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Essential Lawn Care Jobs For March

Essential Lawn Care Jobs For March
16/04/2018

The Turfonline team are hoping for better weather so that we can all get started on some essential lawn care jobs.

So far, March 2018 has been a damp squib when it comes to lawn care jobs. We started the month with snow and now it’s raining – at least it is in Norfolk. The first jobs I’m going to be attending to when the weather improves are aeration, moss control and lawn feeding….in that order.

Aeration My lawn is a horrid yellow colour at the moment. That’s caused by too much water. The plant roots are not getting enough air because all the air spaces in the soil are filled with water.

Aeration is a technique used by greenkeepers to help water drain from the surface of the lawn (or playing surface) and to get more oxygen down to the plants’ roots so that the cells can do everything they should be doing.

A simple lawn aerator like this one is cheap to buy and does the job well. Although it may take quite a long while to aerate a large lawn. The holes need to be about 10cm apart across the whole lawn.

In very simple terms, aeration is about piercing holes through the grass layer and into the soil. It’s best done in spring and autumn when the soil is neither saturated nor dry.

You may have seen aeration done with a garden fork. That’s not something I’d advise. Yes, most of us do have a garden fork in the shed already and yes, it doesn’t require any technical expertise to stick a fork in the ground and wiggle it about a bit. BUT by doing that you are actually compacting the sides of the “hole” even more than they were already. What you really should be doing is taking out a thin core of soil so that you can relieve compaction.

Help with aeration Green keepers use a machine called a hollow tine aerator. If you only have a small lawn, you can buy a manual version of the same thing. Or, you could hire an aerator from your local tool hire shop. Better still, if you’re pressed for time, hire a lawn care professional to do the work for you. They have all the right equipment and because they know how to operate it, they work fast and efficiently.

If you are on heavy clay soil, you could follow hollow-tine aeration with topdressing. That’s brushing a mix of 70% sand and 30% quality topsoil into the holes. It helps improve soil quality in the longer term.

Moss Management Ugh! Parts of my lawn look horrid right now. This long wet winter has been just what the moss needed to really thrive.

Moss likes:

Poorly drained soil Shade Minimal competition from other plant species To combat moss, you need to fix those 3 things.

By aerating (see above) and topdressing you will improve lawn drainage and make it harder for moss to reproduce. Moss needs a thin layer of surface water to breed. I’ll not turn this blog into a biology lesson but basically, moss is a primitive plant that behaves very differently to grass and flowers.

Reducing shade on a lawn Shade is hard to combat sometimes. I’m lucky enough to have a grown up Son who is competent with the chain saw. This winter he has helped me lop some branches off the mature trees in my garden and reduce the height of the hedges. Hopefully that will let more light into the more deeply shaded areas of my lawn. More light = stronger grass plants.

You can help keep moss under control by feeding the grass. Some proprietary lawn feeds also contain a moss killer. They’re worth looking out for if the moss has invaded your whole lawn.

For more information on  Essential Lawn Care Jobs For March  talk to  Turfonline

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