Pet urine damages lawns

We all love our pets, but they can make it difficult to keep the garden lawn in tip-top condition. If you have a dog or a cat, you may well be familiar with the unsightly patches of brown grass that sometimes ensue when your pet urinates on the lawn.

What you may not know is why pet urine damages lawns.

Why does this happen?

Your pet's urine contains a lot of nitrogen, and too much nitrogen turns grass brown. The same thing happens if you use too much fertiliser on your lawn - the grass becomes 'burned' or 'scorched' due to the excess nitrogen.

The brown patches created by pet urine are very often surrounded by a so-called 'halo' of healthy-looking dark green grass. This is because there's a weaker concentration of nitrogen (and salts) at the outer perimeter of the urine patch, and somewhat ironically, this lower-level nitrogen boost actually improves the health of the surrounding grass. It's like a roaring fire: you don't want to be slap bang in the middle of it, but sitting nearby can be quite favourable!

Is it just urine from female animals that causes this problem?

It's been observed that female dogs (bitches) leave brown patches more frequently than their male counterparts, but this isn't anything to do with the chemical makeup of female dog urine. The reason why bitches are more likely to damage your lawn is actually very simple: female dogs tend to squat and urinate on a patch of grass, while male dogs - broadly speaking - prefer to cock a leg and use their urine to 'mark' a tree, bollard or similar object.

If you have a male dog that squats on your garden lawn to urinate, this is just as likely to cause damage as if he were female.

How can I keep my pet from damaging my lawn?

When trying to keep your garden free of unsightly brown patches, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Encourage your pets to relieve themselves somewhere other than the lawn, or - failing that - consider using a product like Dog Rocks to make their urine less harmful to your grass. Irrigating your lawn after your dog or cat urinates will also help by watering down the nitrogen and encouraging your grass to grow stronger.

If your lawn is already blighted by brown patches, the problem may not be irreversible. Contact Lawn & Weed Expert today to arrange a FREE lawn survey - we'll visit your property, assess the extent of the damage, and recommend the best course of action.

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Photo courtesy of Pixabay

Lawn grubs that you find in your lawn are baby insects – also known as larvae. Lawn grubs cause problems because they burrow through your soil eating your precious grassroots and destroying your garden as they go.

The most common time to find lawn grubs in your garden is during the summer months. The adult insects emerge at the start of summer to mate and then deposit their eggs back into the soil. Their eggs take a couple of weeks to hatch and once they do, they start feeding… on your lawn!

There are two types of common lawn grubs that you might come across in your garden; chafer grubs and leatherjackets. Here at Lawn & Weed Expert, we can help you eradicate both types of lawn grub and prevent damage. But first, let us tell you a bit about them.

Chafer Grubs

lawn grubs

Lawn grubs in your garden

If you’re unfortunate enough to have an infestation of chafer grubs in your garden, it can be truly devastating for your lawn and other garden plants. It can be quite difficult to detect lawn grubs because they live and feed underground and barely come to the surface.

If you do happen to spot lawn grubs in your garden, we recommend contacting us for a free lawn survey so we can assess the extent of the infestation and start to treat it before these pesky lawn grubs cause you too many problems!

Identifying a chafer grub:

If you see any lawn grubs in your garden with the following characteristics, then it’s likely that you have a chafer grub infestation.

  • 3 pairs of legs situated at the front of the body
  • A distinctive light brown/orange coloured head
  • Plump white body

Chafer grubs, like most lawn grubs, are eaten by foxes, badgers and a variety of birds including magpies and jackdaws. If you see any of these animals lingering suspiciously on your lawn and looking for food, it might be time to give us a call! For more information on our lawn grub control services, click the button below:

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 Leatherjackets

lawn grubs

Leatherjackets are baby crane flies – or crane fly larvae. You might be thinking, what’s a crane fly? Crane flies are much more commonly known by their nickname – Daddy Longlegs. During late autumn and early spring, these lawn grubs will feed ravenously on grass and plant roots, creating large patches of dry yellow grass as your lawn starts to die.

If you start to see these appearing, contact us for a free lawn survey to assess whether lawn grubs are causing the problem.

Identifying a leatherjacket:

If you spot a lawn grub with any of the following features, you might have a leatherjacket infestation in your garden.

