when do daisies bloom

Daisies are a native, perennial plant that can be found in most lawns across the UK. Many of us have great memories of plucking these off the school field and creating daisy chains, but as cute as they are, daisies are considered a weed by most gardeners. 

Knowing when daisies bloom can help you be prepared for their emergence so you can deal with them quickly and efficiently! So, when do daisies bloom?

What time of year do daisies bloom?

Like most plants, daisies bloom seasonally. The first daisies start to emerge in spring (March) and the last daisies of the year bloom at the start of autumn (October) when the weather starts to get colder again. 

If autumn/winter happens to be very mild one year, daisies can continue to bloom all year round, but their most prevalent blooming months are April to June when growing conditions are perfect. 

Daisies are one of the most common lawn weeds because they can grow pretty much anywhere. Whether your soil is acidic or alkaline, aerated or compacted, daisies will find a way to bloom. It's important that you keep your eye out for daisy blooms and choose a daisy management strategy that works for you.

How can I manage daisies blooming in my lawn?

If you want to manage the daisies in your lawn there are a few different approaches you can take. For small patches of daisies, you should be able to remove them by hand using a sharp gardening tool eg. shears. 

To remove larger patches of daisies, you should mow your lawn regularly. Bear in mind that mowing the lawn is great for removing the daisy blooms, but it might not prevent the daisies from spreading to other areas of your garden in the future. Any daisy heads that land on the soil could germinate and create a new daisy problem.

Read more: How to Remove Daisies from Your Lawn

Here at Lawn and Weed Expert, we offer professional weed removal services that will help you get a daisy infestation under control in no time! Give us a call on 0800 111 4958 if you have any questions.

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Healthy green grass

Grass is a living thing, and like any living thing, grass has certain needs that must be fulfilled if it's going to keep living.

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why is my lawn covered in worm casts

When you're striving to achieve a perfect, mess-free lawn, the last thing you want to see are worm casts popping up all over the place. Today we take a closer look at what worm casts are, where they come from and how you can get rid of them. 

What are worm casts?

Worm casts are a sign of earthworm activity, they're little heaps of soil that get ejected onto the surface of your lawn out of the worm's digestive tract. While worm casts might seem like an unwelcome addition to your lawn, they're actually perfectly normal and can indicate that your lawn is nice and healthy. Earthworms are beneficial for your soil and also provide a tasty snack for garden birds. 

Why is my lawn suddenly covered in worm casts?

If you've noticed a sudden influx in the number of worm casts on your lawn, it's probably due to a change in weather. Earthworms thrive in damp weather which is why your lawn might be covered in worm casts during autumn and damp winter months. It's common for you to notice more worm casts covering your lawn in the mornings as worms are most active at night. The ground at night is cooler, damper and the worms can feed on the surface without worrying about predation from birds and other animals.

Positives of worm casts in your lawn

While you might consider the worms in your lawn to be pests, they're actually quite good for your soil (as long as there aren't too many of them!) As earthworms munch their way through your soil they loosen thatch forming in the grass and they help to break down organic material, providing nutrients to the soil.

The movement of earthworms through the soil also aerates the soil, loosens compacted dirt and can help key elements like food, water and air circulate around the roots of your grass.

What if I don't want my lawn to be covered in worm casts?

There are definitely some benefits to having worms in your lawn, but we understand that some gardeners strive fo a really pristine look - which means the worm casts have to go! 

One of the quickest and easiest ways to get rid of worm casts is to use a brush or dense rake to brush the dirt back over the lawn. When you mow the lawn, the worm casts will be pressed down into the soil again. 

Applying topsoil to a lawn that's been damaged by worm casts can help to level out any irregular lumps and bumps. A good layer of topsoil will also help to revive plants that have withered around the worm casts, so don't miss this step in your lawn care routine.

Lawn maintenance is the key to reducing worm casts.

