We’ve all seen the adverts: a beautifully rich green and perfectly manicured lawn with a happy family enjoying a summer barbeque. But somehow the reality never quite measures up does it?
Do you despair at the sight of another scorched yellow patch where the dog has been or as another molehill pops up and adds itself to the ever-increasing mole mountain range? Or perhaps your patch of turf has been affected by common pests or lawn disease?
Well fear not, for help is at hand for tackling those common problems that affect the majority of lawns.
Pet spots on your lawn
Pets can be a problem especially if they repeatedly soil in the same spot. If you are thinking of getting a pet or have a new puppy, it’s worth taking the time to teach them where to go. Perhaps an area out of sight and away from where you spend the most time or alternatively, try keeping a watering can to hand and just watering the patches when you see your pet ‘going’.
If that’s not possible, then just rake out the dead grass and add some topsoil or multi-purpose compost, water and re-seed. Your yellow or bald patch will soon recover.
There is nothing more frustrating than looking out of your window at your lawn and seeing that the moles have moved in overnight. Moles are notoriously difficult to get rid of particularly if you wish to do so humanely and that is going to be your first problem. There are a variety of traps and devices on the market but you can also seek professional help.
But even once they’re gone, you’re left with a lawn dotted with mounds of earth. Resist the temptation to simply rake over and redistribute the mounds. Instead, take something like a hose and try and funnel the earth back into the tunnels and holes from whence it came. Then tread down and re-seed.
A lawn full of moss
Preventing and controlling lawn moss is another common lawn problem. Particularly common in Autumn and Spring, moss is usually caused by poor drainage or because the area has poor soil or too much shade. You need to remove the moss but unfortunately trying to rake it out, is likely to make it worse as it spreads the spores.
Apply a moss killing treatment, preferably in the spring and wait a week until all the moss has died. Then rake it out and start treating the causes or it will return.
Ensure the area is properly drained by spiking the ground and if necessary add topsoil. Make sure you re-seed with a grass that is suitable for your conditions and doesn’t cut your grass too short. Really short or scalped grass is an invitation for moss! Avoid watering this patch of lawn and if you can, eliminate some of the shade.
Poor soil and drainage issues
We’re not all blessed with the perfect terrain and you may have a very clay based lawn, a sandy one or a boggy one. But you can improve your lawn over time by raking in and adding good quality topsoil or even homemade compost, particularly in spring and autumn.
This combined with spiking your lawn if necessary should help improve the quality of your lawn and your drainage.
Weeds, of course, come in all shapes and sizes from the dandelion to the daisy and can really spoil the look of your lawn. Whatever your infestation, you will at first instance probably need a weed killer to rid you of the problem but after that, it is important to tackle what is the cause.
Different weeds, like different environments, so establish what it is about your lawn that is attracting a particular weed and try and remedy it.
This common pest tends to be a common blight on many lawns! Let’s face it, you may love or hate them, but fox mess on your lawn is never nice. Foxes tend to foul as a way of marking their territory so one way of tackling the problem is to buy a fox repellant which you spray around your garden, the smell of which deters them from wanting to mark it as theirs.
There are also ultrasonic devices you can buy, which emit sound frequencies which you can’t hear but which foxes can and don’t like. Finally, make sure you check the boundary points of your garden to make sure that they can’t get in and if you have a dog, try and teach them to soil near any fox entry points because that can act as a deterrent.
A well-kept patch of turf can mean taking a lot of care and performing a great deal of maintenance, but when the work is done, your lawn will be a real pleasure and delight. Have you got a secret lawn tip you’d like to share or any lawn issues that you’ve overcome? Share them with us via our social media sites, and then enjoy your garden this summer.