Grassy lawn in springtime

Keeping your lawn neat and tidy can sometimes feel like a bit of a chore, but it's a job worth doing if you want to make the most out of your outdoor space.

Now that spring has arrived, you'll likely be spending a lot more time in the garden - so now is the perfect time to brush up on your lawn maintenance knowledge!

If you want your lawn to look its best, here are 10 things to put on your springtime to-do list...

 

1. Get rid of weeds

Weeds can spoil your lawn's appearance and rob your grass of all-important moisture and nutrients. No matter how diligent you are with your lawn maintenance routine, it will all be for naught if you allow weeds to grow unchecked!

There are all sorts of anti-weed products available in shops, but very often, these commercial weedkillers only provide a short-term solution. The important thing is to address the conditions that allowed the weeds to appear in the first place; to that end, it may be best to hire a professional weed control specialist who uses broad-spectrum systemic herbicides that aren't available to the general public.

READ MORE: Our Weed Control Service

 

2. Clear your lawn of moss and thatch

Moss and thatch can seriously stymie your lawn's ability to grow. We recommend applying moss control products, followed by a round of scarification two or three weeks later.

Scarification involves pulling dead moss and thatch out of your lawn with a rake or a specially-designed scarification machine. It's important to apply moss killer first - if you don't, scarification may spread moss spores around and intensify your lawn's moss problem.

READ MORE: When to Scarify Your Lawn

 

3. Improve your lawn's drainage

'Drainage' means how quickly water disappears from your lawn, for example after a rain shower. Poor drainage can keep your lawn waterlogged for ages after the rain's stopped, and this is bad news for the health of your grass.

There are a number of ways to improve drainage, from aeration (see tip 5 below) to digging a series of trenches in your lawn. If you need help with this, we recommend reading our blog on how to prevent waterlogging.

READ MORE: Dealing with a Waterlogged Lawn

 

4. Mow your lawn regularly

Mowing is a crucial part of any lawn maintenance schedule. You should try to mow at least once a week (and twice in the summertime, since warm and sunny weather will make your grass grow faster).

Don't cut your grass shorter than an inch and a half. When mowing, remember the one-third rule: never cut off more than a third of your grass's height in a single mowing session.

READ MORE: Lawn Mowing Tips

 

5. Combat soil compaction by aerating

The more you walk on your lawn, the more the soil will become compacted (pushed together). Heavy rain can also accelerate compaction.

Heavily-compacted soil makes it harder for moisture and oxygen to reach the roots of your grass, so it's important to aerate your lawn every few years by 'spiking' holes into the soil. This can be done using a garden fork, but we use professional aeration machines to loosen your garden soil - it's far more efficient!

READ MORE: Our Soil Aeration Service

 

6. Consider top-dressing your lawn

Top-dressing is the practice of adding nutrients to your lawn to improve the quality of the soil over time. This can be particularly beneficial if you live in an area with clay-heavy soil or thin, sandy soil.

Top-dressing isn't a 'one and done' type of job; to achieve the best possible results, several layers must be applied over a period of time. If done properly, this will gradually change the properties of your soil and create better growing conditions for your grass.

READ MORE: Our Top-Dressing Service

 

7. Overseed sparse patches

If your lawn has several thinned-out patches of unhealthy-looking grass, overseeding may be the key to improving its appearance. This is the practice of adding new grass seeds to a lawn to replace dead grass and restore lost thickness.

We recommend overseeding your lawn every three years or so as part of a longer-term lawn maintenance programme. For optimum results, do this after scarifying, aerating and top-dressing your lawn as described above.

READ MORE: What is Overseeding?

 

8. Make sure your lawn gets plenty of water

It's not really necessary to water your lawn as long as the grass is getting plenty of moisture from frequent rain showers. However, since spring is here and another hot, dry summer is no doubt on its way, you may soon have to put a bit of work in yourself to compensate for the reduced rainfall.

We recommend a heavy watering once or twice a week. Don't water too often, as this will encourage the roots of your grass to stay near the surface of the soil, making your lawn weaker and diminishing its drought resistance.

