Is your lawn springing into life?

As far as your lawn is concerned it’s all about the temperature at this time of year. We are often asked whether the grass should be cut and the answer is easy. If it’s growing yes, no if it’s not. Whether its growing is to down to the soil and air temperature. Roots will often grow throughout the winter. They need a minimum of 6 degrees soil temperature to grow but do best between 13 and 18 degrees. The shoots on the other hand grow best between 18 and 24 degrees air temperature which is why we get spring and autumn flushes. Plenty of water and warmth.

You can walk on the lawn all through the year, although it is better to keep off it during frost and waterlogging. When there is a hard ground frost the water in the cells of the grass sward freeze, if they are left to defrost they will return to normal, however, if pressure is put on them, the frozen cells will break and the grass leaf will die.

Walking on a waterlogged lawn will compress the soil particles and bring the water to the surface, this can lead to capping (formation of an impenetrable top or ‘cap’) at worst or bare patches at the least which can be inhabited by weeds early in the season.

Worms can also be an issue at this time of year for exactly the same reason. Their casting, if trodden or rolled will leave small areas of capped soil which the soft grass plant cannot break through and water cannot penetrate. In severe cases, this can make a lawn look very unsightly.

As the season moves into spring be aware that even a couple of weeks with no rain can have a detrimental effect on the lawn which can be made worse if combined with wind. Loss of water through evaporation can be far higher than you might think so water if the soil looks dry – dig a small hole and look at the soil profile for moisture. It is far easier to keep a lawn wet than to try and rehydrate it when it has dried out.

Good luck with the season ahead. If you need expert help get in touch.

Martin Ashdown
0800 848 8055

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