  • No obvious legs
  • Brown/grey all over
  • Mandibles at one end

Leatherjackets are often eaten by crows and magpies. So, if you see any of these birds flocking to your lawn then you should investigate to see if you can spot any lawn grubs and give us a call. We offer a comprehensive leatherjacket control service that will help keep your lawn grub free! Find out more here:

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While lawn grubs like these can be a particular nuisance, we know they aren’t the only type of pest you might find on your lawn! For all of our lawn pest & insect control services, simply click the button here: Lawn Pest & Insect Control Services >

watering lawn at night

 

21st century life is a busy one for most working men and women in the UK. Balancing jobs, homelife and general admin on the go can be a full-time juggling act with little reprieve. Even retirees can have their hands full with family, health and hobbies all working their way into the daily diary.

If you happen to be feeling the pressure of a busy schedule, it’s all to easy to let some tasks slip by the wayside and watering the lawn is often one of them. While this may seem like a job that’s low down on the totem pole, for garden enthusiasts, it can be vitally important, particularly if you want to maintain your grass.

However, that doesn’t mean you should squeeze this task in when you can. There’s a time and place for everything and watering your grass at night could land you in hot water.

 

Is watering your lawn at night a good idea?

 

Okay, let’s wade through the weeds and jump right in at the deep end: should you water your lawn at night?

Simply put – no. When it comes to lawncare, watering at night can lead to a variety of unsightly issues and leave your luscious lawn looking notably under the weather.

As a rule of thumb, the later you leave it, the worse it is for your garden. Watering your lawn in the evening can promote mildew and fungus growth, while it can also attract pests as well.

Water can cling to blades of grass overnight which can, in turn, lead to lawn diseases and transform your prized plot into a patchy eyesore.

 

When is the best time to water your lawn?

 

During the spring and summer months when rainfall is theoretically less frequent (theoretically, at least), your lawn may require a little more TLC to keep it at peak performance – particularly when it comes to moisture.

The best time to water your lawn is typically in the morning. While the exact timing can vary from one expert to the next, before sunrise is generally considered ideal but anytime between 4:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. is also deemed acceptable.

 

Why should I water my lawn in the morning?

 

During the 4-10 window in the morning, the air is typically cooler than later on in the day when water can evaporate a lot faster. Meanwhile, the wind is also usually lighter, allowing the water droplets to remain where they are rather than blow away.

If watering your lawn in the a.m. is out of the question and an evening splash is simply unavoidable, its recommended that you water your lawn no later than 6:00 p.m. (ideally before). This gives your lawn a little time to soak up the moisture and dry before nightfall.

 

For more information on keeping your lawn green and healthy, drop us a line today on 0800 111 4958.

Alternatively, use the button below to request a free lawn survey and keep your garden in peak condition!

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For those of you trying to maintain a beautiful lawn and garden, garden weeds are a huge problem that can be difficult to get rid of. There are hundreds of different kinds of weeds that can crop up in your garden, from grassy weeds that grow within your lawn, to broadleaf weeds and vines. We have all kinds of weeds that are commonly found across the UK. But which weeds are the most common in our UK gardens?

Dandelion (Taraxacum)

Dandelions are a common type of weed that pop up in lawns and fields nationwide. They have distinctive yellow flowers which dry out in the summer months to form the iconic spherical seed heads we associate with dandelions. These seeds are dispersed by the wind and travel to nearby lawns and fields, which is why they are one of the most common weeds in our gardens across the UK! You are likely to see dandelions appearing in your garden between March and November.

Creeping Buttercup (Ranunculus repens)

These low growing weeds have incredibly fibrous, robust roots which makes them hard to eradicate. They are identified by their bright yellow flowers and furry stems and leaves. Creeping Buttercups prefer lawns and fields with particularly wet soil, so you often find them in ditches and waterlogged fields. You are likely to see them most during spring and the late summer months.

Japanese Knotweed (Reynoutria japonica)

This weed is incredibly fast growing and deep-rooted, it causes a lot of problems for homeowners across the UK. Japanese Knotweed can be identified by its reddish-purple fleshy shoots, dense bamboo-like stems and flat, green, heart-shaped leaves. Its large network of underground roots makes getting rid of this weed incredibly difficult.  

Having Japanese knotweed around your home can cause you significant problems, especially if you plan to sell your home in the near future. If you’re concerned that you may have Japanese knotweed outside your property, contact our sister company Taylor Weed Control – the Japanese knotweed removal specialists. They will help you eradicate this common garden weed before it has a chance to cause any lasting damage!

Ribwort Plantain (Plantago lanceolata)

Ribwort plantain is an incredibly resilient weed that can appear in your garden anytime during the year. It is identified by its brown, oval-shaped flower heads with protruding white stamens. The reason it is such a prevalent weed in our UK gardens is that it can live in a vast array of conditions - tolerating environments similar to a rainforest and incredibly dry soils too . Here in the UK our weather changes so frequently it can feel like a rainforest one day and a desert the next!  

