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The late summer treatments will help the lawn get through the stress of summer

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How we can help bring your Late Summer lawn to life

Fairy Ring

Fairy Rings are not easy to control, especially as there are three main types, which vary in their visual appearance and effect on the turf.

Do not consider digging them out!!  The fruiting bodies are not bad for your lawn as the Fungi are naturally occurring in health soils.  Apply a Wetting Agent to the area at frequent intervals and make the soil conditions unfavorable for the Fungi to survive.  Improving your turf culture practices may prevent an outbreak, to include: light surface aeration, applying a Wetting Agent, remove the fruiting bodies (mushrooms) rather than squashing them before you mow and applying fertiliser if you only have Type 2 which is a dark ring only to colour the lawn to match the darkness of the ring.

See the Technical Leaflet in the Download section of this site to discover more about Fairy Rings

Rust Disease

Rust Disease looks exactly as it sounds. Initial symptoms show as yellow flecks on the leaves and plant stems.  These flecks enlarge and the fungal spores develop on the leaf surface. 

During cool weather in summer and autumn.  Initial symptoms show as yellow flecks on the leaves and plant stems.  Mostly seen when the night time temperatures reduce late September when you feel that you need to wear another layer when outside in the early evening.

It can spread to affect a large area, especially un-mown lawns.  Adopting a regular fertiliser programme will assist in the prevention of an outbreak of this disease as will a regular mowing regime. Pass an infected leaf through your fingers – you will get a rusty deposit and it may stain light coloured shoes.  Mowing the lawns and applying a late summer lawn fertiliser will help eradicate the disease.

See the Technical Leaflet in the Download section of this site to discover more about Rust Disease

Red Thread Disease

Red Thread Disease is seen on lawns during the Late Summer to Autumn during still, warm and moist conditions making a poor visual.

You will notice pink needles that protrude from the leaf of the grass plants and also a pinkish mycelium on the surface of affected areas. It indicates low Nitrogen levels in the soil, thus an application of a lawn fertiliser will initially control it.

Improving your turf culture practices may prevent an outbreak, to include: Reduce Thatch, Apply Fertiliser at regular intervals, Grass Seed Cultivar selection and Dew removal.

See the Technical Leaflet in the Download section of this site to discover more about Red Thread Disease

Wetting Agent

A Wetting Agent lowers the surface tension of water thus making it wetter. Soil naturally suffers from a condition called ‘Dry Patch’.  A programme of Wetting Agent Applications will alleviate the condition and ensure the percolation of any water natural or artificial, through the soil profile. It will conserve water if the water moisture content is consistent down the soil profile. 

It will conserve water by making sure that any available water will not run off and be wasted.  Can be added to irrigation systems too.

Dry Patch is a little known problem of turf in amateur lawn circles but one that has an incredible impact in ensuring consistent colour, growth, nutrient status, run of the ball and most of all visual impact and continuity of grass cover.

Dry patches that are hard to re-wet are the primary causes of lawn failure. If a lawn is renovated, it is always these long lasting dry areas that are the root cause of any seed failing to germinate and establish in these well marked and visual areas. You may notice a darkening halo on parts of the lawn, visible from the upstairs window. This is a good indicator that the soil underneath is starting to or has dried out.

This little known phenomenon is not only related to drought conditions but even if you are watering the lawn on a regular basis all throughout the year, some areas will still never become wet naturally to a depth, thus promoting grass growth in these areas.  The surface of these areas will become dry and crusty and thatchy and be void of grass that cannot grow without water.

A Wetting Agent is used to alleviate localised ‘Dry Patch’ areas on a lawn or grass area.  These areas have appeared because the soil-acting bacteria have made the soil hydrophobic (repelling water) and until you can get these areas wet again, nothing will grow.  Trying to wet an old bathroom sponge, almost impossible.

A by-product of their activity in breaking down thatch in the lawns surface is a waxy substance that coats the soil particles, thus preventing them absorbing available water. It is important to get the lawns surface wet to a depth and consistently even across the complete surface area of the lawn to aid uniform growth and colour and make treatments effective.  The Wetting Agent or Surfactant will reduce the surface tension of the water droplet and make water wetter making it easier to be absorbed into the soil and break down the waxy coating surrounding some of the soil particles. It is particularly good at reducing the activity of Fairy Rings by enabling you to get the soil in the immediate and not so immediate proximity of the fairy ring wet again.  It is a liquid detergent that is safe to use on grass of a minimal salt content.  Wetting Agents are available as a tablet that can be applied via a hose end diluter (like the Miracle Grow one shown) or in a liquid or granular form.

Please follow this programme to eradicate Dry Patch –

Apply once an evening in the first week – Curative

Apply once a week for the remaining weeks of the first month – Curative

Apply once a month thereafter between March and September – Preventative

If the grass trying to grow in these dry patch areas is dead, it is unlikely to come back if it is totally dead so some localised over sowing will be required.  Nothing will grow in the garden without water!

So if you have an area of your lawn that is failing to respond to fertiliser applications, over seeding and some general renovation and TLC, then it is probably a Dry Patch problem.  Get the soil wet again and you should be able to grow grass in these areas once again.  I use mine for general plant watering too and also for getting wet dog urine burns on the lawn just prior to and after seeding.

Turf Managers will apply a Wetting Agent to their turf monthly during the period March to September, often with a Seaweed soil conditioner as a tank mixture.  Making an application of a Wetting Agent to the turf way ahead before the soil dries out as a result of drought, will make any available water applied as a result of artificial irrigation or natural rainfall, will make the water wetter and ensure the even penetration of that water down through the soil profile.

It is possible to obtain a liquid wetting agent that can be dispensed via a side dispenser into the irrigation system.  The products are safe for plants and you will in fact require less water as the wetting agent makes water wetter, making it possible to penetrate dry soils easier.  They are quite effective products, one litre can treat 18 golf greens for example so if an irrigation system has a 100-litre diluter, you would only require a small quantity each month to be dispensed around the garden.  Localised problematic areas should be treated by hand to cure the problem as irrigation systems do not always provide 100% coverage across a lawn.  This can be achieved via a hose diluter and Wetting agents are also available in a granular form that is incorporated following aeration via a rotary fertiliser spreader.  They can be applied diluted with water as a liquid spray via a knapsack sprayer too.  Larger tablets the size of a small bucket can be introduced to the water inflow of an irrigation water storage tank.

If you have dying areas of grass on your lawn or areas that just will not grow, put your gardening knife into firstly a green area after watering or rainfall and then the problem area and cut out a small cube of lawn and you will notice that the dead or problem area is dust dry, much unlike the green area.  Apply a wetting agent to these problem areas to solve the problem, but follow the procedure mentioned above.

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Lawn Weed Killer – the weeds went into super growth and I thought that the weed killer was meant to kill them not feed them.  Then two weeks later they were gone!  Fabulous, thanks for your helpful advice and service.

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Thank you for your excellent technical leaflet downloaded from your web site on how to control fairy rings – I have put into practice your advice and I note that the fairy ring is starting to show signs of giving up.

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