Gardening tips: Alan Titchmarsh shares how to seed lawns
Bad weather, pests and lawn care mistakes can all contribute to the lawn looking tired, patchy and yellow. A patchy and yellow lawn are not aesthetically pleasing and if it isn’t sorted, bigger problems could arise. Chris McIllroy at The Grease People has shared various ways to prevent these issues.
The expert said: “The high temperatures of the summer heat can cause stress to your grass and slow down growth in the process, making it difficult for your grass to stay healthy.
“To make sure that your grass is in the best possible position to withstand the heat and stress, make sure that you are feeding your lawn.
“To ensure you get the most out of your fertiliser, the best conditions are waiting for days when rain is expected. Fertiliser doesn’t like the sun and it does like moist soil, making rainy and overcast days the perfect days for this job.
“It’s important to get this job ticked off fairly early in the summer, as after August high levels of nitrogen are not suitable for use due to the upcoming autumn weather.”
As well as feeding the lawn, it is important to remove any big pieces of debris from the grass as much as possible.
In hot weather it can be tempting to leave garden furniture, barbecues and even paddling pools on the lawn, but this can be damaging.
Leaving heavy items on the lawn stops the grass from accessing the vital air, light and water it needs to thrive at a time where it is already struggling.
If these items cannot be put away, try to move them around the lawn so each section gets a chance to breathe.
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Throughout the summer months weeds can also be a huge issue for gardeners, especially when they begin to grow on the grass.
The expert said: “There are two options for removing weeds from your grass. The first is to manually dig out the weeds or the second is to apply a chemical weed killer.
“You can use both methods if your lawn is established but do not use feed, weed or moss killer on a newly seeded lawn as this can have an adverse effect.
“To remove unwanted weeds, we can use techniques such as aerating and scarifying the lawn or digging out the weeds with a spade and patching with grass seed.”
If lots of the areas are looking thin due to weed removal, it is a great time to repair them through overseeding, according to Chris.
He explained: “If you want to try your hand at overseeding, there are a few steps to follow. Firstly, make sure you take the time to prep the lawn, this includes weeding the lawn and removing any debris such as boulders or stones.
“Next it’s time to scarify and fertilise the lawn with a quick release fertiliser. Lastly, moisten the soil and sprinkle the seed, water and then roll the lawn. The final step is to sit back and enjoy your luscious green lawn.”
As well as weeds, the lawn can be home to several different pests, which often cause no harm to the lawn itself.
However, one pest which Britons may find in their grass is leatherjackets, according to the lawn expert. Chris said: “They thrive in poorly drained lawns and hatch from eggs laid by daddy-long-legs.
“You may spot you have a leatherjacket problem if yellow patches in your lawn appear as they feed on the roots and stems of blades causing your lawn to discolour and turn yellow or brown.
“As they thrive in poorly drained soil, an easy way to prevent leatherjackets from inhabiting your lawn is regular aeration to improve the drainage of your soil.
“If you already have a leatherjacket problem, you can treat it with nematodes which are bacterial worms that naturally kill them.”
There are different types of nematodes so when purchasing them for the lawn, ensure you buy the Steinernema Feltiae nematode which should do the trick.
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