Helping hand for lawns

First published in Features

GARDENING WITH REG MOULE OF CLIVE'S NURSERIES, MARTIN HUSSINGTREE.

LAWNS have been trying to grow most of the winter this year but April is a good time to help the grass along with a dressing of lawn feed, weed and moss killer.

Although you could have attacked the moss with lawn sand or some other type of moss control last month, it is not worth applying any lawn treatment containing weed killer until conditions get reliably warmer, usually this happens in April.

I would always go for one of the brands that contain controlled release fertiliser, so that the lawn is fed steadily over a longer period.

Where the lawn is very weedy you may need to use one of the water on lawn weed killers in order to get an effective control. In my opinion the best ones to use are either Scotts Verdone Extra or Vitax Lawn Clear as they contain ingredients capable of controlling even the toughest lawn weeds, like clover and black medic.

An added advantage with Verdone Extra is that it can be used on new lawns only two months after sowing, or turfing, as long as they are growing well.

Although the grass may be mown more closely now I would rather see it left about 2.5 cm (1in) long, as this is much better for its long term welfare, as well as improving its ability to fight off weeds and moss.

April is also a good month to check over your houseplants to see if any need to be moved on into bigger pots, but remember to only go up a maximum of two pot sizes and use either houseplant or multi-purpose compost.

There is usually something to be pruned whatever the time of year and at the moment it is time to turn our attention to straggly silver leafed plants, like Saintolina and Lavender. These can be cut back quite hard in order to tidy them up but not into the old wood as they can often be reluctant to break into new growth again.

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