Friday, 23 June 2017

Heat Wave and your grass



We are certainly enjoying some warm summer weather, however, with little rain on the horizon the combination of high temperatures and low rainfall will prove a stressful time for your lawn.

What can be done?
  • Definitely, raise the cut height to maximum, this will help with cooling the soil surface and reduce leaf stress.
  • If you decide to water, we suggest watering well and consistently throughout this period and beyond.
  • If you decide not to water, that isn't a problem, the grass will do what it does naturally and go into drought dormancy, it will soon recover when adequate rain fall returns.
For more information see our web site Watering Advice

This is also the weather conditions that favour summer lawn diseases, such as Red Thread.

What is Red Thread?
Red Thread is often seen on lawns in the UK from mid summer, it loves this warm humid weather. It is often seen on fine fescue lawns, but can develop on all lawn types. It is a fairly minor disease that in most cases does relatively little damage, but can spoil a well-kept lawns appearance. It is spread by spores within the air.


What treatments can be used?
On many occasions an application of fertiliser is more than sufficient to promote lawn growth, affected grasses would then be removed by cutting. The feed will also strengthen the plant, enabling it to “outgrow” the disease. We can also apply a fungicide treatment.
If you want to treat yourself, we would suggest using a product called Bayer Lawn Disease control* is applied, if necessary. (Manufacturers web site Bayer Lawn Disease Control) Notes: Use as directed and always read and follow the manufactures instructions before use.

Please remember that, similar to taking antibiotics, after you have applied a fungicide, it doesn't guarantee you never get the symptoms again.

Pest Control
If your lawn has been affected in the past by Chafer Grub or Leather Jacket, then now is a good time to pre order your nematodes for application in August, September or October.

These natural predators will, with frequent use, help with eradication and are currently the only control method available.

In the meantime, enjoy the sunshine.

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Low rainfall and your grass



If like us you are hearing in the news channels about the lack of current rainfall, then spare a thought for your grass.

The combination of recent temperatures, drying winds is promoting water evaporation faster than rainfall levels can replace lost water, this will prove a testing time. With some rain on the horizon for the next few days, this will provide a welcome relief for your lawn.
On our own lawn I have observed signs of moisture stress. It’s most evident when you look at foot traffic across the lawn, with a colour change from its normal bright green to a dull blue.

Both suggest that the grass plant has insufficient moisture in the leaves to maintain its structure, and is an indication that the moisture status of the plant is critically out of balance.

What can be done?
  • Definitely, raise the cut height to maximum, this will help with cooling the soil surface and reduce leaf stress.
  • If you decide to water, we suggest watering well and consistently throughout this period and beyond.
  • If you decide not to water, that isn’t a problem, the grass will do what it does naturally and go into drought dormancy, it will soon recover when adequate rain fall returns.
For more information see our web site Watering Advice

Early Summer Lawn Care and Garden Tips.


Soil temperatures are increasing and you may have noticed more grass clippings in the grass box each week during the regular cut. During the early summer period our feeds will gently feed your lawn maintaining the right supply of nutrient between our visits.

We are seeing the normal lawn weeds for this time of year but also those problem weeds namely, Germander Speedwell. We will be treating treat all of these with a selective herbicide.
At this time of year we see lots of POA grasses showing their seed heads, its all perfectly normal, just continue to mow as normal, but if you would like more information see "Seed Heads" in our advice section
Why is all feeding and cutting important?
If you regularly cut the grass in summer to a minimum of 30mm and it is well fed, then the lawn will become thick and strong, this will naturally help eliminate weeds and moss as the don’t get a chance to thrive.

1. MOWING
Correct mowing makes the difference between a "so-so" lawn and a great one. Here are a few simple steps when mowing that make a big difference in your lawns appearance whatever time of year:
  • A light topping of the grass is always better than a severe hacking;
  • Do not cut the grass if frost is present;
  • If finding a dry day to cut the lawn is a problem, drag the reverse side of a brush over the lawn, wait 30 minutes or so and then the lawn should be dry enough to cut.

Don’t forget to ask us about the benefits of our beneficial lawn and soil treatments eg Aeration, Scarification, Soil Improver and Over Seeding

1. Mowing Tips

If you haven’t already it is time to complete your first lawn cut, we suggest that you raise the cutter for the few cuts and then cut no more than 1/3rd off in any one cut. It’s not too late to replace the mower blade or get it sharpened, all crucial for a healthy cut.

If you have a petrol mower, don’t use fuel left over from last year. Stale fuel accounts for many starting problems at any time of the year.

