HTA Lawns

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JANUARY: Never walk on the lawn        JUNE: It may be necessary to
                                                                             WHAT YOU’LL NEED
surface when it is frosty as the       mow at least once a week.               Rake                      Spring & autumn           New lawns:
grass will be damaged or killed        Further applications of a selective     Leaf rake                   fertilisers             Fork

and when the surface is soft or        weedkiller may be required to kill      Lawn mower                Liquid fertiliser         Spade
wet this can lead to compaction        persistent weeds such as clover.        Circuit breaker           Lawn weedkiller           Grass seed/turf
                                                                               Long-handled              Moss killer               •For more
and thereby root damage.
FEBRUARY: Have your mower
                                       JULY: Continue to mow but not
                                       too low in very dry conditions.           edging shears           Stiff brush/                information:              THE EASY GUIDE TO
serviced early to avoid the rush.      Water in dry spells unless there        Half-moon                   besom         

MARCH: Spike badly drained             is a water shortage. For small            edger                   Daisy grubber             /advice

lawns using a fork or aerator and      weeds use a spot lawn weedkiller        Hose/twirling                                       www.plant

                                                                               H TA
brush in a mixture of sand and         or remove physically with a
peat or peat substitute. Mossy         daisy grubber.
lawns can be treated with
granular or liquid moss killer.
Rake or scarify the lawn to
remove the moss once it has
died (it should turn black).
APRIL: Feed with a lawn fertiliser
                                       AUGUST: Mow as required and
                                       do not allow to dry out.
                                       SEPTEMBER: Apply autumn
                                       lawn fertiliser. Re-sow worn
                                       patches and start to raise the
                                       mower blades when mowing.
                                                                             HORTICULTURAL TRADES ASSOCIATION
                                                                             THE HORTICULTURAL TRADES ASSOCIATION IS RUN
                                                                             BY THE GARDEN INDUSTRY FOR THE GARDEN INDUSTRY
                                                                             It is dedicated to providing services, products, advice
or a combined fertisliser/weed-        Apply a selective weedkiller
                                                                             and information to help support and promote the
killer. Do not apply a selective       if necessary. Repeat moss
                                                                             business activities of garden retailers, growers,
lawn weedkiller until two to three     treatment; remove dead (black)
                                                                             landscapers, wholesalers, manufacturers and
weeks after feeding. Mow estab-        moss by raking or scarifying
                                                                             service providers in the UK.

                                                                               R HS
lished lawns with blades of the        and re-sow in April.
                                                                             ● Tel: 0118 930 3132 or visit
mower set not too low at first. On     OCTOBER: In mild weather
                                                                             ● PlantforLife – visit
lawns where moss or weeds have         the lawn may still required
been removed, cut grass as low as      regular mowing.
possible, rake the soil surface and    NOVEMBER: Sweep up any leaves
then sow a good quality grass          as they fall as they may kill the     ROYAL HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY
seed at 50g per sq m and rake in.      grass if left. Make final mowing      THE ROYAL HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY
The new grass will fill in the gaps,   early in the month if required.       IS THE UK’S LEADING GARDENING CHARITY
preventing further weed or moss        DECEMBER: Clean your mower,           Membership benefits include:
growth and generally improving         lubricate moving parts and            ● free entry with a guest to RHS Gardens Wisley,

the appearance of the lawn.            lightly cover with oil any parts        Rosemoor, Hyde Hall and Harlow Carr;
                                                                             ● free entry to more than 120 recommended gardens;
MAY: Mow at least once a week.         that may rust. Mark the mower
Continue to spike and feed if          with your post code and lock            privileged entry and reduced-rate tickets
not already done in April.             it away in a shed or garage.            for RHS flower shows;
                                                                             ● free gardening advice service;

                                                                             ● and free monthly edition of The Garden magazine.

                                                                             ● Call 0845 130 4646 or visit

                                                                             Photography: Tim Sandall/The Garden, Hozelock
                                                                             Made from at least 50% recycled paper; the remainder is from certified forests
                                                                             SOWING A LAWN FROM SEED
A large expanse of lawn can create a wonderful feeling of space in any       ● For best results, sow late March
garden. It blends perfectly with your colourful beds and provides space        to May. Sowing is also possible
for your family and friends to play and relax. Once sown or laid properly,     in late September or October if
lawns need only watering and mowing during the summer.                         autumn rains have started.
  If you already have a lawn in your garden, go to the section               ● Seeds are a cheap option for a

on Looking after your lawn. If you need to lay a new lawn,                     new lawn, but you will have to
follow our advice below.                                                       wait at least three months to
                                                                               use it and nine months before it
                                                                               is tough enough to withstand

PREPARING FOR A NEW LAWN                                                       heavy wear and tear.
                                                                             ● Your garden centre or nursery

● The best time to create a new                                                will sell packets already pre-         help you sow evenly.
  lawn is in spring or early autumn.                                           pared for a family lawn, a shady     ● Rake a thin layer of soil over
  Measure the area before buying
  seeds or turf and remember
                                                                               site or a fine lawn.
                                                                             ● Start at the furthest point of the
                                                                                                                      the seed and keep well watered.
                                                                                                                    ● To deter birds and cats, place
                                                                                                                                                        LOOKING AFTER YOUR LAWN
  to subtract borders and paths.                                               lawn and sow evenly at 50g per         canes around the area strung      WATERING: Newly-planted lawns            in spring and autumn.