The most efficient way to prevent worm casts from covering your lawn  is to keep your lawn well-maintained all year round with a proper lawn care programme. Think about it, worms favour grass that's compacted and waterlogged. If you keep your lawn in good condition, earthworms are much less likely to infest it!

Here at Lawn and Weed Expert, we can offer you a range of services to keep your lawn in tip-top condition, including a regular maintenance program. From, weed control, to lawn fertilising and scarification, our team can do it. We even provide a range of pest control services to help you keep critters like earthworms, leatherjackets and moles at bay. Learn more about our pest control services below. 

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If you've had enough of your lawn being covered in worm casts, and you'd like us to attend your property for a FREE, no-obligation survey, fill in the form below and a member of our team will get back to you.

 

Dandelions growing in grass

The common dandelion (Taraxacum officinalis) is very pretty, and it has a number of uses in both cookery and herbal medicine. But if you want an immaculate, weed-free lawn, dandelions can also cause a lot of frustration - this plant is very unfussy about where it grows, and the long tap root makes it difficult to get rid of.

If you're looking for dandelion removal tips, see our blog on How to Rid Your Lawn of Dandelions. In today's post, we're going to focus on when dandelions tend to appear - hopefully, this knowledge will help you to be prepared for the next wave of dandelion growth in your garden!

 

Dandelion growing cycle

Dandelions can be seen between March and October in virtually all parts of the UK. Here's a rough overview of the plant's growing cycle:

  1. Flower - The dandelion's most recognisable feature is its bright yellow flower, which can bloom from early spring onwards. The flower serves to attract bees and other pollinators.

  2. Seed Head - As this animated GIF shows, the dandelion's flower eventually closes up and develops into the puffy white seed head that you may know as a 'dandelion clock'.

  3. Spreading the Seeds - A light wind is enough to remove the seeds from their stalk and blow them away to a new home, where they will settle and grow into new plants. If you've ever picked a dandelion clock to see if you can blow all the seeds away with one puff, you have helped with this process!

  4. Leaves & Tap Root - Once a dandelion seed has found itself a decent place to settle, it sprouts leaves to capture sunlight. This light is turned into energy via photosynthesis, and the plant then uses this energy to develop the long, loathsome tap root that makes dandelions so difficult to permanently remove. It also grows a bright yellow flower, and the dandelion's growing cycle begins anew!

 

Make your lawn a dandelion-free zone!

If you'd rather not see your lawn overrun by those bright yellow flowers, Lawn & Weed Expert can help.

We offer a comprehensive weed control service, using broad-spectrum systemic herbicides to rid your lawn of dandelions as well as many other common plant species.

Ready to take the fight to your garden weeds? Call Lawn & Weed Expert on 0800 111 4958 to arrange a FREE lawn survey.

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Photo from Pixabay

how to protect your garden from wind

Think about the wind as you're planting

Creating a wind-proof garden can be quite tricky if you're not well acquainted with the way the wind moves through your garden. Depending on the position of your house, your outbuildings and your fences, the wind will flow around your garden in a very specific way. Some areas might be caught in a kind of 'wind tunnel' while other areas might be much more still and calm.

If you're worried about the way wind will affect your plants, we'd highly recommend planting in the calmer areas of your garden where the force of the wind tends to be its weakest.

Sometimes, the sunniest, most appropriate place to grow something lies right in the windiest part of your garden. That doesn't mean that you can't grow your plants there, it just means you have to get creative and make windbreaks to calm the wind.

To change the way the wind flows around your garden, you could add a semi-permeable fence that will still allow the air through (but at a less intense rate). Alternatively, you could plant shrubs and trees around the windy area to take the brute force of the wind and provide some protection for your more delicate plants.

Any large object like a fence, a shed, a water feature or a greenhouse can be used to deflect the wind and provide an attractive windy garden solution. Don't let the wind get the better of you!

Give unstable plants a stake

A great way to keep tall, unsteady plants from falling foul to the wind is to provide them with some kind of anchor. No, we're not talking about weighing down their stems with heavy objects to stop them blowing away (that's what the roots are for!) We're talking about providing a stake or trellis that the plants can grow around and grasp onto.

