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Home and Garden Seasonal Notes

The team at Outside in Notts are always happy to share our expertise to help you complete those projects yourself.

In our seasonal notes we will bring you whats topical to help you complete the project, but if you would prefer for us to do it for you just call us.

Welcome to our Spring Home and Garden Tips.

To Mow or Not to Mow!

Lawn cutting can be simplified into the following rules:

  • Never more than 1/3rd off in any one cut;
  • Mow frequently, weekly is best when the lawn is actively growing;
  • Check your mower regularly for cutting height and blade sharpness.

Regardless of your mowers cutting action being Cylinder, Rotary or Hover, the principles remain the same.

The 'One Third' Rule

Never remove more than one third of the grass blade on any one mowing. Therefore, if your lawn mower is set for a 3cm (1 ") cut then you must mow at or before the grass gets to 4cm (1½") whether that's 4 days or 8 days between cuts.

If this rule means you have to do your grass cutting more often than you would like, you can raise the lawn mowing height which will slow growth down. For example, you could set your lawn mower to cut at 4cm (1½"); you must then mow at or before the grass gets to about 7cm (2¼ "). This may now mean mowing every 7 to 10 days depending on temperature and water availability.

Regardless of the mowing height never leave your lawn more than 10 to 14 days between cuts. If you have a lawn mowing service coming every two weeks, just ask them to raise the mowing height so that you stay as close to the one third rule as possible.

The chances are in summer you won't need to cut the grass much, if it is very dry as there will be little growth. However, don't go over two weeks between cuts, because some weed grasses will take advantage of the lack of lawn mowing and spread or seed profusely.

Why Mow Little and Often?

For many of us little and often means once a week. This will produce a much denser and more aspirational turf, than if your grass cutting is every two weeks.

A dense turf is the best looking and a great form of natural weed control as it prevents weed seeds from contact with the soil. If the seed doesn't contact the soil then there is a very good chance that no weed grows; perfect! Follow these simple guidelines:

When growth is good (usually spring & autumn) mow at least every 7 to 10 days if using a rotary, and every 3 to 5 days if using a cylinder mower.

Mow at least every two weeks in dry summers, if using a rotary and every week if using a cylinder mower.

You will not do any harm if you cut more frequently so long as your lawn mower and blades are in good condition. But remember, you will NOT benefit the grass by giving it a severe hacking less often.

Check your cutting height, after cutting, the minimum grass height should be 3-5cm (ie from the soil surface to tip of the grass blade)

If I don't follow these rules, what happens?

Thin patchy lawns are often the result of infrequent mowing or removing too much of the grass when you cut. Mow infrequently AND mow short and before long you won't have a lot of lawn left to mow!

Prevention or Cure?

As the soil temperature warms up and Spring approaches it time to think about controlling those garden pests.

Pests that prospered over recents years are Slugs and Ants. As soil temperature rises, now is a great time to consider preventative control.

Slugs

The key issue here is that we only worry about the slugs we see, but in fact one cubic meter of soil can contain 200 slugs. Slugs are hermaphrodite and each slug lays eggs in the soil. Two types of slug prevention are available to use; first slug killers e.g. pellets, and nematodes and barriers e.g. shells and copper tape.

We recommend Nemaslug. The benefits of the nematodes, is that they get working earlier in the spring right down into the soil, and will keep regenerating until the food source has expired. Where as slug pellets have to be applied in the right quantity, to be safe to pets and wildlife, and re applied every two weeks and only affect the slugs on the surface.

Always read the label and follow the instructions when using slug pellets.

Ants in the lawn

These are becoming a big problem in lawns, whilst in only extreme cases do they kill a lawn, they easily disfigure the appearance of your pride and joy.

We offer two products for the control of ants in lawns. Firstly a chemical control and also a Natural control (Nematodes)

So exactly what is a Nematode? It's a natural organism, already present in our soil. They target specific garden pests giving us natural garden pest controls that are environmentally friendly, safe for children, pets and wildlife. All the nematodes in Nemaslug and the Nemasys range are naturally found in UK soil.

Buy on line through direct from our shop, Nemaslug and Ant Stop Granule

Our aim is your recommendation; we believe that this is the only way of growing and expanding our businesses successfully.

Written by: John Draper - Greener Gardens
Last updated: Spring 2016