Achieve the perfect summer lawn with tips from GreenThumb
Here at BBC Gardeners' World Live we're pleased to welcome GreenThumb back to the Show with their lawncare experts. The GreenThumb team will be poised and ready to meet visitors on Stand E404, armed with their best advice to help you get the greenest grass this summer.
(GreenThumb's feature garden in the Floral Marquee 2016)
Steve Taylor, technical lawn expert and adviser to GreenThumb lawn care, has provided a step-by-step maintenance guide for those wanting their lawns to look in peak condition this summer.
After a particularly mild winter, where weeds may have taken hold in spring, warmer temperatures from June to August affect how and what you should do to maintain your lawn. It's very much a time for sustaining life to ensure the survival of each individual blade of grass that makes up your lawn, with regular mowing and watering.
(Tony Smith's Cocoa Garden at BBC Gardeners' World Live 2015)
This spring has been very dry and cool and we are now heading to the summer period; now is not a good time to be doing much in the way of the Aeration and Scarification machine work. The reasoning behind this is that any damage to the plant could cause you problems in keeping the lawn looking a picture for the spring. Unless you have been advised otherwise, the only work needed on your lawn would be cutting it correctly, we discuss this later.
Adapt your watering schedule to the weather. There is a lot of advice on how, when and if you should water the lawn, let’s answer ‘if’ first - the grass plant is made up of mainly water; if you do not water the grass it will dehydrate and eventually die; the plants dying, will leave an opportunity for weeds and all the wrong types of grass to germinate and grow in the lawn. ‘How’ - it is best to water using a sprinkler, moving it about the lawn from place to place leaving it in each area for approximately 10 mins but no longer. ‘When’ - is the big debate, some view soaking it once a week as the best way, however, in our experience we find it best to start watering before the soil dries out; if the lawn has some slight tinges of brown then get watering now. Some say not to water in the evening as this may cause disease, again this is true if you water too much in the evening but watering a little will cool the plant after the long summer day and some water will work its way into the root system. You can also water early morning, this will assist the lawn but occasionally we get a lot of sunshine and the watering could evaporate before the plant fully benefits. It is a good idea to have a treatment that helps water to move through the lawn which can be accomplished using the Oasis programme from GreenThumb.
This contributes to a good-looking lawn throughout the summer, the errors made are with the cutting height and when not to cut. When cutting in the spring, the best approach is to keep the height at not less than 25mm (1”), cutting regularly is also important; a minimum of once a week, if you are able, then once every 5 days would be ideal. When it comes to warmer, drier periods then raise the height of the cut to 40mm (1.5”). If it remains really dry and watering is difficult for you, then up to 50mm (2”); when the grass is not growing, and is becoming brittle, do not cut it. If the lawn has become dry, then watering is essential and you may have to increase your watering programme to recover the lawn. Only when you start to see the lawn recover, is it time to restart cutting again.
Should be nutrition based and applied by an expert at both the start and towards the end of the summer. By applying an early and late summer treatment, each plant in your lawn will be strengthened to withstand warm conditions and will ensure a healthy and vibrant green coloured lawn for you to enjoy on long summer days. A nutrition-based treatment applied by a professional strengthens its summer growth
Steve Taylor has over 20 years of experience in lawn care and maintenance. For more information on lawn care tailored to your needs, visit greenthumb.co.uk.
And to meet the GreenThumb team, make your way to Stand E404 at BBC Gardeners' World Live! You can also explore the many shades of green at their Feature Garden called 'With a Twist' designed by award winning Pip Probert.