Lawn update 2nd April

It was a bit wet yesterday, so the weekly cut for this time of year had to wait until today; no problem as growth isn’t too active. I’ll be starting some hand forking, weather and ground conditions permitting, next weekend, but the temperature is still not consistently warm enough to optimise seed germination and development, well not quite yet in this part of the country.

People will be keen to get on with the spring work, but I would suggest awaiting Easter time, so a couple of weeks to check out what is needed and then get stocked up from the garden centre / diy gardening store.

Data recorded

All readings were taken before mowing the lawn, at around 1100.

Grass height of cut set to 40mm: the highest reading was 105mm in a few places, some at 80mm, but most were around the 55mm-60mm stage before the mowing.

40mm cut height

40mm cut height, the foreground being measured within a mown strip, whilst the grass behind the rule still has to be cut.

The soil moisture content reading was just below the number 7 (i.e. 6.9), which is probably consistent with rain the previous day.  Just like previously, I waited 60 seconds to let the reading stabilise.

The soil temperature at 50mm depth was 9.4C (only 0.1C higher than a week ago), whilst the surface temperature had a reading of 10.6C (which is actually 2.2C less than a week ago); all readings were recorded in a shaded part of the lawn.

The relative humidity of the grass surface was 81.4%, in the shade, and with the grass being slightly damp amongst the leaves this may have had a cooling effect on the surface temperature.

The amount of grass clippings removed from the lawn was only about 1/4 of a box, or just under (without the clippings being compressed into the box).

2nd April cut

2nd April cut: looking quite reasonable for the time of year

I recently bought my lawn fertiliser and grass seed ready for the spring renovation work that’s needed. There is a good range of fertiliser available so it’s thinking through what will be most suited for each situation. For mine, which needs a good renovation and oversowing I went for Evergreen Extreme Green (£10), which has an analysis of 16:0:5 with 2% Iron (the iron will add to the greening effect and have a small discouraging effect on the moss as well). I’ve not tried the yellow dispensing type of spout before, so I’ll be able to feedback on how effective I find this approach as well.

Fertiliser - Evergreen extreme green

Fertiliser – Evergreen extreme green

Fertiliser analysis

Fertiliser analysis

With me also putting on some grass seed I will want to add some phosphate to help encourage seed establishment, but the chosen fertiliser had zero content of this. No problem, I just bought a small box of Superphosphate (£4.50) which I will apply by hand at the same time as the main fertiliser. The amount of this nutrient is included as both phosphorus (7.4%) and phosphorus pentoxide (i.e. phosphate) (17%).

Superphosphate

Superphosphate

Superphosphate info

Superphosphate info

Last up was my box of grass seed (£5) – for a general / utility type lawn, which therefore would contain perennial ryegrass, and in this instance red fescue as well; so that’s ideal.

Grass seed box

Grass seed box

I bought the fertiliser and seed from Homebase, but there are plenty of other places with similar prices. Since being taken over by Bunnings I’ve certainly noticed a better stocked store and with the staff being more livelier (this is at the Nottingham store), but it isn’t badged as the new buyers yet, so maybe this is coincidental.

So, nearly all set for the spring renovation – just need my sand top-dressing to buy; sharp sand from Wickes seems a good buy at the moment.

Chris Gray, 2nd April 2017