AU­TUMN MAKEOVER

Re­vi­tal­is­ing a parched and patchy lawn

Go Gardening - - Lawns -

RE­MOV­ING THATCH once a year helps keep your lawn healthy. Use a scar­i­fy­ing rake or ma­chine to re­move the build up of dead grass and or­ganic mat­ter. This re­stores the pas­sage of air, wa­ter and nu­tri­ents.

AERATE the soil to re­duce com­paction, im­prove wa­ter ab­sorp­tion and sup­ply lawn roots with oxy­gen. Use a gar­den fork to punch holes and aerate the soil. For very hard com­pact or large lawns, a ‘core aer­a­tor’ ma­chine may be hired.

WEEDS love dry hun­gry lawns and can be kept to a min­i­mum with reg­u­lar feed­ing and mow­ing. Avoid mow­ing too low in sum­mer. Small num­bers of weeds can be dealt with by hand, oth­er­wise spe­cial lawn weed sprays are avail­able. How­ever, don’t spray new lawns with weed­killer for at least two months af­ter sow­ing.

MOSS ap­pears in shady, poorly drained, com­pacted or poorly fed lawns. Moss killers can be sprayed in spring or au­tumn but the moss will reap­pear if con­di­tions re­main the same. Con­sider re-land­scap­ing with plant ground­cover plants in shady ar­eas, or lay step­ping stones in heavy traf­fic ar­eas.

RE-SOW brown patches. Pre­pare the ground first, so that the seed can make good con­tact with the soil; mow the lawn short then rake to re­move thatch and cre­ate shal­low grooves in the soil. Add a layer of weed-free top­soil or lawn mix, then scat­ter the seed and wa­ter gen­tly. Feed and wa­ter as for a new lawn.

SUNKEN AR­EAS that have a good cover of turf may be reme­died with­out sow­ing any seed: Cut and peel back a sec­tion of turf and fill un­der­neath with top­soil or lawn mix. Care­fully re­place the turf and wa­ter thor­oughly.

FEED with lawn fer­tiliser to sup­port the flush of growth. A good lawn fer­tiliser con­tains the cor­rect pro­por­tions of ni­tro­gen and other essen­tial nu­tri­ents.

WA­TER dur­ing dry weather. Lawns need wa­ter to stay green and a newly sown lawn must not be al­lowed to dry out. If you have sum­mer wa­ter re­stric­tions, choose a drought tol­er­ant lawn va­ri­ety.

au­tumn sum­mer

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