Spring is a busy time in the garden. Plants are growing strongly, winter debris needs clearing and fences need sprucing up. Lawn care is important too. Here are our lawn care tips for the month of May.
Lawn care jobs for May
May is a month of rapid growth for lawn grass. The plants are trying to do what Mother Nature made them for. In other words, they are doing their best to set seed. Unless you are aiming to grow a crop of silage or hay, you, the lawnkeeper will be doing your best to suppress the plants’ urge to set seed.
Mowing is not just about keeping the ground neat beneath your feet. It’s about manipulating the growth habit of each and every grass plant in your lawn. While the grass tries to produce stalks with flowers and then seedheads along with the food factories (leaves) to feed them, you must try to stop that happening. In other words, you are doing exactly the opposite on the lawn to what you want to happen in the flower borders. Fun isn’t it!
During May, expect to mow your lawn every 3-4 days. Or more frequently if you want a very high quality finish.
Mowing height for a family lawn
Anywhere between 2.5 and 4cm is good. Depending on your taste. As a rule of thumb, if the grass is slightly longer, the roots will be stronger and more able to withstand summer droughts.
Mowing height for a fine lawn
If you are lucky enough to have the time to care for a fine lawn, you should be mowing every 2-3 days in May and maintaining a height of 1-2cm. Please don’t skimp on the feeding – extra mowing needs extra TLC for the plants.
When you mow the lawn you are effectively stealing the plants’ food reserves. Grass leaves are food factories. They harvest energy from the sun and CO2 from the air, combine them with water from the soil and make a simple sugar solution which they use for fuel.
Keep lawn edges neat by trimming regularly
When you mow the lawn and take away the clippings, it’s important that the plants can access enough nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium to regrow the leaves. Undernourished grass is weak, pale and prone to disease.
If you fed your lawn in early March, it will be ready for a top up feed in mid-late May. Stewarts Turf recommend this simple compound feed from Harrowden Turf. It’s excellent value for money and can be ordered online.
At this time of year, it becomes obvious when some parts of your lawn are not recovering from winter. You may see bare patches or thin grass. May is a good time to do some repairs. Fill in those baldy bits before summer arrives.
Treatment and repairs depend on what’s caused the problem in the first place.
If it’s soil compaction caused by wear and tear, aerate the area and brush some topdressing into the holes before scuffing up the surface and overseeding with a good quality grass seed.
Dog pee is another common cause of scarring on the lawn. Treat as per above.
Shade can cause the lawn to look thin and sparse. Feed regularly to strengthen the plants and overseed with a shade tolerant grass seed like Shadesman
For a quick fix, this all in one lawn repair kit is quite handy.
Lawn care advice
Don’t forget that there is a lot of lawn care advice on the Stewarts Turf Blog. Here are some of our most popular posts