Birds-Foot Trefoil (Lotus corniculatus)

This perennial lawn weed is a member of the clover family (although we're not sure it has the same good luck charm). It has slowly crept its way into gardens all over the UK, causing a real problem! Much like Japanese knotweed, this common garden weed has a robust, deep root system and spreads both above and below ground level making it difficult to remove.

As you can see, birds-foot trefoil has bright yellow flowers that bloom between April and September. Although this is a pretty weed, we know it can still cause you a lot of problems, so don't hesitate to get in touch if you've spotted it in your garden!

If you are currently experiencing a problem with any of these common garden weeds – Lawn & Weed Expert can offer professional, effective treatment that will make your lawn and garden weed-free again in no time! Find out more about our effective weed control treatments by clicking the button below:

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Keep your grass green - and make your neighbours green with envy - with this handy guide on when to scarify your lawn.

Scarify your lawn

What is lawn scarifying?

Okay, first things first, just what exactly does “scarification” mean? While it may, at first glance, seem like something you would associate with horror movies, the real definition is luckily far less sinister.

Scarifying a lawn – also known as de-thatching – is essentially the process of removing thatch and moss from a garden surface (hence the aptly named alias). The word “scarify” is actually pronounced “skah-rify” – as opposed to “scare” (like Scary Movie) or “scar” (a la Scarface).

But how do you scarify a lawn? Well, say hello to my little friend…the scarifier!

While that name could also very easily pass as a horror movie title, the scarifier is anything but horrifying. This handy tool uses rolling blades to trim and remove thatch, moss and debris, keeping your lawn looking lush and healthy.

Scarifiers typically come in two forms: manually operated and machine powered. Machine scarifiers come with either an electrical or petrol-powered motor and boast self-rotating blades. Meanwhile, the manual version features simple, push/pull operated rollers on the end of a long handle – imagine the bigger, more talented brother of the humble rake and you won’t be far off.

When to scarify lawn surfaces

If your lawn has begun to possess a yellowy tinge, it could be time to break out the scarifier. After all, nobody wants a lawn that looks ill and on its last legs.

That being said, there are certain times of the year that are more suitable than others. Late spring and early autumn are considered to be the two best times to scarify your lawn, capitalising on both the weather and the conditions of the ground.

Most garden experts agree that the ideal time to scarify your lawn is when your grass is growing strongly. If you scarify at the wrong time of year when your grass isn’t growing as fast, you risk damaging your lawn severely.

Dusting off the scarifier too early can ruin your lawn, so be patient and don’t jump the gun – that lawn isn’t going anywhere. Similarly, if you miss your window and are tempted to scarify in the wintertime, do so at your peril. You could leave your lawn exposed to the cold weather making it more difficult for your grass to recover.

It’s also advisable to scarify your grass when it’s had a little rain and isn’t too dry. A lawn that’s moderately moist underneath but dry to the touch is ideal, making for the perfect time to unleash your inner horticultural handyman.

Finally, remember that scarifying can be an extremely stressful process for your lawn, so try to time it to coincide with good weather conditions to follow. Chances are that the grass is still going to need a few days to recover, so try to make the aftermath as comfortable as possible.

Top tips for scarifying your lawn

While timing is everything when it comes to scarifying your garden, there are also a few handy hints and tips you can employ to help give your lawn a fighting chance of flourishing.

Mowing your lawn a week prior to scarifying can be a great way to prep your garden for its impending makeover. This will remove excess grass and dice up any thatch patches, making it easier to shift later on.

Similarly, you may also want to apply moss killer to your lawn a week or so before your scheduled scarify day. This will ensure the moss is dead and prevent it from spreading any further during the scarifying process.

For the best results, it’s also a good idea to water your grass a couple of days before scarifying, if the weather is fine. Alternatively, you could just hold off scarifying your lawn until a day or two after a bout of rainfall and save yourself a job.

Whatever you do, don’t scarify when it’s wet – you could end up yanking out the grass by the root, removing the grass itself as well as the thatch. If your lawn does seem a little bare post-scarification, you may want to scatter some additional grass seed. This can help create a thicker, greener lawn, while also helping to limit weed growth.

Lastly, remember to be patient. You may find that scarifying your lawn leaves your garden looking worse than when you started. Don’t panic and have faith – if you’ve timed it right and followed these top tips, your garden will grow back looking healthy and better than ever.

Want to get the most out of your garden? Request a free lawn survey from Lawn & Weed Expert!

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