To keep your garden looking great all year round, lawn care expert Robbie Lynn recommends a carefully timed regime of lawn treatments for Belfast gardens.
A beautiful lawn can add value to property and it certainly helps a garden to look its very best. Belfast gardens are blessed and challenged at the same time. On the one hand, our clay soil provides a strong base for grass roots. On the other hand, it can become waterlogged in winter and then bake hard in the summer.
Changes in our weather patterns mean that our winters are getting wetter and our summers are getting drier. For us, that means different clothes, but for our lawns and gardens it means that the plants need to work harder to thrive.
To support Belfast’s lawns in any weather conditions, Robbie Lynn of Premier Lawns recommends an annual cycle of five lawn treatments. The treatments are designed to effectively manage soil conditions and to help your natural lawn look fantastic for all four seasons.
What do lawn treatments do?
Premier Lawns always tailors treatments to the individual lawn but as a rough rule of thumb, lawn treatments in Belfast aim to do three things
- Control moss: Clay soil and a moist climate provide the perfect conditions for moss to thrive. Lawn treatments aim to improve drainage and create a microclimate that moss doesn’t like.
- Reduce the effect of diseases: Fungal lawn diseases do most damage to poorly nourished, weak plants. The microbes that cause unsightly scars on lawns will lie dormant in the thatch layer until weather conditions are right for them to reproduce. Our lawn treatment regime removes thatch and strengthens the grass plants.
- Repair and rejuvenate: Lawn grass is one of the toughest plants there is but even so it is susceptible to damage from wear and tear. The Premier lawn treatment regime includes some greenkeeper’s tricks to fix bare patches and rejuvenate thinning lawns.
Your lawn treatment calendar
A rough guide to seasonal lawn treatments
As the ground warms up, the grass growth cycle begins. We begin by assessing the condition of the lawn and the soil beneath it.
- Aeration: Belfast’s soil is prone to compaction and that makes life more difficult for roots. Hollow tine aerating helps relieve soil compaction, get more air into the soil and improve drainage.
- Scarification: Moss reproduces during the winter months. Scarifying in spring will pull any moss out of the lawn along with excess thatch.
- Feeding: Grass is growing fast and it needs plenty of nourishment. Our professional lawn feed ensures that the lawn has all of the nutrients it needs to support health AND beauty.
- Vitality boost: Most lawns come out of the winter looking a bit pale and wan. Robbie likes to apply a seaweed tonic early in the year to boost the colour and add vigour. Read more here.
- Weeding: If your lawn has any visible weeds or moss, we’ll apply appropriate treatments. We only use weedkillers when absolutely necessary, preferring instead to boost the grass so that it out-competes any other plants.
The height of the growing season. By now, the grass plants will have used up most of the nutrients in the soil. Mother Nature thinks your lawn should be setting seed now so it’ll want to push up stalks. Time for a treatment that will keep it looking tidy. When plants are stressed they work harder to reproduce themselves. They’re trying to ensure there’s a next generation if they die. No stress = no need to seed.
- Feeding: A specially formulated lawn feed is applied to keep those roots and shoots happy and healthy. This feed will also benefit the soil microbes and minibeasts that help with water retention and drainage
- Seaweed Boost: If your lawn is being used regularly or the weather has been particularly unhelpful to plants, Robbie will discuss the possibilities of lovely vitamin boost for plants and the soil.
- Aeration: Not all lawns need aeration in May but we want to be preparing for summer. Aeration helps the roots go deeper into the soil where they can find water.
Ahhhh summer. That time of year when you want to be on the lawn but your grass wants to go brown. Previous lawn treatments will have prepared the soil so that your grass is in the best possible shape for summer. All we need to do is keep up the good work.
- Feeding: Applying a summer formulation lawn feed will keep those roots working hard and help the plants to cope with drought, heat and lots of wear and tear. Summer feed contains a good proportion of potassium which helps plants to manage their water content.
Autumn. This is the beginning of the Greenkeeper’s year. It’s when we make repairs and prepare the plants for winter. Believe it or not, grass plants work just as hard in winter as they do in springtime. You may not see as much growth above ground but roots keep on working all year round.
Autumn is the time when fungal lawn diseases traditionally rear their ugly heads. Creating conditions the pathogens don’t like is key to controlling fusarium patch and redthread disease.
Autumn Lawn Care Jobs
- Scarifying: Clearing away the dead material that harbours disease. Lawn diseases thrive in the damp, still air at the base of an autumn lawn. Scarifying ventilates the grass – it lets air circulate and helps excess water evaporate away. There may be some moss creeping into your lawn – lets remove it with the scarifier before it sets spores.
- Aeration: relieving compaction and encouraging lots of root growth. Hollow Tine aeration also improves drainage, which of course is one of the biggest challenges of working with clay soil. Plus, well-drained soil is less likely to nurture those fungal lawn diseases
- Feeding: Lawn feed in autumn needs to be just right. Premier Lawns would like to see every lawn in Belfast treated to a low nitrogen, lawn feed before winter sets in. Lawn care professionals know just how important it is to have lots of micro-nutrients available for overwintering grass plants. We humans increase our vitamin intake in winter to support our immune systems. Guess what – plants have their own version of an immune system. Gardeners can support it by providing adequate nutrition.
- Seeding: Sometimes a lawn just needs a bit of thickening up. Autumn is the ideal of time to overseed lawns. Do it after aerating and scarifying. The soil will be moist and warm so germination doesn’t take long and the baby plants have all winter to gain strength before you want to use your lawn again. The trick of overseeding is to choose the right type of grass for the garden. With such a confusing choice out there, it’s good to take advice from seasoned greenkeeper.
Climate change means that our seasons are changing, for the last few years I’ve noticed that Belfast gardens are subjected to less frost and snow in the winter months. We’re also getting more rain. Rain tends to flush some of the nutrients out of the soil and in a winter when plants are still actively growing, it makes sense to top up the nutrient levels.
- Feeding: A winter feed to help the plants to respond quickly to weather conditions. Phosphorus and Potassium to counter the effects of waterlogging, cold snaps and winter wear and tear.
- Moss treatment: There’s one mineral that lawns love and moss hates. Iron. Our January lawn treatment is all about applying Iron to treat moss and boost the colour of your lawn.
- Solid Tine Aerating: To help with drainage on waterlogged lawns
Arranging Lawn Treatments in Belfast
Premier Lawns is a Belfast based lawn care company run by a trained greenkeeper with experience working on some of Northern Ireland’s top golf clubs. Robbie Lynn offers a bespoke lawn care service to bring your lawn up to tip top condition and then keep it looking as good as possible all year round.
Robbie’s lawn care package consists of five treatments a year and offers exceptional value for money. Call or email today for more information and to arrange a lawn assessment.
More lawncare articles
Winter lawn feeding – click to watch the video
Lawns for dogs – how to prevent your pet from ruining your lawn