Lawn update 9th April

Just catching up on updating activities on Sunday.

The entire lawn was raked with the springbok rake to mostly remove some more moss. Five minutes of intensive raking was certainly enough to treble rake the top part of the lawn and remove a reasonable amount of moss, the bottom part of the lawn was just raked once. The heavy raking certainly made the area look untidy, but it was doing a great job.

Moss being torn out of lawn

Moss being torn out of lawn

I had a closer look at the moss species with my microscope and identification books and I think (but I’m no moss expert) that the species appears to be Rhytidiadelphus squarrosus, which is common on moist, shady, slightly acidic to neutral soils (that’s my one) and is noted for being common on garden lawns of such type.

Moss: Rhytidiadelphus species

Moss: Rhytidiadelphus squarrosus

Wanting to tidy up the lawn required a cut: this time I took the height of cut down to 20mm to clean the surface and start to prepare it properly for next week’s topdressing and seeding. The reduction in mowing height meant that extra clippings were boxed off: In this case about 1 and 1/5th box. Even with a fairly simple electric rotary mower a nice tidy finish can be achieved on a home lawn.

Lawn mowing

Lawn mower – simple but effective

Lawn edging with edging shears

Lawn edging with edging shears

Edging the lawn next with edging shears gave a nice tidy finish. Clippings from the work were removed by hand with gloves being worn – a definite essential item, especially with cat faeces being present within the soil – I certainly didn’t want to pick up any nasty disease!

Gloves when weeding or cleaning soil

Gloves when weeding or cleaning soil

With a nice tidy and relatively short surface, the fertiliser was applied. This worked out at 32g/m2 (16:0:5 plus 2% Fe). I applied in in two directions to help give a more even spread. It was the first time I had used one of the spouts that can fixed onto the pack and it was quite easy to use. One benefit was that it didn’t apply too much – it’s easier to go back over and put some more on but you can’t take off an over application.

Fertiliser application

Fertiliser application

I had measured out the lawn accurately beforehand and whilst I’d estimated it in earlier blogs as 25m2, it worked out as this also (a circle 4.5m diameter; plus a circle of 3m diameter, plus a strip 2.3m x 1m = 25.3m2, so not bad estimating!).

It was a very warm day for early April and there was no sign  of rain for a bit, so I decided it was wise to water in the fertiliser as soon as it had been applied. I didn’t want any potential grass leaf scorch, plus the fertiliser is only taken up by the roots from a moist soil.

I wanted to put on about 1.5 litres (just under one third of a gallon) of water per m2, but how long should I hold the hose pipe and nozzle for over the area?

Watering can filling

Watering can filling

Quite simple really, I had a 10 litre watering can, held the nozzle on the selected spray pattern over the top and timed how long it took to fill up to the 10 litres: 68 seconds to be precise. Whilst this might be fine for this time of year when the water pressure is good, I would need to recalculate at other times when the water pressure isn’t as strong.

A bit of simple maths: 25m2 lawn x 1.5 litres per m2 = 38 litres: (38 litre / 10 litres) x 68 seconds = 3 minutes 24 seconds, so in that region would be suitable. I was actually sprinkling for 4 minutes.

Well that was it for the time being, the lawn is put to bed for another day.

Lawn at end of 9th April work

Lawn at end of 9th April work

Chris Gray, 13th April 2017