READ MORE: Lawn Watering Tips

 

9. Keep your lawn well fed

You'll find lots of lawn fertiliser products in your local supermarket. A spring lawn feed needs to be rich in nutrients to give your lawn everything it needs for a period of vigorous, accelerated growth.

Again, it may a good idea to call a professional in to administer a specially-chosen spring lawn feed and make sure your lawn is well prepared for the months ahead.

READ MORE: Our Spring Lawn Treatment

 

10. Tidy up the edges

Finally, if you're keen to make your lawn look as neat as possible, you may want to use a pair of long-handled shears to cut around the perimeter of your lawn and make sure the grass isn't growing into your borders.

If you'd rather leave your lawn maintenance to the professionals, we at Lawn & Weed Expert can help! Give us a call on 0800 111 4958 or email sales@lawnweedexpert.co.uk today.

Book a FREE Lawn Survey >>

Photo from Pexels.com

We recently had the pleasure of laying a new lawn for a customer in Rhoose, Vale of Glamorgan.

Here's a photo of what the finished lawn looked like:

Turf laying is just one of the many professional services we offer here at Lawn & Weed Expert. This garden in Rhoose now looks as good as new, and its appearance will only improve as the new grass grows in.

If your lawn needs a new lease of life, we can help - get in touch with Lawn & Weed Expert today!

Request a FREE Lawn Survey >>

How Your Garden Can Improve Your Mental Health

Given the current climate and the fact that we are all spending a lot more time in our homes, for some, it can become quite a difficult period. Normal day-to-day routines that help with managing mental health such as going to work and taking part in sport are thrown out of the window as we are advised to undertake a life of confinement. This can lead to a range of issues such as heightened depression and anxiety.

One way that these problems can be dealt with without ever leaving your home (kind of), is to spend some time in your garden or partaking in gardening activities. Gardens can be full of wildlife, nature and are great for the environment, while gardening has a long and connected history to both science and medicine.

In this blog, we take a closer look at how we can make the most out of both gardens and gardening to improve our mental health.

 

Bring gardening into your everyday life

Over the years, there have been several studies conducted that examine the benefits that being in gardens and green spaces can bring. These have shown positive correlations with improved social, physical and mental health. A particular study from Growing Health, a national scheme set up by the charity Garden Organic and the membership organisation Sustain, found that by simply viewing a green space, such as your garden, through a window can help you to relax and reduce stress levels. Other evidence also confirmed that the physical activity of gardening can improve your mental wellbeing, which leads us to our next point.

It's common knowledge that exercise is good for, no matter what form it may come in. The NHS considers exercise essential to living a healthy and fulfilling life and it's been medically proven that individuals who participate in regular physical activity have up to 35% lower risk of coronary heart disease and stroke. However, less is known in the role that gardening plays in helping to keep you fit and healthy. Did you know that the number of calories burnt from 30 minutes of gardening can be compared to playing volleyball or practicing yoga?

 

Find health and happiness 

The benefits of being in your garden, of course, run far deeper than just exercise. A report from King's Fund on the health benefits of gardening were found to be broad and diverse, with studies displaying significant decreases in both depression and anxiety and enhanced social functioning.

Evidence suggests that there are two main modes of attention; focused and fascination. Focused attention is what we use whilst we are at work, whereas fascination is what we use whilst we participate in hobbies. In this theory, an abundance of focused attention can result in stress, where fascination then plays a part in bringing our attention back and alleviating the anxious feeling we get when we are placed under pressure or feel like we can't cope.

Whilst all of this research is crucial to understanding why we are inclined to find gardening therapeutic, it's fairly straightforward to think of the reasons why gardening can improve mental health. Whether it's an opportunity to be social, to get out of the house or to simply learn a new skill.

 

Going out in your garden

Now, with all of the uncertainty that is going on around the world right now, you may be wondering if you're able to even go out in your garden whilst self-isolating. In short, yes. Just because you're advised to stay inside, doesn't mean you can't venture out into your garden and start gardening. We recently published a blog on the various things you can get up to whilst self-isolating at home and spending time in your garden. To find out more, you can read here.

