and stronger they grow.
Turf laid in May will be well established, healthy and vibrant well before summer truly arrives. You’ll really be able to enjoy your lawn during the warmer weather.
Soil preparation is simpler than in winter
The key to a really beautiful lawn lies in the soil preparation. We’re lucky in Dorset to have some beautiful soil. However, when it’s soggy in winter or super-dry in summer, it can be a little more challenging to prepare a bed for turfing.
Soil preparation is the most important part of turf laying. Wimborne Turf's suppy and lay team have the correct machinery to tackle a large lawn like this one. When the soil is friable the job is much easier. This garden will be raked and levelled before fresh turf is delivered and laid.
Normally in late spring and early summer, soil is at just the right consistency to work with easily. It makes the preparation quicker and less stressful.
Turf rolls are lighter than in winter
Turf is grown outdoors in fields. It’s exposed to all weathers all year round. In winter, when the soil is saturated, turf is heavier. And when it’s heavier, it can also be harder to handle.
As winter subsides, turf rolls generally become lighter, easier to carry and easier to manoeuvre. In fact, it’s a joy to work with.
Occasional rainfall helps with irrigation
I can’t stress enough how important it is to keep newly laid turf well-watered until it’s really well established. It will not survive if it’s allowed to dry out. In high summer, keeping turf and the soil beneath it wet enough to support root growth is extra challenging. Long hot days mean that water evaporates quickly from the soil and the plants don’t get to benefit from it.
Fresh turf smells sweet and looks beautiful but quality deteriorates quickly in warm weather. Always lay turf on the same day as delivery and once it's laid, make sure you keep it well watered until it has established.
A typical English spring has lots of rainy days and the rain will help to water your new turf. Moist air will also reduce the risk of water loss through evaporation. Don’t get complacent about turf watering though.
A rain shower might not supply quite enough water, so check the soil before you decide not to switch the sprinkler on.
Disadvantages of turfing in May
I can only think of one possible disadvantage of laying turf in May and that is a very slight risk of sod heating.
Sod heating occurs when turf is left rolled up for a long time in warm weather. Basically, the moisture inside the roll and the lack of ventilation for the grass means that it cooks itself.
The risk of sod heating is far greater in summer than it is in spring but you should be aware and take measures to avoid it.
Avoid sod heating buy buying your turf from a local grower – so that it spends less time in transit – and laying your turf as soon as it arrives.
May is a glorious month for completing outdoor projects. It’s neither too hot nor too cold. The days are lovely and long and most of the time it’s a joy to be outdoors.
Refurbishing your lawn for spring 0Should you try to refurbish that worn out lawn or should you replace it? In this blog we look at both options and help you decide which will fit in best with your lifestyle.
How To Look After Newly Laid Turf 0Whether you have created a new yourself or made the most of our supply and lay surface, your new turf will need lots of TLC in its first few weeks. Here are some hints and tips on caring for newly laid turf.
Spring time jobs to improve your lawn 0
Spring is just THE best time to get out into the garden and really make a difference. Perennial plants can be tidied up, dead vegetation removed, flower beds mulched to control weeds, seeds sown and the lawn preened to perfection.
When you think about it, our lawns get a lot of abuse during the course of a year. We trample on them, sit on them, mow them, neglect to feed them, expose them to drought, deluge, frost and scorching sun. It’s a wonder we get away with it!
Actually, we don’t get away with it at all. When you see a newly turfed lawn and compare it to one that is a few years old, you can see how tired the old lawn is. But, it can be revived and rejuvenated with just a little bit of TLC
- Scarifying removes all of the old dead leaves, the moss and the debris from the lawn. It gives the plants room to breathe and helps rainwater filter through the sward and down to where the roots can use it. If your lawn is relatively small, you can use a springtine rake for scarification. If your lawn is larger, either hire a machine form the local toolhire shop or call in a lawn care company to help
- Aeration: David Hedges-Gower is a lawn care expert. He lists aeration as one of the most important lawn care jobs you can be doing. Aeration basically makes holes in the surface of your lawn. It relieves the compaction created when the lawn is walked and played on. It allows air to get into the soil and it helps enormously with drainage. Always use a hollow tine aerator – never a garden fork – and enjoy burning off the calories you ingested at Easter time.
- Feeding: Last month we blogged about the importance of feeding your lawn. If you missed that blogpost, you can read it here
- Mowing your lawn is an art in itself. It’s not just a case of wheeling the mower out of the shed, starting it up and pushing it around a bit. The cutting height of your mower and the state of the blades are paramount to the health of your lawn. At this time of year (April/May) you should be mowing at least once a week and removing all of the clippings. A family lawn can be maintained at about 5cm height. That might sound a lot, but slightly longer grass is better at withstanding wear and bad weather. Keep your mower blades really sharp. Buy new ones if needs be.
- Edging: This is one lawn care job that will make a huge difference to the whole garden. Having a crisply cut neat edge to your lawn gives a well-tended and manicured feel to the whole property. Even if (as in my case) the flower beds still need weeding and the paint is peeling off the summer house.
- Repairs: After scarifying and aerating you may think some areas of your lawn look a bit thin and sparse. Those areas are easily repaired by oversowing with some grass seed.
- Replacement: If your lawn really is in a sorry state, the quickest and least challenging way to improve it is to simply replace the whole thing with new turf. You can lay turf yourself, or you can make the most of local experts and have them supply and lay a lawn for you.