Spring into action and give your lawn some care
As spring arrives, our lawns will vary vastly from a football pitch, a scrap yard, or perhaps even a wildlife park!
Too often all we see is a muddy patch with a little green or a soft mattress of moss, when in fact what we want to see is a beautiful lush green lawn.
No matter how green-fingered we are, it's a fact that we all take pride in our lawns.
So what are the four secrets to a happy, healthy lawn?
1. Regular mowing
3. Treating weeds and moss
4. Dealing with bare patches.
For most of us the problems are either bare worn-out patches or thick springy moss. If treated correctly these problems can soon be rectified, giving us the lawn we dream about.
The best action to take is to apply a complete lawn care product that will feed, weed and kill the moss in the lawn.
There are many of these products that we are probably all familiar with, but they're not always used to their full potential.
To achieve the best results, timing, preparation, application and after care are all essential.
Although this sounds complicated, by following simple steps it really is quite straightforward.
On average only 25per cent of people ever feed their lawns – make sure you're one of them!
Start by applying a feed, weed and moss-killing product to your lawn.
This should be done evenly to avoid a patchy uneven result. On large lawns it's strongly recommended to use a lawn spreader for the best results (use a liquid version if treating a small area).
It's important to follow the recommended amounts and ensure products are not applied shortly after or before mowing the grass.
After application allow the product to work for approximately a week.
The results can be very alarming, especially if your lawn turns black!
Don't panic as it is the moss that is dead and not the grass.
At this stage the lawn can now be raked or scarified to remove all the dead moss and any other thatch at the base of the grass.
Because the moss is dead it is very easily removed. Many people make the mistake of applying the weed, feed and moss killer after scarifying the lawn, which just makes harder work.
Once removed, there may be bare patches that require re-seeding. Before treating the bare patches, it's highly recommended that you top-dress the lawn first.
Moss generally occurs in lawns because of poor drainage, so by not improving the drainage it will quickly grow back again.
Applying a top dressing of two parts sharp sand, one part peat and one part loam will improve the drainage around the base of the grass. Apply the mixture on to the lawn with a shovel and settle it in by using a stiff yard brush.
Having done this any bare spots can then be re-seeded.
Take time to ensure that you select the right type of grass seed to suit your situation as there are many types available: seeds for shady areas, for hard wearing areas and even grass that requires little mowing.
One of the best tips is to place the seed in the fridge for a week before sowing. As well as needing water to germinate, grass seed also reacts to temperature change, so this will rapidly increase the speed at which new growth appears.
When sowing the seed, apply it thickly but do not cover with soil as this will cause it to rot. Hopefully the new grass will start to show within ten days.
For badly waterlogged lawns it may be necessary to aerate which should improve drainage.
This can be done with a garden fork or an aerator for maximum affect.
Once complete apply a top dressing to prevent the problem recurring – pure sand is good for this.
Speak to the experts in store at Simpsons Garden Centre if you have any queries about your lawn.
Grow your own carrots
2019 is the year of the carrot, so it's the perfect time to give growing your own a try.
With so many varieties to choose from including: heritage, orange, dwarf, purple and even carrots for containers – why not visit Simpsons Garden Centre to choose the variety that suits you?
Here's Simpsons' quick guide to planting carrots:
- Prepare the seedbed soil well before sowing your seeds. Carrots like sandy, loamy and loose soil, free of stones. Avoid using too much fertiliser.
- Once the soil has dried out, plant your carrot seeds three to four inches apart in rows. Rows should be at least a foot apart.
- Cover the newly sown seeds with sand or fine soil that will not crust over when dry.
- Keep the soil moist with frequent shallow waterings.
- Carrots are sometimes slow to germinate. They may take two to three weeks to show any signs of life, so don’t panic if your carrots don’t appear right away!
Simpsons' Top 10 Gardening Tips for April:
- Keep weeds under control.
- This is the ideal time to plant pot-grown fruit trees and bushes.
- Protect fruit blossom from late frosts.
- Tie in climbing and rambling roses.
- Sow hardy annuals, herbs and wild flower seed outdoors.
- Increase the water given to houseplants.
- Feed hungry shrubs and roses.
- Sow new lawns or repair bare patches.
- Chit and plant out second early potatoes in the first half of the month, maincrop potatoes in the second half.
- Sow seed outdoors for beetroot, carrots, Swiss chard, summer cauliflower, lettuce, leeks, radish, turnip, spring onions, peas and spinach in well-prepared soil or containers.