If you feel a little daunting or overwhelmed by gardening, why not start off with an indoor houseplant first? Having a houseplant can help to make you feel calm as well as adding a natural aesthetic to your home. Most houseplants are fairly low maintenance, making it easy to learn how to look after them. There are lots of guides and advice that you can find about gardening for the first time, so start with some small and manageable and before you know it, you'd have learned quite a bit!

There are a lot of ways that you can begin to incorporate gardening and plants into your daily routine. Whether you suffer from mental health issues, know someone who does or simply want to enhance your wellbeing, there is a garden out there for all.

To keep up-to-date with the latest garden and lawn care news from Lawn and Weed Expert, be sure to follow us on social media. You can find us on Twitter and Facebook.

Lawn care professional working outdoors

Working at a desk every day can get boring - especially if you've been doing it for your entire adult life.

If you're sick of your current job and you want to try something a bit more outdoorsy, lawn care could be the ideal career for you.

 

What does a lawn care professional do?

Maintaining lawns for a living involves a range of different tasks, such as:

  • Applying fertiliser and lawn feed
  • Treating the lawn for moss and weeds
  • Looking for signs of common lawn pests
  • Re-seeding / laying fresh turf
  • Lawn scarification (what's that?)
  • Aeration and spiking (what's that?)

Sounds a lot more varied than spending all week cooped up in an office, doesn't it?

 

How to start your lawn care career

Here at Lawn & Weed Expert - an established lawn maintenance company with many years of experience - we offer lawn care training courses for people like you who want to enter the lawn game.

We'll teach you all the skills that a lawn care professional needs, plus we'll assist you with the setup of your new business.

 

The benefits of training with Lawn & Weed Expert include:

  • We can get you ready in as little as 5 working days

  • In addition to teaching you the skills you'll need in your new job, we can give advice on how to manage a business

  • We're not a franchise - you don't have to pay us royalties once you're up and running

  • You will have full control of your new lawn care company

 

A testimonial from one of our career changers...

"To anybody who's looking to enter the lawn care business, I can absolutely recommend going down the less expensive route of training with Rob and Dave at Lawn & Weed Expert. They will give you hands-on experience on the practical side, and all the necessary knowledge of the academic and qualifying knowledge you need to start your own business. I decided to go with them after doing much research into the various franchises available and coming to the conclusion: 'Why am I paying all this money to become a franchisee when I can do this for myself with help and training from these guys?' I am still in the lawn care business nearly 10 years on, and they are still there for me if need any help and advice." - Richard Hobday, Pennine Lawn Care

Ready to change careers and start working outdoors? Eager to get some fresh air and exercise from your daily grind? Get in touch with Lawn & Weed Expert to discuss our training options!

How to Start a Lawn Care Business >>

Dog in the back garden

In an effort to the slow the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019), the British government is currently telling people to practise 'social distancing'. That means:

  • Minimising unnecessary face-to-face contact
  • Working from home if possible
  • Avoiding large gatherings
  • Staying at least 6 feet (approximately 2 metres) from others

To make things harder for the virus, a lot of people - including many who are not infected - have been 'self-isolating': staying indoors and not leaving the house except to buy essentials like food and medicine.

But while limiting your contact with the rest of the population is a necessary sacrifice right now, keeping yourself cooped up for days on end can be a lonely experience and a real drain on your mental health - especially if you're used to going out and socialising every day.

However, just because you're staying at home doesn't necessarily mean you need to stay indoors - you're unlikely to catch or pass on the virus in your own back garden. Today (20th March 2020) is the first day of spring, and if you are self-isolating right now, this could be the perfect opportunity for you to get more out of your outdoor space.

Here are some ideas...

 

Give your garden a little TLC

Is there a job that you've been putting off for months? Perhaps you've been meaning to prune that hydrangea bush or repaint the fence, but you haven't gotten around to it yet?

Well, it's springtime now - the weather is getting nicer, the days are getting longer, and thanks to the coronavirus, you may well have an unprecedented amount of free time on your hands at the moment.

