February Tips

It’s February.  The weather’s wet, windy, cold and wintry.  So, sit with your feet up, it’s not like there’s anything you can do regarding your lawn maintenance at the minute, right?

Wrong!   Spring is literally just around the corner and a successful lawn takes successful preparation.

One of the first things you’ll notice is that the tips of the grass may be yellow.  This is due to the grass growing very slowly and a reduction of readily available nutrients.  Low soil temperatures along with excess rain causing the roots to constantly sit in water stresses the grass, and can have an effect on the appearance.

However, here are some tips to help get both your machinery and your lawn all prepared for spring:

Plan your maintenance program – You must plan in accordance with the time of year.  Seek some professional industry advice, or if you’d prefer to do the work yourself, do some research in to fertilisers.  There are 1000’s of products on the market that are full of promises.  Remember these treatments are not miracle workers, they can’t turn a poor looking lawn into the 18th green at St Andrews after only 1 application.  They’re designed to work in partnership with remedial work like scarification & aeration.

Prepare your lawnmower for the season ahead – Your lawnmower will be used a lot throughout the growing season and it’s only natural it’s going to need some maintenance.  A blunt mower blade can be the cause of many common turf diseases.  I’d recommend you arrange to have your machine serviced by your local garden machine engineering firm.  If you’re brave enough to tackle it yourself, you should check the cables, spark plug, oil and lubricant levels, as well as sharpen the blade and ensure it is set properly.

First cut of the year – Assuming your mower has been serviced.  If you plan on carrying out spring renovations’ on your own, or if you’re a customer and are already booked in for spring renovations I’d say go ahead and bring out the mower.  Start on a high setting and gradually reduce height until you expose the thatch layer (the green leaf should be cut away and will now look brown).  This is always how your lawn should look prior to scarifying. If no renovations are planned follow the same plan but don’t cut short enough to expose the brown thatch layer.

Keep off frosty lawns – It’s still winter and it’s quite normal at this time of year for us to have sharp frosts, even into March & April.  It’s important not to stand on the lawn when it’s frosty as it leaves footprints which actually damage the grass.  Once the grass thaws out, you’ll notice the black footprints where you walked when it was frosty.  These can take weeks to recover and, in extreme cases, can completely kill off that area.

I hope you’ve found all of the above helpful.  Remember to check our Facebook and Twitter pages for ongoing tips and advice.

I look forward to bringing you another ‘tips and tricks’ instalment next month – hopefully by then those pesky weather warnings will have disappeared and we’ll be seeing the first signs of spring!

Martin