july-lawn-diary

July 2024 Lawn Diary

With settled weather finally showing its face for most of the country, it will get a dryer in most areas, which limits large projects somewhat. But keeping on top of weeds and ensuring your lawn stays watered and well-fed using spring/summer lawn food should be on top of the agenda.

This Month in a Nutshell

Much like last month, July is another easy-going month of keeping your lawn tidy and your grass green while relaxing and enjoying the summer sun as it shines upon all the work you’re continuing to do this year! Usually, in July, the UK gets an unexpected uplift in heat and dryness, so be sure to keep an eye out for any approaching droughts or heatwaves on the weather report until the weather returns to normal again, but we will get to that below in a minute or two.

Summary ‘to do’ list for July:

The Weather

June offered great weather for most parts of the country, with many areas seeing more sunshine and a bit less rain, creating the perfect conditions for enjoying your lawn. While these conditions are a blessing for most - especially those wanting more summer conditions - in some gardens, it can increase the possibility of seeing the dreaded red thread on your lawn (the Pest & Diseases section below goes into more information on that).

It finally feels like we’re receiving the long-awaited summer, but this doesn’t mean your gardening work is done for the year. Although the sunshine means you can finally enjoy being outdoors in your garden without having to watch for any dark clouds approaching – the improved weather means your lawn will need watering more frequently. You can also take care of summer lawn pests (such as red thread, as mentioned) and keep your wear & tear maintenance up to date to ensure your grass grows strong all summer long!

All that aside, let’s look at the weather for the coming weeks to see what the Great British Summertime has in store for us in July.

July long-range forecast courtesy of the Met Office.

25th June – 5th July

Predominantly fine and settled at first for much of the country and much warmer than we have seen in recent weeks. However, some thicker clouds could bring some outbreaks of mostly light to northwestern areas. There is some uncertainty about how long this warm, settled weather will persist over the UK, and there is a chance that conditions could transition back closer to average towards the end of next week. This transition brings the risk of some showers or longer periods of rain and potentially some thunderstorms, particularly in the south, from the end of next week. However, the remainder of the period is more likely to settle with above-average temperatures.

5th– 19th July

Signals for this period are fairly weak, making it difficult to say if any one type of weather pattern will dominate. As such, typical conditions in the UK will most likely be a mixture of weather types. All areas can expect to see some spells of drier, sunnier weather, but there will also be showers or longer spells of rain at times. From what we can tell, there are hints that rain and showers will tend to be more biased towards the north and west, with any more prolonged drier weather favouring the southern counties. Temperatures are slightly more likely to be above average than below.

Is your Lawn Suffering again?

 

If your lawn suffered badly in the dryness last year and, even with your best efforts, is suffering again, perhaps there is an underlying problem. This may be the cause: An Old Lawn!

If not, and you want to assist your lawn in dryer weather, we want to draw your attention to the practice of using a wetting agent as a preventative in our article How to Stop my Lawn Drying Out.

What's New?

In our Lawn Care Problems section, we have dozens of articles to help you care for your lawn. They answer many of the most common and not-so-common questions and problems you ask us on a day-to-day basis. Here are the latest articles updated during the last few months:

New for this Lawn Diary

From the previous Lawn Diary

Mowing the Lawn

Regular mowing is the key to a great lawn; if possible, moisture is good once a week, with the added benefit of dropping the mowing height a little. If, on the other hand, things are dry, then raise the mowing height (to the highest if necessary) to conserve moisture. In dry times, you can also mow with the box off to recycle the clippings, but check that no weeds are seeding, and the mower instructions allow this.

Finally, even if it’s dry, keep a reasonably regular mowing pattern (at least every 10 to 14 days), as weed grasses will take advantage of a weakened dry lawn.

Mowers

For the mowing season, you need to do two things: keep it clean and keep it sharp. If the grass is damp, it can easily build up inside the mower, so always give the mower a good brush, scrape or hose down after every use.

Secondly, if you do a lot of mowing, then be prepared to sharpen or swap blades this month to maintain a clean cut.

