Lawn Care Tips for February
Wednesday, 10 February, 2021
Posted in February Lawn Care Tips
If the weather is ok, there's lots to do on the lawn in February.
Different types of tines will have different effects on the lawn, the main ones at this time of year are 'solid' or 'flat/chisel' type. Solid tines will allow air into the soil enabling the roots to breath and allowing water and fertilisers directly into the rootzone throughout the Spring and Summer. Flat tines do exactly the same as solid but cause a slit in the soil rather than a round hole, the knife shaped tine will prune the root encouraging strong re-growth. The underground hole is larger than a solid tine which allows more oxygen into the soil. Flat tines cannot be used from late Spring into Summer as the warm weather cause the slits to open-up allowing moisture out from the rootzone. We have produced good results on many lawns by using flat tines, the technique tends to be used on bowling greens and sports grounds.
Ideal time of year to kill moss. Moss is encouraged by many factors including: Poor growing conditions, high/low ph., mower scalping, heavy shade & waterlogging. Unless these factors are corrected, moss will always return. Moss killing can be carried out from Autumn until Spring, once or several times and will stop moss becoming too invasive. The treatment works rapidly and the results can be seen on the same day as treatment. The dead moss can be left to deteriorate or scarified out. It would be beneficial to aerate (spike) the lawn after moss treatment to allow the soil to breathe. We recommend taking a soil sample, we'll then send it off to get it analysed and follow the recommendations.
If the weather allows, a light scarifying is beneficial. This will remove much of the dead yellow foliage and brown tips that have developed throughout the Winter. Moss will also be removed and the sward will be generally opened-up to allow air around the base of the plant therefore helping to prevent disease attack. Spring tines is also another alternative. We have found that 'verticutting' during the Spring and Summer will provide good results by reducing the amount of procumbent growth, therefore reducing the need for heavy scarifying in the Autumn.
Many lawns will suffer disease attack throughout the year, the problem disease in Winter and Spring is 'Fusarium'. It can be controlled extremely effectively by modern chemicals. If not controlled, bare patches will be left where the grass dies out, although the grass will grow back into the bare patches, it may be a different inferior species or it may be moss or weeds. Ensure that all fallen leaves are removed from the lawn as they will cause excess moisture retention which will encourage disease attack.
A low nitrogen/high potash fertiliser can be applied as a late Winter feed to prepare the lawn for the forthcoming growing season by gently greening and encouraging strong disease resistance and root growth. This can be followed with a specialist fertiliser in March/April. We use a fertiliser manufacturer based in Somerset, we are thrilled with the results we get....and so are our customers.
If the ground allows it, lightly 'top' the lawn. Just a fraction taken off the leaf blade is enough, then gradually reduce the height of cut during March and April. Ensure that the blade is sharp so it doesn't tear the grass. Even in the growing season, no more than a third of the leaf should be removed because the plant will be stunted and stressed if more is taken off. This is why weekly mowing, rather than fortnightly always produces a better-quality lawn. Cylinder mowing will always produce a better-quality cut at the leaf tip by using a scissor action rather than a rotary cut which tends to tear the leaf tip. A ragged leaf tip will go brown and allow disease into the plant encouraging a general off-green/light brown appearance. We always recommend weekly mowing but we also provide a fortnightly service. We use cylinder, rotary and ride-on machinery.
Continue turfing and start preparing ground for seeding and lawn renovation. Seed needs to be sown either in September or March. Although a lawn sown from seed takes longer to establish, there are several advantages over turf: Seed is much cheaper (although it may require more thorough soil preparation). By sowing seed, you have control over the species and can create a lawn for your particular aspect: seed for shady areas/fine lawns/drought conditions etc. You do not have that choice with turf. When sowing a lawn in March, it will probably need heavy irrigation throughout the Summer months. Pets and children will need to be kept off for the early part of the Summer to allow establishment. We specialise in seeding rather than turfing.