Climbing plants like tomatoes, honeysuckle and clematis all require some kind of frame or pole to latch onto for support. Whether you grow them close to a fence, create a purpose build a trellis or stick a solid wood stake in the ground, these climbing plants are sure to be thankful of it on a windy day.

These measures are ideal for low/medium winds, but you may need to take your protective measures one step further if a storm is on its way!

Reinforce your greenhouse and trellises

Sometimes winds can get out of hand and simple stakes or trellises might not do the job. If you're aware that a storm is due to arrive over the next few days, you might want to make some simple improvements to the protection you already have in place.

Adding anchors to the base of trellises and stakes will prevent them from being carried away. You could use concrete breeze blocks or make your own anchors by filling bags with soil and tying them around your stakes and trellises.

Greenhouses are generally very well-built and heavy, often made of glass or reinforced plastic. That being said, greenhouses can weaken over time, and a strong gust of wind could send your roof panels into the neighbours garden, leaving your prized plants open to the elements.

Using heavy blocks to anchor down the parts of your garden that are most prone to flying away is a great way to protect your garden from the wind. Also, ensure that all the doors of your greenhouse are closed properly, this will stop the wind from getting inside and lifting your greenhouse up and away from within!

These are just a few windy garden solutions to protect your plants from the wind. If your garden has been damaged by the wind, we may be able to help. Get in touch to discuss our expert lawn services.

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healty lawn, hollow tine aeration

As lawn care experts, we know that aeration plays a crucial role in keeping lawns oxygenated and preventing waterlogging. There are two main types of aeration that you can use to keep your lawn looking healthy. 

  • Hollow-tine aeration
  • Fracture-tine aeration

What is aeration? 

A quick reminder of what aeration is and why it's important. Aeration is a lawn treatment where the top layer of the soil is perforated with something sharp. this allows nutrients to penetrate deeper, allows surface water to drain away, and breaks apart compacted soil. It can even help to break up surface thatch on your lawn.

Over time, regular aeration can help to improve the overall quality and density of your lawn as well as preventing some lawn diseases - so don't forget to do it!

 aeration

Hollow-tine aeration

This type of aeration is the most common and involves removing hundreds of 'cores' from your soil using (as the name suggests) a hollow tube. 

We always recommend that you leave the lawn plugs on the surface of the lawn to decompose and eventually filter back into the soil. We'd also recommend that you apply fertiliser to your soil straight away after you aerate your lawn this way.

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Fracture-tine aeration

Where hollow-tine aeration pulls plugs directly out of the soil, fracture-tine aeration uses blades to cut tiny slits into the surface of the grass.

The tines act like tiny spades and fracture the soil allowing air to penetrate under the surface. No soil plugs are removed during this process, leaving less mess on your lawn.

Further Reading:

If you have any more questions about hollow tine or fracture tine aeration, or if you'd like to arrange an aeration service, give us a call on 0800 111 4958.

how do garden weeds spread

Spring is quickly approaching which means garden weeds will be back with a vengeance. One of the main problems with garden weeds is that they have a tendency to crop up all over the place! Understanding how weeds spread can help you keep your garden as weed-free as possible in 2021. 

Birds and animals

One of the main ways that weeds spread around the garden is with the help of birds and animals. In order for weeds to spread, their seeds need to be moved from one location to another, this is where the animals can lend a helping hand. For birds, seeds are an attractive snack. Seeds are eaten by birds and eventually make their way out the other end, this is how a large proportion of weed seeds get spread around. 

