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Lawn Treatments

Let us first knock one common assumption on the head. Lush green grass is not healthy grass - except for a short time in spring and autumn. Yes you can keep your lawn lush and green all growing season by adding lots of nitrogen and water but the grass and root systems will be weak and will produce lots of thatch (dead grass). This gives the lawn a spongy feel and makes the grass more susceptible to disease. The grass will also look terrible if you have to stop watering in a dry summer if a hose pipe ban is issued.

It is far better to develop healthy grass, with a good rooting system that needs minimum attention and is hassle free.

New Lawns

Ideally you will be able to mix some compost into your top soil; about 1-2 cubic meters per 100sq.m will do, raked into the surface before sowing or turfing. In the UK and northern Europe a seed mix of rye grass and fescue will give you a good combination of wear resistance and colour. To get fast growth and reduce future fertiliser and water requirement you should mix some mycorrhizal fungi into the seed. An ideal product is Symbio Mycorrhizal Seedcoat

A good pre seeding fertiliser is Symbio MycoGro Starter Fertiliser which contains a range of essential soil fungi and bacteria plus some mycorrhizal fungi.



Existing lawns

If you want to manage your lawn without moss killers and herbicides you have to develop a dense sward that will out compete weeds and moss for space.

Soil preparation and Fertiliser

If you lawn is deeply compacted from heavy use a quick fix is to hire mechanical aeration equipment to physically aerate the soil by removing cores or spiking holes. An option is to spike the area with a hand fork. For most lawns, worms and nematodes will do a better job. If you can get a bulk delivery of compost spread at about 1m3 per 250- 500sq.m in spring or autumn see www.wrap.org.uk for your nearest supplier or make your own with Symbio Compost Starter.

Until your lawn and soil is really healthy and self sustaining you may need to add additional nitrogen, phosphate and potassium. We recommend Symbio Organic fertilisers using high potassium in spring and autumn. For an example in autumn and spring our MycroGro Organic Spring and Autumn Lawn Fertiliser with a liquid fertiliser can be used. In summer we recommend Symbio MycoGro Organic Summer Lawn Fertiliser.

Water and height of cut

The longer the grass the more energy it produces from photosynthesis and the less fertiliser you have to add. In addition longer grass is denser and hides the weeds from sunlight. Unless you really need a close cut lawn for games we suggest you set your mower to cut at no less than 5cm or 2” and ideally higher than that. Do not go for the golf green effect which takes a special mower, daily management, a lot of effort and usually the grass just goes brown and lets in weeds and moss.

In large parts of the country additional water is not needed at all. If the grass goes brown for a few weeks this is natural. The grass is not dead and will re-grow with amazing vigour as soon as the autumn rains arrive. If you do have access to water then drench the soil so the roots go deep to look for water. It is better to water for 20-30 minutes leave it for an hour and water again. (if you are using a sprinkler put a cup underneath and measure at least 2.5cm) Do not water little and often because the roots stay near the surface and the plant becomes progressively weaker.

Thatch and moss removal

If your lawn is thatchy and covered in moss then hiring a lawn scarifier and running over the lawn in several directions will remove a lot of dead matter. This should be done in spring or autumn. Symbio MycoGro Complete fertilisers contain thatch-degrading fungi. It is a slower but less back breaking approach with the added benefit that the dead grass is slowly turned into plant food.
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