Correct mowing will make the difference between a “so-so” lawn and a great one. There are a few simple steps when mowing that make a big difference in your lawns appearance whatever time of year:

A light topping of the grass is always better than a severe “hacking”

Regular cutting will make it more enjoyable for you and frequent cutting requires less effort.

Keep cutting the grass regularly and trimming the edges for that smart professional look.

2. Correct Mowing
Correct mowing will make the difference between a “so-so” lawn and a great one. There are a few simple steps when mowing that make a big difference in your lawns appearance whatever time of year:
  • A light topping of the grass is always better than a severe “hacking”
  • Regular cutting will make it more enjoyable for you and frequent cutting requires less effort.
  • Avoid cutting the lawn if the lawn is covered in frost.
3. Soil Improver
Now is a great time to apply our Soil Improver. It can be applied  at any time but spring and autumn are best. It will improve soil conditions and help develop strong roots which will produce healthy leaves.

Benefits of our Soil Improver;
  • Improves soil structure and tilth;
  • Creates friable soils and builds deeper top-soil;
  • Breaks up soils compacted by sodium and clay;
  • Allows soil to dry more quickly after rain or irrigation enabling it to be worked sooner;
  • Enhances friendly bacterial action and discourages plant diseases related to poor soil aeration;
  • Conditioned soil allows for deeper, healthier root development and water penetration;

4. Clean up your hard surfaces from weeds and algae.

It's a great time to clean up your drive and patio from Algae, Moss and weeds.

Our biocide will kill mould and other growths within typically 2-4 days, and the secondary detergent action will help to gently clean the treated surface in the following weeks and months without the need for pressure washing.

Our Hard surface weed control will keep your drive weed free for up to 3 months.
For more information Patio Cleaning or Drive Weeding

The Greener Gardens Team

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Spare a thought for your grass!



If like us you enjoyed a week end of sunshine and BBQ’s spare a thought for your grass.

The combination of high day temperatures and strong winds over the last few days has really dried surfaces and with little or no rain on the horizon for the week, this will prove a testing time for your lawns.

On our own lawn I have observed signs of moisture stress. It’s most evident when you look at foot traffic across the lawn, and also a colour change from its normal bright green to a dull blue.

Both suggest that the grass plant has insufficient moisture in the leaves to maintain their structure and is an indication that the moisture status of the plant is critically out of balance.

What can be done?
·       Definitely, raise the cut height to maximum, this will help with cooling the soil surface and reduce leaf stress.
·       If you decide to water, we suggest watering well and consistently throughout this period and beyond.
·       If you decide not to water, that isn’t a problem, the grass will do what it does naturally and go into drought dormancy, it will soon recover when adequate rain fall returns.


For more information see our web site watering advise

Saturday, 18 June 2016

What a difference a week makes



A week ago the team at Greener Gardens we were concerned about the dryness of lawns but during the last eight days have seen some very wet weather which combined with the mild temperatures is causing other lawn issues.

Keep a watch on your lawn for the following:

Red Thread and fungal diseases
Ants in lawns

 
What is Red Thread?
Red Thread is often seen on lawns in the UK from mid summer, it loves this warm wet weather. It is often seen on fine fescue lawns, but can develop on all lawn types. It is a fairly minor disease that in most cases does relatively little damage, but can spoil a well-kept lawns appearance. It is spread by spores within the air.

What treatments can be used?
On many occasions an application of fertiliser is more than sufficient to promote lawn growth, affected grasses would then be removed by cutting. The feed will also strengthen the plant, enabling it to “outgrow” the disease. We can also apply a fungicide treatment.

Can anything be done now?
Normally the promoting of new growth with the fertiliser will help, as you then cut out the active fungal growth. We would suggest to check to see if you're looking at the primary effect i.e. red spikes or the secondary effect of the brown ‘straw like grasses’, affected brown grasses will not revert to green, until new grass growth occurs.

If it is red spikes of fungal activity that you can see, this is already the later development stages, an application of a feed would be beneficial, combined with a frequent cut to remove the affected grasses, but you may choose to treat with a contact fungicide for additional protection.

For best results the fungicide should be applied soon after cutting. Our fungicide will give up to 4 weeks protection. If you would like us to treat your lawn, we can provide a quotation for this.
If you want to treat yourself, we would suggest using a product called Bayer Lawn Disease control* is applied, if necessary. (Manufacturers web site Bayer Lawn Disease Control )  

Notes: Use as directed and always read and follow the manufactures instructions before use.