Of course, birds aren't the only carriers of weed seeds. Other animals like dogs and cats can get seeds caught in their fur which later fall on the ground in a different part of the garden. To help prevent this kind of localised weed spreading, you can eradicate the weeds in your garden quickly, or put some kind of barrier in place to keep the animals off the plants.

weeds spread in wind, dandelion

Carried in the wind

Some weeds have seeds that are light enough to be carried around the garden on the breeze. Dandelions in particular are often culprits of this! How many times have you picked up a dandelion clock and blown it into the wind? Well, this kind of seed dispersal is very common and contributes to a lot of new weeds cropping up every year. Where possible, discourage young children from playing with the seed heads of weeds if you want to keep their seeds out of the wind and off your lawn!

You!

Although you might think that you're the last person who'd contribute to the spread of weeds (after all, you spend most of your life trying to get rid of them) you can, inadvertently spread seeds around. Seeds can hook onto your clothes as your gardening, seeds can get trapped in the tread of your boots, and seeds can even get stuck to the mud on your bike tyres.

If you traipse through the garden after coming into contact with garden weed seeds in one way or another, then it's likely that you'll contribute to the spread of weeds in your garden. You might even see some new and foreign species spring up after a walk or bike ride through a remote area.

Water

While this is more of an uncommon method of weeds spreading, it does still happen. Sometimes when fields and roads flood, the water picks up seeds from weeds all around the area and carries them to a new location. When the water eventually drains away, the seeds settle in their new home. 

However the weeds have spread around in your lawn, you don't have to put up with them! Here at Lawn and Weed Expert, we offer a comprehensive weed control service that will help you get developing weeds under control quickly.

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Read More: The Most Common Garden Weeds in the UK

A healthy green lawn

Lawn feeds contain a number of essential nutrients that keep grass green and healthy. The most important of these are nitrogen (N), phosphorous (P) and potassium (K).

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are birds good for your garden

Seeing birds in your garden is a sign that you're doing things right! Birds are important creatures that contribute to a healthy garden & they're attracted to diverse and healthy gardens. The key to a flourishing garden is to make sure that every plant and organism in it is fully supported within the eco-system. When the balance of wildlife in your garden shifts you can end up with infestations amongst other problems. That's why it's important to entice birds into your garden all year round.

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leaving a tree stump in the ground

If you've decided to cut down a tree in your garden, you might be wondering if you can leave the stump in the ground. In this blog, we'll explain what can happen if a tree stump is left in the ground and advise you on the best way to remove the tree stump once and for all.

The problems with leaving a tree stump in the ground

While the task of removing a tree stump might seem daunting, there are some serious downsides to leaving it in the ground.

Suckering

First of all, a living tree stump might start to sucker, this is where new trees start to grow from the roots that are left in the ground. The last thing you want when you've paid to have a tree felled professionally is to find another one growing up in its place within a matter of weeks!

Fungus and rot

If your tree stump has died, then you won't need to worry about suckering, but you will need to worry about potential fungus and rot. As with all living organisms, dead trees start to decompose after a very short time. Leaving a rotting tree stump in the ground is unsightly, especially if fungal growths start to form.

Best time to remove your stump

Tree stumps in your garden can be removed at any time after felling, so even if you decide to leave a tree stump in the ground initially, you can always choose to have it removed at a later date. Your tree surgeon might use a stump killer to prevent suckering, so it's likely that your tree stump will be dead by the time you come to remove it.

Our stump grinding service

So, you've decided you don't want to leave an unsightly tree stump in the ground. What are your options?

In a previous blog, we took a look at a few things you can do with a tree stump to make it more of a decorative feature. However, if a birdbath, game board or planter doesn't take your fancy, it might be time to enquire about our stump grinding services.

We use specialist machinery to grind the stump down and turn the excess wood into chippings. This won't disturb the garden around the stump, and will also provide you with home-grown chippings to mulch your soil with. 

Stump Grinding Services >

Remember, we also offer a wide range of other lawn care services to help you keep your garden in tip-top condition all year round. Feel free to enquire about a full lawn and garden care package if your outdoor space is in need of some love!

Contact us now for a FREE lawn care survey. We'll give you a quote for your stump grinding as well as our recommendations for your lawn maintenance. 

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