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Extra Jobs for That Bowling Green Lawn

By: Dr Gareth Evans - Updated: 29 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
Lawn Bowling Green Showpiece Fertiliser

You’ve done all the essential jobs. You adopted a sensible mowing regime and carried it out successfully throughout the growing seasons, you’ve been feeding your lawn, raking it, weeding it, trimming it and watering it in all the right ways and at all the right times – but you’re after that bowling green look. So what do you do now? What are those extra few tricks, tips and tasks that will, with a bit of luck, give you the kind of lawn you want?

Additional Maintenance

One of the simplest tricks that has been used by generations of professionals is to brush the lawn before mowing – and not just because there’s an obvious reason to do so, although if worm casts or water droplets are present, it will certainly shift them. A thorough brushing with a good quality besom helps correct any unevenness in the growth, setting the “stray” blades of grass up for the mower and it’s also an ideal opportunity for you to spot any developing problems, such as disease, bare patches or seedling weeds, at an early stage.

Top dressing is another essential extra for the showpiece lawn. Applying a mixture of peat, loam and sand is a well-established part of the professional green-keeper’s autumn routine, but it’s little used on domestic lawns, which is a shame since it offers some important benefits. Principally it fills in those annoying little dips and hollows which form over the course of the year and augments soil quality, helping to provide the best conditions for your grass to thrive. It also tends to make growth denser by stimulating both new shoots and the formation of lateral runners – so all in all, it’s a trick not to miss!

One final job is to make sure you feed your lawn in the autumn – not just in the spring or early summer – though you’ll need a different kind of fertiliser at this time of year. Avoid the high-nitrogen varieties and look for a product that either calls itself a “balanced” fertiliser or specifically says it is for autumn use and you will be helping to build up your lawn’s root system and improve its resistance to disease.

Be Proactive About Problems

Vigilance is a key element in getting your lawn into top condition and keeping it that way. If you want a bowling green look to yours, you’re going to have to develop a proactive approach when it comes to dealing with problems and tackle them early on – or better still, stop them from developing in the first place.

Weeds are a case in point. Often hard to control once they have taken hold, life can become much easier if you opt for prevention rather than cure. It is again a well established approach amongst professionals, and it works just as well at home. A regime of spring dosing with lawn sand if mosses are a problem, followed by a good selective weed-killer as the growing season begins and a suitable disease preventive at the end of the summer should help ensure that any problems that do develop are minor ones and can be dealt with fairly easily.

The same idea applies to other problems, such as brown patches. There has never been a more clear illustration of the old proverb that “a stitch in time saves nine”. Spot one appearing before it becomes an eyesore, identify the cause and deal with it in a timely manner, and your showpiece lawn will be little affected; wait until it has spread and grown and the outcome can be very different.

In the end, obtaining that bowling green look principally builds on the good foundations that your routine lawn management programme has already established. Then putting the icing on the cake really comes down to a question of going just a little bit further, doing a few things more and keeping your eye out for trouble – a few extra jobs, but a huge amount of satisfaction in the end.

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