Summer lawn repairs

Late summer – a great time for those little lawn repair jobs!

High summer – and there’s very little to do in the garden except enjoy it. But if you’re worried your lawn feels a little deprived of TLC, what can you do? Well, don’t worry - even the best-kept lawn and finest turf will need little repairs occasionally, and this is as good a time of year as any.

It doesn’t take much summer use to wear down a vulnerable patch of grass, and reseeding can be done pretty much year-round. Anything from static garden furniture to dogs doing a quick U-turn can turn small areas of healthy grass into miniature dust-bowls. Do a thorough check now, and if you don’t fancy the frequent light watering that your seedbed will require, make a diary note to reseed later in the autumn (and try moving garden furniture around before it becomes a problem!).

Weeds love the summer garden as much as you! And with the slower-growing summer grass you don’t really want to dive in with a major retaliation. You can, however, spend some useful time looking out for any particularly nasty villains and then spot-treat them. If the dying weed leaves behind a bare patch, don’t panic. The grass will thicken out across the hole once the wetter weather (and your autumn feed) takes effect. And talking of feed…

… it’s getting a bit late for a summer feed but you should certainly be planning you autumn feed – this will give the lawn a vital health boost as it begins growing again with earnest. So get to the shop (or look online) and select one specially prepared for autumn; Nutrifusion is a high quality and reliable organic feed, and there is one designed for each of the four seasons.

I hope you remembered to raise the mower’s blade for your summer cuts? If so, there should still be some nice green cuttings that you can profitably return to the sward simply by leaving off the grass box. As an occasional practice this won’t create thatch problems but it will return some precious moisture to the grass.

And what about the edges? Where these run alongside flower borders or shrubs, it’s worth paying special attention now. Carefully lift any overhanging branches and stems to see if the grass beneath is turning yellow or dying. And if you don’t want to prune the offending plants, make a note to reseed these patches later in the year, perhaps with a shade-tolerant seed mix. The same goes for trees or shrubs anywhere in the garden that have expanded and now cast significant unexpected shadow over areas of lawn.

Looking ahead, it’s worth remembering that the downside of using the garden through the summer is the additional soil compaction. It’s unavoidable without a “Do Not Walk on the Grass!” notice…and with hot, dry weather the soil also shrinks, adding to the loss of oxygen. So, plan your aeration once the wetter weather returns and before the frozen mid-winter.

It’s also a good idea to advance-book your scarifier hire. Autumn is a great time to clear up all the accumulated organic debris. If you only have a relatively small lawn, maybe you can get together with a neighbour and share the hire costs?

You see, there’s always something you can be doing, even if everyone else prefers to lounge around with a glass of Pimms. And to make it even easier, why not get hold of my book – Modern Lawn Care - it has everything you need to design the perfect year-round programme for your own lawn.

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