GARDEN TIPS - 31/08/18
We hope all is well with you as we move into September - the best month of the year for reviewing, plotting and planning next year’s garden. Think about what worked, what didn’t do so well - and try to find out why (how did people manage before Google?!)? The RHS website is a fantastic resource. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, they’re usually great at taking a phone call and keen to share their in depth knowledge with you.
This week we’re going to focus on a few things to be getting on with to help ensure you prepare your lawn to be the best it can be next year. September is a good time to be working on lawns, so have a look at the few simple things to do to give your grass some love.
Think about it. Hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of plants all looking to you to take care of them. That, if you think about it, is what a lawn is. We hear quite a number of theories about how best to maintain lawns - much of it ‘interesting’, shall we say. It’s almost like only lawn wizards are capable of weaving the dark magic that is…..lawn care [sound of damp squib].
Well, we’re sorry to pour liquid feed on that particular sparking wand, but it’s actually quite simple - if a bit of a physical test on occasion - to look after a lawn. Follow these simple steps and the grasses in your lawn will thank you for it (all however many hundreds of thousands of them).
To protect your grass, increase the height of your mower blades from now and through the winter months as grass growth speeds begin to slow down.
Now is a good time to carry out essential lawn maintenance to avoid waterlogging and compaction.
Try aerating your lawn with a garden fork, removing thatch from the surface with a rake and repairing dead patches. Jump on your fork so it goes down almost all the way and give it a wiggle each time you remove it. Do this every 25cm or so. It’s a chore, but really pays dividends - especially if you’ve had kids running around on it, compacting the soil beneath your lawn all summer (this is sometimes called ‘tining’ - there are rotary machines to help with this, if you’d prefer).
Use a specialist lawn scarifier (a raking machine) if you have a large area to deal with.
After this, apply a lawn top-dressing after carrying out maintenance work. Follow the instructions on the packet carefully. Lawn Dressing can come ready mixed, or you can create it using Top Soil & Horticultural Sand.
Feed your lawn with an autumn fertiliser, which is rich in potassium and low in nitrogen.
OTHER GARDEN-TYPE THINGS
TO BE GETTING ON WITH AROUND THIS TIME
- If you haven't already, cut back the fruited canes of your summer raspberries, leaving the new green canes for next year's crop.
- If you have clay soil (as most of us around this part of London do), now is the best time to improve it before it becomes too wet or frozen. Incorporate organic matter and/or horticultural grit.
- Raise pots off the ground for the winter by using bricks or 'pot feet', to prevent waterlogging.
- Make rough sketches of your flower borders and vegetable plot to help plan for next year. Don’t plant the same crop in the same place two years in a row. That way the soil gets chance to replenish the nutrient set used by each crop, so in a couple of years you can plant the same thing there again.
- September is actually a really good time to plant new perennials and shrubs . The soil is still warm but there’s usually more rain to get them going.
- The end of September is also the perfect time to start planting garlic bulbs for cropping next year.
Feel free to contact us with any gardening questions you have!
The Lancasters Team