Midsummer management for your lawn
Whilst we are sadly approaching the latter stage of our summer, that doesn’t mean all the work is done yet! Yes, there are plenty of things that can still be done to your lawn to keep it looking great for the remainder of the summer, and no, it isn’t too late to start from scratch.
We may have already experienced the best of our UK summer, but while temperatures remain at 8-10 degrees and above throughout most of the country – conditions are still ideal for sowing. You can still overseed or sow a new lawn from scratch and with a good mix of sunshine and rain forecast weekly, you should see good grass growth within 10 days. Make sure to follow our guide for best results!
Around this time in the season you may start to see patches appearing. This can be due to general wear and tear, dog urine or from garden furniture / trampolines. Patches can be repaired surprisingly quickly to get your lawn back to its very best. To do this follow the below steps:
- Mow your lawn prior to seeding so you can get an idea of the size of patch you are working with.
- Scarify to remove any grass clippings, or yellow / dead straw like grass from the patchy section. Also remove any debris such as stones so that you are left with bare soil – the area should be free from weeds and moss. If these are all across the lawn also, we recommend applying our Feed, Weed and Moss Killer. If it is just in one area, consider using a spot treatment weed killer.
- Water the patch prior to sowing.
- Sow with a mix appropriate for your needs. If you need a wear and tear tolerant mix opt for our SUPERSTAR: Back Lawn / FAMILY: Kids and Pets.
- Generously sprinkle the seed onto the grass evenly at a rate of 35g per square metre and rake the seed in so that it is in amongst the soil
- Water the patch daily for the following 6 weeks after sowing. You can avoid doing this when it is raining.
Ah, midsummer often means your lawn loses its mojo and isn’t looking quite as green as it did at the beginning of summer. Never worry, most lawns require a feed in summer to keep them looking great. A nitrogen rich fertiliser such as our QUICK RELEASE: Spring / Summer will boost your lawn over the course of 6 weeks and get those green good looks to return in no time! Yellowing grass can mean a few other things however, which you can find more on below.
At this stage in the summer you should be regularly mowing your lawn to keep it in good condition. If you have sown one of our grass seed mixes, our recommended mowing height will be noted on each product but as a general rule a mostly perennial ryegrass (hardwearing, heavy use) lawn should be kept at between 1.5 - 2 inches or 3.5 - 5cm. If you have an ornamental lawn that is made up of fescues and experiences less traffic it should be mown to a lower height of around ¾ of an inch or 1 - 2cm. You should always aim to make the most of your mowing by mowing at the correct height for your lawn type, mowing when it isn’t raining and looking after your lawn mower by having it regularly serviced to avoid shocking / damaging your grass as a result of blunt blades.
Even if your grass isn’t yellowing, all lawns can benefit from a feed in midsummer to boost their greeness and keep them looking better, for longer. For existing lawns and at this stage in the summer and for quicker results, you may wish to consider our QUICK RELEASE: Spring / Summer fertiliser. It is a granular fertiliser and needs to be watered in - you should mow your lawn (at the right height!) before application. It is a 6-week feed that thickens up the grass and makes it very green and can be applied every 6 weeks in spring / summer. Alternatively, if you’re sowing a new lawn from scratch, we would recommend our QUICK RELEASE: Pre-Seed fertiliser which is a balanced feed of all the nutrients your lawn needs to establish quickly and thrive for the remainder of summer. Looking forward to autumn, you’ll want to add our SLOW RELEASE: Autumn / Winter to your basket – but thankfully we’re not in autumn quite yet! Don’t forget we provide a 20% discount code for any Before / After photos you have from using our products, so if you want to get some fertiliser at a discounted price – that is the way to do it!
As all wildlife is now out enjoying the warmer weather, you can be sure that pests will be too. Two of the most common pests you’ll find in your lawn in summer are Leatherjackets and Ants and both can be treated the same way.
Leatherjackets are brown grubs that will eat away at the roots of your grass causing it to die off and yellow, so if you notice some obscure yellowing in parts of your lawn then you may have some unexpected visitors. Another obvious sign of leatherjacket infestation is that birds will be very interested in your lawn and will peck at the surface to try and eat them. If you try lifting an area of this yellowing turf, you’ll soon know whether you have them or not as they will be clearly visible. Leatherjackets can be treated with the nematode Steinernema feltiae, which when watered will naturally kill off the leatherjackets.
If you notice the soil being disturbed in your lawn you may have ants. Whilst ants are not found in all parts of the UK they can find themselves in abundance in certain parts, and unfortunately in certain lawns. For the most part, their mounds are considered unsightly and ants should be tolerated without the need for treatment. Soil mounds can be brushed out to level with your lawn or by using your mower and will become barely noticeable within a few days. If you are concerned with the species of ant in your lawn you may wish to consult a specialist or alternatively treat with nematodes.
Whilst we all love a bit of warm weather, unfortunately all that humidity, coupled with intermittent wet weather, is a breeding ground for lawn diseases.
New seedlings are at risk of suffering from Damping Off. When the weather is humid it can cause naturally occurring fungi to multiply. This can infect seedlings just as they begin to germinate, and will cause them to either not emerge from the soil or to grow and then die off. You’ll know if your new seedlings have been victims of Damping Off as they won’t grow very impressively and may be covered in white mould. Humidity can’t be avoided, so you can avoid Damping Off by ensuring that your seedlings aren’t sown too closely (they need some space to grow and not be clumped together) and to make sure you don’t overwater. If your seedlings do get damaged, they can’t be saved but you can remove them and reseed the area again.
Oh, the dreaded red thread! Red Thread is also caused by a fungus and isn’t helped by warm and wet weather. To avoid red thread occurring in your lawn, make sure to feed your lawn regularly. A nitrogen rich fertiliser such as our QUICK RELEASE: Spring / Summer fertiliser will help to cure your red thread problem, and prevent it in the future!