Lawn maintenance: how to keep your new lawn in great condition all year round

How often should I water my lawn?

Vitally important lawn maintenance tip – water your newly laid turf within half an hour of installation.

Give the lawn turf a really good soaking and check that the water has seeped through the turf and into the soil below ( turn up a corner to check that this has happened). This watering must be repeated until the turf has established. Weather conditions will dictate the frequency of watering required, but you must still ensure that your new lawn has enough moisture to survive hot dry and windy weather. If laid during hot periods, this lawn maintenance watering should be repeated at least three times each day. Otherwise twice daily should be sufficient.

If there are any signs of the turf drying out – Water it immediately!

When Do I mow my new Lawn?

After 10 days – 2 weeks your new lawn will start to root into the soil which anchors the lawnturf. You can check this by gently raising a corner of one of the sods to see the white roots shooting into the ground. Never let your new lawn grow too high before mowing.

Adjust your mower to a high setting and never mow more than one third of the height of grass at anyone time. If mowing is too severe it will leave brown patches and slow down the establishment of the roots. Sometimes if the soil underneath has not been levelled adequately and it has settled leaving some bumps, the mowing of the grass may leave brown patches. In this case raise the height of the mower again and rectify the bumps by light rolling or topdress the depressions with sand/soil.

In General, your lawn will need to be cut once per week from approx April through to December. Frequent regular mowing promotes the production of shoots from the base of the grass plant, which helps to produce a dense, carpet like high quality lawn.

If you let the grass get too long and then cut it too low you will cause damage to the lawn as it shocks the plant and will leave your lawn sparse and the colour turns a yellow-brown colour. So the more you cut your new lawn the better it will look.

Keep your lawnmower blades sharp

Good lawn maintenance depends on sharp mower blades. Blunt or dull blades will tear the grass instead of cutting it clean. Mowing with blunt blades often leaves a brown or white cast to the lawn. Torn grass shoots are also more likely to get infected with a fungus than grass cut with a sharp blade.

Don’t underestimate the benefits of sharp lawnmower blades. Grass cut with a sharp mower blade has less damaged surface area, allowing the plant to heal faster with less stress

Change mowing patterns

Mowing often lays the grass over slightly (this is how the stripped effect is caused) and it is important to mow in different directions often so the grass does not lie over excessively. This will also reduce the amount of thatch forming at the base of the grass plant. Changing the mowing pattern can also reduce wear and compaction by changing the areas that are travelled on.

Feeding your new lawn

Your lawn is a mass of living plants and needs regular feeding is vital to good lawn maintenance – helping it achieve a strong green colour, getting it looking healthy so that it is able stand up to wear and tear of regular mowing and general lawn use. When your lawn was in production it was fed regularly throughout the year to keep it performing at its best, so it requires the same attention by you for it to stay in that lush green, healthy condition. If you don’t feed your lawn it will slowly get weaker, allowing moss, weed grasses and broad-leaved weeds to invade. Remember, in this regard, the grass plant is no different from any other living plant!

The grass plant needs the three basic elements to thrive:

  • nitrogen
  • phosphorous
  • potassium (known as N P and K).

These elements are all present in lawn food.

When you see a figure like 9:7:7 on a fertiliser pack, it refers to the percentage of nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium in the feed. In this case, you are getting 9% nitrogen, 7% phosphorous, and 7% potassium. This is called the fertiliser analysis.

There are plenty of fertiliser products to choose from in your local garden centre’s which can be confusing. In the course of your lawn maintenance activities, treat your lawn each spring using a Spring fertiliser rich in Nitrogen at the recommended rate. It is always very important to spread the fertiliser evenly to avoid scorch and uneven balance in colour of the lawn.

Regular feeding every 6-8 weeks with the appropriate season fertiliser is required.

Click here for more information about lawn feed programmes and how we can take the confusion out these subject for you.

It is well worth buying a good fertiliser spreader – one that spins the lawn feed on, rather than one that drops it out through the bottom. This ensures that the lawn feed is applied evenly.

Weed Control

Your new lawn will arrive to you free of broad leaf weeds. A dense, nutrient rich, mowed regular lawn will make it difficult for weeds to germinate but unfortunately it is part of nature that some weeds will encroach into your lawn. The use of a selective weed killer may be necessary to kill your weeds. Before buying a product to do so it is important that you know the name of the weed / weeds you are trying to kill and make sure it is labelled on the weedkiller’s product label to successfully eradicate from your lawn. Always follow the recommended procedures on the label as incorrect application can cause damage to your lawn.

