Lawn update August

A busy month in August with holidays and warm, wet weather in the UK.

4th August: (1715 – 1740)

  • Air temp: 20.1C; Soil temp: 18.8C
  • Grass height: 60mm – 90mm; average = 80mm
  • Grass cut at 40mm height
  • 1 full box of clippings removed
  • Small amount of earthworm activity
  • A few mushrooms in the top part of the lawn
  • Adjoining shrub/flower border hand weeded
Mown lawn

Mown lawn

Grid to estimate percentage of earthworm casting

Grid to estimate percentage of earthworm casting

Close up of grid

Close up of grid

Mushroom being removed from lawn

Mushroom being removed from lawn

7th August: (1330)

  • Air temp: 19.7C; Soil temp: 17.7C
  • Grass height: 45mm – 80mm; average = 65mm
  • Grass cut at 40mm height
  • 1/4 – 1/3 of a box of clippings removed
  • A burst of weed activity noticed on the lawn
  • Moist lawn – squashed earthworm casts after mowing
  • Rain in previous days – topping up the soil
Mown lawn

Mown lawn

Squashed earthworm cast

Squashed earthworm cast

Weeds on a growth spurt

Weeds on a growth spurt

Away on holiday for a week

16th August: (1245)

  • Air temp: 20.7C; Soil temp: 19.2C
  • Grass height: 70mm – 100mm; average = 85mm
  • Grass cut at 40mm height; double cut
  • 1 and 1/4 boxes of clippings in total removed
  • Grass damp when cut
  • Saw what fleeting looked like 2 x craneflys, but turned out to be mayflies on closer inspection
  • Earthworms active, although in a 0.5m x 0.5m grid the total coverage of casts was probably around or less than one-half a square.
9 days of growth before being cut

9 days of growth before being cut

Mown lawn

Mown lawn

Grid for analysis

Grid for analysis

Earthworm content close up

Earthworm content close up

19th August: (1030)

  • Air temp: 16.8C; Soil temp: 15.3C
  • Grass height: 45mm – 60mm; average = 50mm
  • Grass cut at 40mm height; double cut
  • Only about 1/6 box of clippings removed
  • Heavy rain over the past couple of days
  • Hand weed shrub/flower border
  • Trim back a few flowers and overhanging shrub branches from the lawn
  • A small amount of sun spurge noticed in the border – not on the lawn.
Mown lawn

Mown lawn

Sun spurge weed

Sun spurge weed

Weeded border

Weeded border

25th August: (1700)

  • Air temp: 21.6C; Soil temp: 18.4C
  • Grass height: 55mm – 100mm; average = 70mm
  • Grass cut at 40mm height; double cut
  • About 3/4 box of clippings removed
  • Hand weed of lawn with knife to carefully tease out weeds, for 5 minutes
  • Earthworm casts noticeable, not a problem;
  • Some moss is creeping back into parts of the lawn – especially the shaded top area so a raking will be before the next cut.
Mown lawn

Mown lawn

Moss creeping back in to some areas

Moss creeping back in to some areas

Hand weeding with knife to carefully tease out weeds in lawn

Hand weeding with knife to carefully tease out weeds in lawn

Action for coming week: End of August ‘renovation’ of:

  • mow,
  • trim edge lawn,
  • light scarification (mechanical),
  • light springbok rake of lawn,
  • mow,
  • hand forking,
  • silver sand dressing to top part of the lawn where moss is creeping back in (say 2 x 20kg bags),
  • a light overseed of the top part of the lawn,
  • a light fertiliser application to help maintain sward thickness and competitiveness against weeds and moss,
  • water in fertiliser.

Chris Gray, 27th August 2017