How to best fix the 5 most annoying lawn problems
All ready for the summer. Garden furniture out of storage? Check. Lighter evenings? Check. Lush healthy lawn? Er… pass.
We have answers to 5 of your common lawn problems, so that you can enjoy the summer with an enviable lawn. Polish up that barbecue and stock up the freezer, because you'll want to share your lovely lawn.
Annoyance 1 – Bees and Ants
Lawns are a breeding ground for many garden pests. But don’t be too heavy-handed in your quest to destroy them, you could wipe out your lawn in the process. And some of them might even help…
Ants – Ants are tiny creatures but can wreak havoc on your lawn. Root damage underground and ant hills above ground makes removing them a priority. A tip for a gentle way to dispose of ants is to spray them with a mixture of diluted washing up liquid. Avoid boiling water as this can kill of your grass. If this doesn’t solve the problem, use a commercial ant killer suitable for lawns. Always be particularly careful around children and pets.
Lawn Bees – Lawn bees can be frightening at first, because let’s face it, who wants to get stung? The truth is lawn bees (sometimes called mining bees) rarely sting. In fact only the female possesses a sting, so don’t pose much of a risk to you or your family. Lawn bees are actually good for your lawn as their burrows aerate your grass. One less job for you to do! Leave them alone and be proud that you are contributing to nature by giving these creatures a home.
Annoyance 2 – Weeds
Your lawn grass will always be competing for space with weeds. Many lawn weeds thrive because mowing the lawn can spread their seeds even further. Prevent weeds forming by filling any bare patches of lawn where weeds might thrive and take over. Whenever you see them, remove dandelions by the roots and returf or sow grass seed to fill in the gaps. For bigger problems, use lawn weedkiller, either sprayed or applied using a watering can. As with all chemical treatments, read and follow the directions carefully.
Annoyance 3 – Moss
Moss comes from variety of factors. And you can cause it yourself by not looking after your lawn. There are many ways to deal with moss in your lawn but first you need to treat the cause to prevent it from coming back. Practice good lawn hygiene; check your lawn for compacted soil (aerate it), sparse grass cover (over seed or returf), mowing too short (only mow 1/3 of the length of the grass on each cut), infertile soil (fertilise regularly) or overly acidic soil (test soil).
Once you have identified and treated the cause, you can focus on getting rid of it. Remove loose moss by scarification or raking, and then reseed to fill in any gaps. Apply fertiliser for the correct season (spring or autumn). Follow with moss killer, following the directions carefully.
To prevent it from returning, follow our lawn maintenance tips and keep that moss at bay!
Annoyance 4 – Pets
We all love our furry friends but their deposits can make a right mess of our lawns. Female urine is particularly strong. The nitrogen in urine is actually good for your grass, but in higher concentrations it can be catastrophic. You might see rings of strong healthy grass around the area where your dog does its business. The nitrogen gets diluted around the edges of the patch, actually fertilising the lawn, but the scorched area in the centre shows damage. The best and simplest way to avoid this is to thoroughly water down the area, promptly after each deposit. You could also train your dog to go in one patch, by giving treats each time they use the right area. There are some treatments available which claim to reduce the damage caused by dog urine, please discuss this with your vet before using.
Annoyance 5 – Patchy lawn
Follow good lawn hygiene: rake or scarify, aerate twice a year (in spring and autumn), mow only 1/3 of the height of the lawn with sharp blades, fertilise regularly, only water in the morning. If your lawn is still looking a bit rubbish, there are a few things that might be causing it.
Lawn rust – a fungus caused by damp conditions. You know you’ve got lawn rust when your shoes turn orange from walking over the grass. Don’t panic! Lawn rust is rarely permanent, continue with good lawn maintenance and mow regularly, removing all the clippings.
Scalping – high points in the soil means the grass gets cut too short or “scalped”. Gently remove the turf, remove excess soil and lay the turf back in place, watering well.
Too much shade – grass can fail to thrive in areas where deprived of sunlight. Trim or prune back trees and hedges to give your lawn access to the sun. If this isn’t possible, you might have to accept that growing a lawn in that area just isn’t workable. Consider creating a flowerbed and plant shade loving varieties instead.
Growing a lush healthy lawn is easy once you know how. A great way to give yourself more time to enjoy your lawn is by investing in a robotic lawnmower. These little beauties do all the hard work so all you have to do is sit back, relax, and enjoy your beautiful lawn. Check out our range or contact us for more info!
Have a fab summer!