Is your lawn hungry?

The answer is almost definitely yes. But knowing how often to feed it remains a mystery to many. I wonder why?

Is it because for so long now all we’ve had is the enthusiastic advice given on the TV by celebrity gardeners? Maybe – but grass isn’t quite like any other garden plant. And I hate to say it but bad advice is often worse than no advice.

So – let’s put the record straight. Lawns, like any other plant, need nutrition – but they need more of it, and they need it more regularly. So, if you’re still relying on a once or twice a year feed, then your lawn is probably starving for much of the time.

You see, a typical garden plant has a big, strong root system, but your grass has a much smaller root system from which to draw nutrients. And unlike flowers and vegetables, we keep cutting the leaves of our grass – the very place where it stores its food.

When you understand why the grass needs feeding, it becomes obvious why you’ll have a much happier and thicker lawn if you feed it more often. So …

Why feed the lawn?

As well as the stealing food reserves when we mow, there are some other important considerations:

1. Maybe you’ve just renovated your lawn? Or you’ve ‘beaten it up’ with some scarification? Your goal is to help it get growing again, filling in as quickly as possible before weeds take hold. It needs food to do this.

2. What’s that - you have fed your lawn, and you used a 10-week feed? Well, firstly, 10 weeks is the optimum and it’s always best to budget for a shorter period. But then it rains heavily for days on end. Result – any unabsorbed feed is washed away before it can be used. It may barely last 4 weeks, let alone 10.

3. Last but not least, the lawn grows for longer periods than most plants in a garden. So we need to feed for as long as it’s still growing – and if that’s 12 months, it’s 12 months!

What to use

There are many different types of lawn food to choose from – and yes, if applied correctly, they all make the grass grow better. But it’s best to match the food to the time of year.

Nutrifusion is great product – a subtle blend of organic food and trace elements – and it gives you a choice of Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter mixes – that’s right, Winter! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard: “It’s getting near winter,

best not to feed for the next six months or so.” Little wonder their grass goes yellow.

Finally …

…there’s no shame in having got your lawn feeding wrong in the past. It’s a complex area that even turf professionals don’t fully understand. And if you’ve bought turf, I do recommend you speak to the grower/supplier – you can be sure they’ll have tested what feed works well for their turf and the best you can do is to base your own feeding regime on whatever they suggest.

So, if you want a healthy lawn, don’t let it go hungry. Right now you need to be thinking about the Spring and Summer feeds, but keep your eye out for the other two as well – and put a big, clear memo in your diary.

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