Our sister company The Lawnman Services can provide a service to you to treat your lawn for weeds by targeting the exact weed you have, therefore taking the confusion out of products and providing a professional to spray your lawn. For more information please visit www.mylawn.ie

Moss Control

The best lawn maintenance action against moss is to do everything you can to keep your lawn strong and healthy by regular nutrient treatments with a combination of scarifying and/or aerating. Moss favours many different conditions such as shade, damp, waterlogging, mowing too short, nutrient deficient lawns, drought etc. Even though you can work hard to correct whichever problem is causing moss in your lawn, it still tends to creep into even the best kept lawns. This is why it is so important to do regular moss treatments each Spring and Autumn.

Ireland’s climate tends to be very damp – another thing which favours the moss. Treating moss at the early stage of development will help to eradicate it easier than trying to treat moss when it is established into your lawn. Preventive applications of Mosskiller is the better lawn maintenance strategy to work with.

Warning: If Mosskillers in either granular or liquid form are applied to concrete or paving etc. they will cause staining. S take care to ensure no granules or spray lands on your paving or concrete.

Mosskiller applied by a liquid form tend to be more successful than granular form. For more information on how we can help you treat moss please visit www.mylawn.ie

Scarifying

Scarifying is the breaking up of the thatch layer in your lawn by using a machine with vertical blades that cut into the top of the turf mat. Thatch layer is the layer of dead fibrous shoots between the green grass blades and the soil. Some grass cultivars produce more horizontal shoots than others causing them to creep along the ground. Scarifying the thatch layer allows healthy grass growth continue. Scarifying 2 weeks after moss treatment also removes the moss that has been treated.

A well manicured lawn will benefit from scarifying once per year in early autumn or early Spring. If your lawn is regularly fertilised which increases the growth rate resulting in a better looking lawn, it will also result in a faster build up of the thatch layer. Regular Scarifying will also help in the fight to keep moss out of your lawn. Your lawn will benefit from annual Scarifying

For more information on scarifying please visit www.mylawn.ie

Aeration

To enable grass grow to its full potential, the plant roots needs air to promote healthy growth. When soil is well structured there are lots of air pockets throughout the soil profile. If the soil structure gets damaged through climate reasons or compaction, grass growth suffers, the ground becomes firm and water finds it difficult to soak through.

Overtime soil can become compacted by conditions that cause the soil particles to squash together and reduce the ability of the grass plant to grow well. This compaction will itself cause a number of problems; it will increase the likely hood of the lawn becoming water logged. Compacted soils are much more likely to become infested with either weeds such as daisy’s or moss. The roots are unable to access the nutrient they require so the grass tends to be sparse, weak and pale in compacted soils.

Aeration is an important lawn maintenance strategy to get air back into the soil by punching holes into the lawn to a depth of about 100mm. All lawns benefit from aeration at some stage, with heavily used lawns needing treatment more often. Aeration is the process of taking small plugs from the lawn, which is the best way of easing compaction and sub-surface thatch, allowing air, water and fertilizer penetration to the root zone, this is particularly effective at the beginning and end of the growing season.

Aeration can also help the lawn through drought stress conditions, enabling water retention in the crucial root zone.

For more information on aeration, and how it can be done on your lawn, please visit our sister company website www.mylawn.ie

Disease

In General lawns don’t tend to suffer to much from disease, but over the recent years there is a disease becoming more evident on lawns caused by our damp mild weather.

Red Thread disease as it is commonly known is caused by a fungus that lives in your turf.

At first you will notice small patches of your grass blades turning beige / brown in colour or dying looking. Fortunately only the leaves are killed, and the turf can grow new ones. If the weather stays mild and wet, you will see bright red thread needles throughout the patch.

Red Thread Disease is often linked to low fertility in the soil, but more recently even the most fertile lawns have been hit by this disease mainly due to weather conditions. A fungicide can be used to kill the disease, but it is very important to follow the guidelines of the product label.

Other patch diseases that may occur during Autumn or Winter is a disease known as Fusarium Patch Disease. This disease is more severe on the grass plant than that of Red Thread Disease.You can identify it by the cotton wool-like growth in the centre of the patch. The patch size can be from the size of a 2 euro coin up to 50mm in diameter. . A fungicide recommended for lawn disease should be obtained from any garden centre, and applied as stated on the product label.

Alternatively please contact our lawn maintenance service for further information and possible quote to treat your disease problem for you. www.mylawn.ie