Lawn lovers take heed


Lawn lovers: eliminating weeds should be the most important job at the moment, not fertilising.  Lawns need to be actively growing before feeding – that means you are back to regular mowing.

It is time to rid the grass of bindii, broadleaf, clover and other weeds in preparation for top-dressing and fertilising when growth is occurring.

Presently, the clover is really sprouting, and it is a hard one to beat. Spray now while it is actively growing before mowing. Hit it hard on a sunny day, early in the morning when dry.

If this fails, even after increasing the application dose, then resort to an old method of burning it out with sulphate of ammonia, which is applied in quantity on a warm, sunny day.

The sulphate isn’t watered in and therefore burns the weeds out but can cause minor damage to the lawn.

Once sulphate of ammonia was also used for greening after the winter. It gave the grass a quick fix, injecting colour into yellow lawns; the disadvantage being that the lawn stills needed fertilising to promote growth. A popular method for quick greening is to apply Green Flourish in water, particularly to newly laid grass.

After eliminating the weeds, which can take up to two weeks to die off, if the grass is beginning to grow, it will be time to fertilise.  

Mowing should be maintained at a constant cutting height as this will develop a balance between root and shoot systems. Mowing too close results in shallow roots and weakens the turf. Deep watering every three days is advised, not each day.

This week:

  • While it is still cold and time is being spent indoors, use white oil to dust off hard-leaved houseplants such as Ficus lyrata, umbrellas, Madonna Lilies and strelitzias.
  • Don’t prune wisteria now – wait until flowering has finished in spring.
  • Dig in cow manure and blood and bone to prepare for planting spring/summer vegetables, such as tomatoes and cucumbers, but wait one week before planting.

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