At the double
Whether you’re digging, planting or pruning, it pays to follow the times-two rule, says Toby, as he explains how ‘double-doing’ can benefit the lawn
“It pays to apply fertiliser at half strength in two passes”
MEASURE twice, cut once. If you want to do something well it pays to do it twice, whether you’re pruning – check twice before you cut – or planting (remember to dig a hole at least twice as wide as the roots).
The times-two rule also applies when cleaning paving slabs. They always come up clean on the second blast from the jet-washer, and as for deep cultivation nothing comes close to double digging. It might be heavy work and its efficacy debatable, but it’s kept cash-strapped chiropractors busy for years!
‘Double-doing’ makes the most difference, though, on the lawn. Mowing twice a week is the fastest way to achieve a thick and healthy sward, as cutting encourages the grass to grow sideways and fill gaps.
If, like me, you share your garden with a wannabe Ronaldo, unless the lawn is well fed, when the World Cup starts it’ll turn into a right old Messi! Feeding helps improve a lawn’s ability to cope with wear and tear by reducing the moss that thrives in a tired and thin lawn.
I’ve been applying an eco-fertiliser and moss killer to my grass that feeds the sward, encouraging unwanted moss to grow up into the blades of the mower and killing what the blades can’t with a naturally occurring moss-eating bacteria.
When dosing any lawn with fertiliser, moss killer or weed-and-feed, a wheeled applicator that delivers the amount recommended on the side of the pack is really helpful, especially on larger lawns. Get it wrong and the results will be patchy or large swathes of grass will be burnt black by the slats in the feed.
That’s why it always pays to apply the fertiliser at half strength in two passes, ideally at right angles, so the feed falls evenly into the sward. If the granules in the first run empty sooner than expected, adjust the rate of the second or omit altogether.
When it comes to feeding grass, feed twice but never give second helpings.
Mow twice a week for a thick and healthy sward, and use a wheeled applicator (inset) to deliver the correct amount when feeding your lawn