Spring Lawncare - Chichester, Emsworth, Bosham, Bognor Regis, Portsmouth - Lawn Feeding, Waterlogged Lawns, Lawn Weed Control, Lawn Pests and Diseases
Its raining its pouring!
Last Autumn, when the rains disrupted our Lawncare schedules, at least we were seeing groundwater levels recharging after the long dry periods of the last several year’s.
We hoped for a calm winter with some frosts to reduce pest and disease levels and to allow a normal run in to Spring. It was not to be as the graph below from Southern Water Shows:
Usually, in February we can get our machines onto the Lawns to core aerate and scarify in preparation for spring growth, this year we managed to aerate a handful of lawns with the predominantly clay soil in this area far too soft to risk damage by the machines and that disruption continues into March.
So, what does it mean for Lawns and Lawn Care in West Sussex and East Hampshire apart from a scheduling chalenge for me!
Winter Die Back
Every Winter some lawns will die back a little, as growth slows or stops, sunlight levels reduce so grass plants can struggle, this year many lawns, particularly on clay soils have been waterlogged since the autumn and that is unusual as we normally have sufficient dry periods when the soil can recover.
A sudden sporadic downpour will rarely harm your lawn but these prolonged periods of saturated soils can and are causing damage.
Waterlogging means that water is filling the spaces in the soil, which as well as potentially leaching out nutrients, can drive out air which limits the oxygen supply to the plants roots. It also stops more harmful gases escaping.
The result of these extended periods of saturation is that grass roots struggle and may even die which leads to decay and further deterioration in the sub soil.
As a result, the lawn may well thin out, creating an environment where moss will fill in the new gaps and do well in the continued damp conditions which it loves.
Spring will bring longer days and higher temperatures and with increased evapotranspiration that should see ground conditions improve relatively quickly once the heavy rain does one.
Some lawns close to the sea, in the likes of Bosham Hoe (see picture) or the Wittering’s, where the water table is higher may take a little longer to dry but they will get there.
The good news is that the majority of saturated lawns naturally recover as conditions start to dry but, it may be, in some cases that repairs are needed. This will likely involve aeration to improve soil conditions and reduce compaction, moss control and feed application to add back the nutrition that has leached away, some areas may need seeding or renovation but soil temperatures need to raise a good deal before you can be confident of good gemination.
We started our Spring Lawn treatments this week around Emsworth, Aldwick, Chichester and Bosham, thats when the weather has allowed us to. This means we are replenishing nutrients with a good balance of slow and quick release feed to help the lawns recover and strengthen over the next several months, we are also applying a moss control and separate weed control when they are needed.
Our Treatments in Detail
The damp and mild winter and absence of any significant periods of frost mean some fungus activity continues, particularly “Red Thread”, this should hopefully grow out with drier, warmer weather and a good feed.
There is some more detail on our website Advice
We have started to see a number of lawns that have been damaged by “Leatherjackets” they seem have copped well this winter, if you have patches developing in your lawn then have a little dig and see if you find these pests at work, if your lawn is waterlogged you may find them on the surface or on your patio.
There is advice on these pests on our web site.Advice
“If the lawn is growing then continue mowing” that’s good advice and, if conditions allow, it should be followed. Never take more than a third off with each cut and keep the mower blade sharp, once we are in full spring growth regular mowing is essential.
There is plenty of water about right now but a dry period will come, if you want to understand the cost of watering your lawn, check out the calculaltor on our website Watering Tool
When the weather is not great we do get the chance to work on machine maintenance, research product and regulatory developments in our market, we also attend trade conferences including the UK Lawncare Association www.uklawncare.net/ annual conference which is always a great forum to refresh knowledge and learn from other like-minded Independent Lawncare Companies.
So here’s hoping Spring shows its face soon.
As always if you have any questions just call or email
Hi I'm Annie and I love lawns and gardens. I own and run Lawnrite providing lawn care advice and treatments across East Hampshire and West Sussex