Keep it green without the hose

GARDENERS are being advised not to panic during the hosepipe ban, and lawncare experts TruGreen have some helpful tips on how to cope.

By The Newsroom
Saturday, 14th April 2012, 5:01 pm

The Bedfordshire based TruGreen expert Les Graves said even though there has not been enough rainfall to fill our reservoirs, there has been sufficient for the grass plant.

The first step to a healthy lawn is to give your grass every chance to make use of the moisture that is available, by assisting in establishing healthy leaf and strong roots.

Simple steps in maintaining a great lawn are:

1)Apply moss and weed treatments, if needed, allowing the grass to flourish without competition from undesirable vegetation.

2)Rake out (scarify) the dead moss and thatch (the dead organic material that collects in the lawn)

3)Regularly aerate the lawn, allowing air into the soil

4)Apply organic fertilisers

Thorough scarification can be an aggressive process and is best carried out with mechanical equipment, which can be hired. Following the removal of the dead moss and thatch from a lawn in poor condition, over-seeding may be needed. In this case a watering can will be more than adequate to provide the water for these seeds to germinate. Water used for washing up or in the bath can readily be applied as the detergents it contains are minimal and will have no effect at all on the grass plant.

Aerating the soil will also help to strengthen the grass root and will make it easier for the nutrients from fertiliser to be absorbed. Strong roots will seek out moisture, keeping the grass greener for longer.

Additionally, allowing the grass leaf to grow longer and when mowing, cutting no lower than 35-30mm, will help the grass to generate energy through photosynthesis, retaining moisture in the leaf and also giving a greater surface area to collect morning dew.

Mr Graves said: “Don’t panic, and make use of the moisture that is there already. You don’t get a great lawn by prescription, it’s through care. The right treatment at the right time will pay dividends in the long run. Every lawn is different, that is why we pride ourselves on being flexible and understanding the conditions we have to work with.”

Lawncare professionals can also apply other treatments not available to the amateur gardener. Wetting agents can be applied that help the ground to retain moisture. Also, regulators can be applied to reduce growth and energy loss through the period of high seasonal growth, allowing the plant to use moisture more efficiently.

If you are concerned about your lawn, TruGreen will give you a free 14 point analysis of its condition and advice on what treatments are needed. Simply call 0190 837 6689 or go to