May is a month of rapid growth for lawn grass. The plants are trying to do what Mother Nature made them for. Here are our top tips to keep your lawn looking good this May.
- Mowing. By now you should be mowing your lawns at least once per week, twice if possible. Mowing little and often will reduce stress on the plant and encourage the sward to thicken. Remember to do so with a sharp blade and regularly change the direction of your cut. Lawns should be cut between 25-40mm in length, if you’re unsure leave it a fraction longer to be on the safe side.
- Watering. If your lawn is brown and patchy during then the most likely cause is dryness. If your lawn is dry, then watering will certainly help to maintain a good colour and appearance. If you do water your lawn then do so in the evenings/early mornings (watering during bright sunlight can scorch grass) and aim to do this heavily 2-3 times per week. You are aiming to get the water into the root zone as this will have the most impact, a couple of heavy soakings with a sprinkler for 1.5-2 hours at a time (in each position required to cover the lawn) should achieve this. You can determine whether the water is reaching the lawn roots by applying the sprinkler then leaving alone for 24 hours before digging up a small core of turf and soil to see how far down the soil the water has reached. If the water hasn’t reached the desired depth then extend the sprinkling time next time you water. Do not use a hose or watering can, as this will not put on enough water to reach roots. Watering daily for shorter durations does not have the same impact and can encourage turf disease such as Red Thread as the sward often remains damp and humid as it doesn’t get time to dry out in between watering and the water is unlikely to drain right down in to the root zone where it is needed. Watering is especially important for newly laid turf or areas recently seeded where the root depth may be quite shallow.
- Early Summer Lawn Treatment. We make a start on our Early-Summer lawn treatments which we carry out largely across May and June. This is vital for the continued health of the grass plant. With growth soon to hit it’s peak, it’s important that that a continuous source of food is available in the soil to support this, providing the thick, lush lawn we desire. It is also an ideal time to control difficult weeds using a selective herbicide.
- Ants. Ants are often a problem on many lawns over the summer. The ants normally do not kill the grass directly, but their excavations bring soil to the surface and eventually build mounds. These raised areas can be scalped by the mower, leading to bald patches and the nests often dry out quickly causing stress to the grasses growing above. To avoid mounds being built up it is best to rake or brush the loose soil out over the lawn when dry. Controlling ants in a lawn is very difficult as there are currently no reliable products available to control ants in lawns.
- Garden Furniture. With the sun shining more often than not we are rightly inclined to get outside and soak up the rays. Remember if you have garden furniture out on your lawns to move them off once you have finished with them to avoid long term damage or repair work.