● Correct soil preparation is                                                  sq m. A hand-held spreader will        with black cotton.                need plenty of water. A garden         ● Use a liquid lawn fertiliser
  important for long-term success.                                                                                                                      hose is essential but a spinning         to minimise grass scorching
  Prepare a few weeks in advance                                                                                                                        sprinkler that spreads water over        in very dry weather.
  of sowing or turfing by eliminat-
  ing any weeds, rubbish and large
                                                                             LAYING A LAWN WITH TURF                                                    a rectangular area makes life easy.
                                                                                                                                                        Lawn irrigation will cost more if
                                                                                                                                                                                               ● In autumn, use a garden fork
                                                                                                                                                                                                 to create a series of holes to
  stones. Dig or rotovate and level                                          ● If you want an immediate lawn, buy good quality turves.                  your water is metered.                   aerate the lawn. Then sprinkle
  the top 15–25cm, trying not to                                               Cheaper options may contain weeds, pests and diseases.                   ● It’s better to water thoroughly        in sand to create lasting
  bring the subsoil to the top. If the                                       ● Turves are best laid in late summer or early spring.                       from time to time rather than          drainage channels.
  soil is wet, clay or liable to water                                         Avoid very wet or dry days or when the ground is frozen.                   little and often.                    WEEDING: Keep weeds at bay by
  logging, drainage may be needed.                                           ● Make sure they are delivered                                             ● Avoid watering in the heat of        either hand weeding or applying
● Decide precisely the area you                                                on the day you intend to lay                                               the day or during a drought.         a selective weedkiller that kills
  want and mark it out. It is better                                           them although they will keep                                             MOWING: When your lawn is 8cm          the weeds but not the grass. Moss
  to prepare an area 15–25cm larg-                                             for three to five days.                                                  long, start mowing regularly.          can be killed with a moss killer,
  er than required to enable the                                             ● Lay the first row along a straight                                       ● For the first mow of spring and      then raked out. Always follow
  grass or turf to be cut to a firm                                            edge. Then place a plank on                                                for new grass, keep the blades       the instructions carefully.
  edge when fully established.                                                 them to spread your weight                                                 as high as possible. Then            ● Repair bare patches either with

● Dig the area over. Remove all                                                while you lay the second row.                                              gradually lower the blades.            turves or by re-seeding.
  weeds, including any with deep                                             ● Stagger the squares to make                                              ● Do not mow when grass is wet         IN WINTER: Never walk on frozen
  roots, and all large stones.                                                 the lawn look even.                                                        or during a drought.                 or frost-covered grass. It causes
● Kill off any old grass and weeds                                           ● Water well or the edge of each                                           ● For electric mowers, use a cir-      damage and can make the grass
  using a general weedkiller.                                                  turf will curl up.                                                         cuit breaker for your own safety     susceptible to disease.
● Sprinkle a balanced fertiliser                                             ● Avoid walking on your new lawn                                             should you mow over the lead.        ● To avoid introducing diseases,
  over the area such as bonemeal.                                              for about six weeks.                                                     ● Use a half moon tool for cutting       keep the grass clear of leaves
● If possible, dig in compost or                                                                                                                          the edges of newly laid turf and       and debris with a springy rake.
  well-rotted manure and leave the                                                                                                                        existing lawns. Hold it vertically   TIME-SAVING TIPS:
  ground to settle for a fortnight.                                                                                                                       against the side of a flat board     ● To distribute grass seeds evenly,

● Rake over the ground to make it                                                                                                                         or against a garden line. Mark         fill a plastic flowerpot with
  as level as possible.                                                                                                                                   curves with a hosepipe. Long-          seed and shake seeds out of
● Tread the ground flat by moving                                                                                                                         handled edging shears can also         the holes in the base.
  across the area in a waddling                                                                                                                           be used to neaten borders.           ● Use a mask when sowing to
  motion keeping your heels                                                                                                                             ● Raise the blades when mowing           avoid breathing in the dust
  together. Get everyone to join                                                                                                                          in very hot weather.                   that comes out of the seed.
  in and the job’s done in no time!                                                                                                                     ● Stop mowing once frosts start.       ● Don’t collect your clippings
  Alternatively use a roller on                                                                                                                         FEEDING: Make your lawn dense            during dry spells to help
  large areas if the ground is dry.                                                                                                                     and lush by feeding it twice a year      conserve moisture.

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