So now's the time to work your way down that list of garden jobs that you've been avoiding for goodness knows how long. Not only will your garden look nicer by the time you're done, you'll also have had a lot of fresh air and exercise that you'd have missed out on had you spent the afternoon watching TV.

 

Try something new

If you've only ever used your back garden for sunbathing and the occasional barbecue, now might be a good time to branch out a bit. Planting flowers is a simple pleasure, and it's always very rewarding when those colourful blossoms begin to appear.

Better yet, why not take this opportunity to start growing your own food? Read our When to Plant Fruit & Veg blog for some top tips!

 

All work and no play...

But you don't have to use every waking minute of your self-imposed isolation productively. If planting tomatoes and pulling up weeds sounds too much like hard work, why not use your back garden to add a bit of variety to your leisure time?

Especially if you have children, playing or exercising in the garden is a great way to break up the day - plus it's important to go outside every so often in order to keep your vitamin D levels up. It's important to stay healthy even when you're stuck at home!

If the grass in your garden has seen better days, our lawn care services may be just the thing to revive your outdoor space and make your time at home a little easier to enjoy!

Spring is the perfect time to get your vegetable patch back up and running. If you've never tried growing your own, why not use March and April to get green-fingered and grow your own veg?

We've chosen three vegetables that are fairly easy to get started with, but don't let that limit you - it's possible to grow all sorts of things in your very own vegetable patch!

A pile of fruit and vegetables

Most fruits and vegetables should be planted in March/April, so now is definitely the time to get your plot up and running. Everything has different growing requirements, so before committing, make sure you have the correct plants for your garden, and be sure to stock up on pots and compost.

Here are a few simple planting instructions for some of the UK's favourite fruit and veg.

When to Plant Potatoes

When to plant your potatoes depends on what kind of potatoes you're growing. New potatoes must be planted earlier as they appear earlier in the summer, but the big 'maincrop' potatoes can wait until mid-April. Remember, as potatoes are root vegetables, they need space to grow - so make sure you have a plot or pot big enough.

Potatoes

New potatoes are an ideal crop for beginners - they're less prone to diseases like potato blight, and though they're expensive to buy in shops, they're surprisingly easy to grow yourself. You'll never get them from the supermarket again!

Simply plant your new potatoes in March (with adequate frost protection) and wait 10 to 12 weeks. Your new potatoes should be planted 12cm deep and 30cm apart, in rows. You'll have the perfect potatoes before you know it!

'Maincrop' potatoes are larger - these are the ones you'll want to use for mash, roasties and jacket potatoes. These take longer to mature, so they're harvested later in the summer. Plant these in mid to late April, then harvest from late July to September. Plant your seed tubers 12cm deep and then space then 75cm apart, in rows. These larger potatoes usually taking 16 to 22 weeks to grow.

When to Plant Carrots

Carrots grow best in open, sunny, well-drained soil. Luckily the sowing season is quite long, meaning you can plant any time from February to July; however most varieties of carrot grow best between April and July.

Carrots in a wicker basket

The great thing about carrots is that they are drought resistant, making them perfect for the longer, drier summers we have been experiencing lately. However, remember to use horticultural fleece - pests like the carrot fly can rot your carrots, meaning all your work will be for nothing! Horticultural fleece will stop pests from getting to your veg, so it's wise to invest in some if you're planning to do some growing.

When to Plant Tomatoes

Tomatoes need a little bit of extra love to grow properly, but they are relatively easy despite the extra steps. Sowing your tomato seeds indoors will give them a head start. Keep the seeds in pots wrapped in plastic bags so the leaves can sprout. Once the flowers on the first 'truss' open, transfer the plant to a growing bag. A truss, by the way, is the little cluster of small stems; you should be able to see them beginning to develop as your tomato plant grows!

Red tomatoes on a vine

Alternatively, most garden centres will have young plants that you can put straight in the ground. You should aim to plant tomatoes in May or June. You'll find that it won't take long for little tomatoes to grow, and once they turn red, they will be ready for eating!