Please remember that, similar to taking antibiotics, after you have applied a fungicide. It doesn't guarantee you never get the symptoms again.

Controlling Ants
Ant hills left untreated will make your lawn uneven, they can be dispersed by brushing the soil when conditions are dry, this will avoid smearing them on the lawn when mowing.
Most ant species build underground nests. Worker ants dig tunnels and chambers, or rooms, in the soil. As the colony grows, workers add more tunnels and chambers to the nest. Ant colonies can grow to be quite large, their nests may reach 6 meters below the ground.

We recommend Ant Stop granule applied as a drench, repeating applications as required – More product details and available in our shop or direct from the van

If you require any further information please see our Info section on the web site, or e-mail us.

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Spring Lawn Cutting Tips



It’s May and your lawn grasses will have started growing, as the soil warms up, and your mowing needs to start in earnest. Regular mowing is a vital part of lawn care. A quick whiz with a sharp and well-adjusted mower will only take you a few minutes if you do the job every week. Mowing as often as you are able will encourage the fine grasses and allow the grass enough energy to thicken up to be an area to be proud of.


Lawn cutting can be simplified into the following rules:


  • Never more than 1/3rd off in any one cut
  • Mow frequently – weekly is best when the lawn is actively growing
  • Check your mower regularly for cutting height and blade sharpness


Regardless of your mowers cutting action being Cylinder, Rotary or Hover, the principles remain the same.


The 'One Third Rule’


Never remove more than one third of the grass blade on any one mowing. Therefore, if your lawn mower is set for a 3cm (1 ”) cut then you must mow at or before the grass gets to 4cm (1 ½”) whether that’s 4 days or 8 days between cuts.


Regardless of the mowing height, we recommend never leave your lawn more than 10 to 14 days between cuts.


The chances are in summer you won’t need to cut the grass much, if it is very dry, as there will be little growth. However, don’t go over two weeks between cuts, because some weed grasses will take advantage of the lack of lawn mowing and spread or seed profusely.


Why Mow Little and Often?


For many of us little and often means once a week. This will produce a much denser and more aspirational turf, than if your grass cutting is every two weeks.


A dense turf is the best looking and a great form of natural weed control as it prevents weed seeds from contact with the soil. If the seed doesn't contact the soil then there is a very good chance that no weed grows; perfect!


If I don’t follow these rules, what happens?


Thin patchy lawns are often the result of infrequent mowing or removing too much of the grass when you cut. Mow infrequently AND mow short and before long you won't have a lot of lawn left to mow!


Greener Gardens are able to help with all your seasonal lawncare needs including weed and pest control. Contact us on 0115 837 8439 or visit us www.greenergardens.co.uk

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Wet weather cutting advice



November and December 2015 have broken most of the weather records we probably didn’t want breaking for our lawns and gardens, warmest, wettest, windiest, least sun, most consecutive days of rainfall, the list is endless. But even more widespread is the water logging that has affected lawns – particularly those on heavy, clay soils – and naturally wet soil.

Due to the mild weather grass is still growing which means it may need cutting. It's difficult to mow wet grass at the best of times but if you leave it until spring it'll be even longer and therefore harder.  Make life easier for yourself this Spring

  • Put the mower on the highest setting 
    •  This will help especially on clay soils
    • Longer grass will grow more slowly
    •  The grass will use more energy growing for roots
    • The extra leaf will aid in photosynthesis improving health and disease resistance
  • When you mow you'll mow higher up the leaf where it is drier
  • Leave the cylinder mower in the shed, use a rotary
  • The mower will ride on a cushion of grass with fewer muddy tracks

Mowing wet grass – top tips
  • Dry off the lawn first: use a length of hose and drag or drag a brush this will disperse any water down into the soil
  • Mow in the afternoon or evening: choose a dry day which gives the grass leaves a chance to dry
  • Choose a windy day: it will assist in drying the lawn
  • Clean the mower: grass left from a previous cuts attracts wet grass like a magnet
  • A sharp mower is even better
  • A rotary mower will be better than a cylinder mower
If your lawn is thinning?
Some lawns, particularly those with clay soil, poor drainage and/or shady are beginning to thin quite alarmingly. Basically the roots are so saturated the grass is drowning.

What do you do? 
Don't panic and don’t start digging it up or installing drainage. Just leave it alone until spring when the weather starts to warm. 

As conditions improve, consider over seeding with new grass seed. This will help rejuvenate your lawn.  We recommend Green Velvet Grass Seed.