Weeds and how to eradicate them
In a healthy lawn weeds don’t really have place to grow, they generally appear where grass is thin or has bare patches, so you have to feed your lawn regularly as regular feeding thickens grass so weeds cannot get a foothold. Upright weeds are rarely a problem in lawns as frequent mowing weakens and kills them. The most common weeds that we find in our lawns are low-growing rosettes and mat-forming kinds like daisies, dandelion, creeping buttercup, clover, speedwell and trefoil that pass safely under the blades of a mower. To deal with them you have to tackle broad-leaves weeds individually using a spot lawn weedkiller, or if a large area is affected use liquid weedkiller or granular feed-and-weed treatments. Some of these weeds, like clover, speedwell and trefoil are harder to kill so you have to use a liquid product specially for small-leaved lawn weeds or dig them out singly with a trowel or daisy grubber. Mat-forming weeds like trefoil come out easily if you find the centre of the plant and twist until the roots come out.
How to deal with moss
Moss tends to be a problem in shaded, damp areas, badly compacted soil or where the grass is scalped by a mower cutting too close over bumps in the lawn. To deal with this problem you have to improve the lawn’s drainage and relieve any compaction. If moss occurs after a wet winter, treat it using liquid mosskiller or combined granular feed-and-mosskiller product for lawn in mid spring. When the moss is dead it turns black and then it should be raked out. Live moss is harder to remove and any small fragments that will remain in your lawn will regrow.
Dealing with algae and liverwort
These are a problem particularly on heavy clay soils during wet weather. Rake or scrape off the worst and then hollow-tine spike the lawn or slash the area and brush gritty sand into the holes to improve surface drainage. Some liquid mosskillers also kill algae and liverwort.
These are persistent circles of small toadstools that are present all year, shriveling up in summer but rehydrating after rain. The circles slowly get bigger, leaving weak yellow grass inside and a ring of lush, bright green grass just outside that of the fungi. This problem needs drastic measures in order to solve it. Dig out soil from the ring to a depth of 45 cm, treat with a phenol-based sterilant, fill the hole with new topsoil and re-turf. Occasional toadstools in autumn are nothing to worry about and they vanish at the first frost.
Damage caused by wear
Regular use in one direction, to your garage, shed or compost heap for example, will wear a bare path across the lawn. Lay a hard path or stepping stones over these routes. If you need to push heavy barrows over the lawn in wet weather avoid making ruts by unrolling a temporary path of heavy-grade plastic netting where and when it is needed.
How to repair broken edges
Most of the time lawn edges will collapse if there is nothing to support them. Fix this problem by replacing collapsed or torn edges. Cut out a square of turf that includes the broken area, turn it round and fit it back into the gap so the hole is now inside the lawn. Fill the hole with seed compost or fine garden soil, sprinkle grass seeds over, rake them into the surface and water.
Dealing with drought
During prolonged drought grass will turn first yellow then brown. It is rarely dead and will soon recover once autumn rains starts. Do not feed your lawn during drought periods, this will only make things worse by scorching it. Once the rains come spike the lawn thoroughly to assist water penetration and only feed your lawn again after the grass has greened up naturally.
This problem has various causes. If a bitch using the lawn dilute the urine with a bucket of water. Avoid petrol spills from mower and fill fertilizer spreaders on the path as spills scorch the grass.
Usually is cheaper and easier to restore a neglected lawn than to replace it. Follow a routine of regular cutting and feeding at 6 weeks intervals from mid spring to mid summer and treating in spring to eradicate moss or weeds, followed by a full autumn care program.