We know how much joy an abundant garden can bring. Why not book a Spring Lawn Treatment so you can grow your veggies and flower beds with peace of mind, knowing your lawn is already taken care of?

If you take pride in your garden and lawn, the damage that birds cause can be a real nightmare. So, why are the birds attacking your lawn in the first place? The answer is... insects!

Hungry birds love to forage for food and lawns usually harbour some tasty treats like chafer grubs and leatherjackets. Essentially, your lawn looks like a 5-star restaurant to every jay, magpie or blackbird that flies by.

By pecking holes in your lawn, the local birds are able to get their beaks into the soil and claim their squirmy snack. Of course, over time, these holes start to build up and can cause long-lasting damage to your grass. So if you need to deal with birds digging up your lawn, here's what to do...

Treating the Infestation

Stopping birds from digging up your lawn is fairly easy. Cut off their food source and they'll have no reason to lunch on your lawn anymore! Here at Lawn and Weed Expert, we offer a range of pest control services that will help eradicate the problem quickly. Select one of our pest services below to learn more:

Other Problems

If you leave your infestation un-treated, you'll end up dealing with a myriad of problems related to these pests. Chafer grubs and leatherjackets are known for eating the roots of your lawn just under the surface of the soil. This can cause brown patches to start appearing and, in worst-case scenarios, some areas of lawn might come away from the ground completely.

Worse still, an untreated infestation of pests might start to attract bigger predators that can cause significant damage to your lawn. Foxes and badgers will happily feast on lawn grubs and will dig deep into the soil to retrieve the tasty grubs. 

With this in mind, if you suspect you have an infestation of insects, give us a call now! We can survey your lawn FREE of charge, helping you to determine the best course of action to stop birds digging up the lawn. 

Our Pest Control Services >

Morning dew on a spring lawn

Spring has finally sprung! After winter, spring is a time of rapid growth for your lawn. The additional water and higher temperatures mean you will need to take extra steps to help your lawn make the most of these conditions and heal itself after the winter.

But getting your lawn ready for spring doesn't have to be a hassle! Our specialist spring lawn treatment will make sure your lawn receives all the nutrients it needs to looks its best for the months ahead.

Here are some basic tips to help you prepare your lawn for springtime...

 

Overseeding

Spring is the perfect time for encouraging new growth to ensure your lawn retains its texture and health. By planting more seeds than usual, grass will grow back thicker and improve the overall 'vigour' of your lawn. This is also perfect for repairing a lawn that has flooded as a result of the extreme weather that has hit the UK recently.

We recommend overseeding your lawn every three years in the springtime to keep your grass looking its best. Remember: wait until temperatures get a little bit milder! Germination (seeds beginning to grow) happens at around 8 °C, so you want to wait until the ground is warm enough to allow the seeds to sprout.

 

Spring Moss Treatment

Wet weather can cause moss to appear on damp and poorly-drained lawns. Spring brings rapid growth for grasses, and it's an ideal time to address any moss problems that may have arisen in your garden. After the wettest February on record according to the Met Office, a spring lawn treatment is essential if you want to get your lawn ready for spring and combat potential moss issues. A specialised moss treatment will help your lawn's vigour and encourage healthy grass growth during those April showers.

 

Feeding Your Lawn for Spring

A long, wet winter may give lawns the moisture to grow, but food is also essential for healthy growth and sustaining your lawn's health. Use a specialist fertiliser to make sure your lawn has ample nutrients to grow. A spring lawn treatment will give you a greener and healthier lawn for the upcoming warmer months and will provide the nutrients your lawn needs to keep growing throughout the season.

 

Spring Weed Control

Unfortunately, it's not just grass that grows in spring. The weather at this time of year may encourage common weeds such as dandelions, buttercups and daisies, especially if your lawn is not as strong as it could be. If you're looking to reduce the appearance of these spring weeds, our spring lawn treatments include liquid herbicides to reduce and control common weeds. Not only do we tackle visible weeds, our weed control service can also tackle conditions that promote weed growth, eliminating the need for more expensive treatments later.

Book Your Spring Lawn Treatment >>

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