Feeding a lawn

The application of fertiliser to a lawn does not merely make the grass grow faster – something which few people would want – but encourages more compact and bright green growth which better able to compete with weeds and coarser grasses. With constant mowing, the grass needs a regular supply of nutrients throughout the growing season if the lawn is to remain in the peak of health.

Apply a liquid or granular general-purpose fertiliser – such as Miracle Grow at the rate of two tablespoons per square metre or use as directed by instructions on the box – in mid spring when the soil is moist and the grass is dry.

Even distribution of fertilisers is important, so that the grass is not scorched and regular growth is obtained over the whole surface. Mix powered fertiliser with to eight times its weight of sand before spreading it on the lawn. Divide the mixture and apply half up and down the lawn and the other hald working across the lawn from side to side.

Granular fertiliser is much easier to spread. A wheeled mechanical spreader will spread it at the correct rate. If spread by hand, use pegs and string, or garden canes, to make out the site into 1 metre squared sectors. Compound lawn fertilisers are available under many brand names – follow manufacturer’s instructions for application method and rate.

Water in solid fertilisers with a garden sprinkler attached to a hosepipe to avoid any risk of scorching the grass and to feed the roots as quickly as possible.

Apply liquid fertilisers with a large watering can, using a rose or dribble-bar attachment. Avoid overlapping and double application, which may scorch the grass.

Do not use nitrogenous fertiliser after late summer. Autumn feeding will be necessary only if the lawn has suffered compaction or drought. Use a fertiliser high in phosphates (but low in nitrogen) to redevelop a strong root system. A suitable mixture is 3kg os sterilised bonemeal and 1.4kg of sulphate of potash, applied at two tablespoons per square metre.

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