Fertilising the Lawn

If conditions are suitable, then we recommend as follows:

If you made a spring application of Lawnsmith® Spring & Summer fertiliser you should be considering your second application around now, at the start of July. Alternatively using liquid fertiliser every 4 to 6 weeks allows more control for the lawn enthusiast. Timing will depend largely on what and when you applied previously, as well as recent growth and rainfall.

If this is your first application, then stick with the Spring & Summer fertiliser range.

If you gave your lawn a feed with Lawnsmith® Extra-LONG fertiliser in spring, you’re sorted, and your next feed should be in autumn if desired.

If conditions are on the wet/humid side, then you most probably have red thread, so consider a higher than normal dose of fertiliser if fertilising is due.

If conditions are dry, consider holding off until things improve.

Spreading Fertiliser Videos Spraying Videos View Fertiliser Range

Weed Control

The weeds are now in full swing, with clovers and trefoils being very obvious, so this is another great month for applying weed killer to the whole lawn either by knapsack sprayer or watering can if you have not previously done so. If you’re using a watering can, try the sprinkle bar for faster, more accurate application.

If you’ve been diligent with your weed control and have few weeds, then no need to treat the whole lawn; instead, keep at it with a combination of spot-treating individual weeds with a Ready to Use Weed Killer or manually removing them.

Weed of the Month: Yellow Suckling Clover - also known as lesser trefoil. See Weed Identification for more detail and control methods.

WARNING: Do not apply weed killer to dry or parched lawns other than as a spot treatment. Always read the label for advice on repeat treatments and safe use.

Watch the Video See Weed Killers See Sprayers

Moss Control

Wait now until autumn.

Watch the Video Moss Killer Products

Watering the Lawn

If you water this month, do it in the mornings to reduce the likelihood of bringing on or worsening red thread. You’ll need an inch of water (about an hour with the sprinkler) in any one place. If strange dry patches or rings remain even after regular watering, see ‘Pests and Diseases’ below.

Aeration & De-compaction

If the lawn is not too hard, try using lawn aerators such as a rolling aerator or aerator sandals. This will keep the surface open so any shower can penetrate down to the grass roots rather than run off into the borders!

Summer is also a time of high lawn use, so at the least, you should be looking to use aerators or a garden fork on the most trafficked areas around clotheslines, path-to-lawn entry points, kid’s goal mouth and postman’s shortcuts. Add grass seed to any worn areas after aeration, then fertilise and lightly water frequently.

Please note that it is now too late to be slitting or using a hollow tine aerator. These increase drying, so if conditions continue to dry, you are just compounding the problem. However, once the rains start and things cool down, the lawn will love it.

Watch the Video See Aerators

Raking & Scarifying

Wait until autumn.

Watch the Video See the Scarifier

Repairs & Renovations

Renovation requires warmth and water to help the grass repair and recover, so only undertake renovation if you can water it or if conditions are poor or it becomes dry. Any turfing laid this month will require regular watering to establish, and seeding may need light watering in the morning and evening. If you do undertake some seeding, build a reserve of water in the soil by deep watering for a few days before adding the seed.

Pests & Diseases

The disease to watch out for from May onwards is red thread; occurring as humidity levels rise. As July is a warm month (normally anyway!) you may get an outbreak if it rains. This year’s weather has caused some major outbreaks, so read the red thread section for treatment.

In addition, if your lawn suffers from ‘dry patch’ or ‘fairy rings’ these will become more evident as dead semi-circles or brown patches during drying weather. Watering, very light spiking, fertiliser, and a wetting agent will go a long way in relieving the problem.

Regarding pests, Yellow meadow ants are also still very active, so if hills start forming in or around the lawn, you’ll need some ant bait stations or ant granules. The granules are brilliant for stopping the ants in their tracks, but be careful with concentration - more is not necessarily better! The bait stations are best used as a preventative measure after using the granules. If the soil is very dry around the ants’ nest, it can be difficult to get the ant killer to penetrate deep enough to have an effect. Pre-wet the area for a few days before using the ant killer and even better if you pre-wet with added Wetting Agent.

View Yucca Wetta View Pest & Disease Products

Rolling the lawn

Unlikely to be required until next spring unless you've over sowed.

Top Dressing

Top dressing is an advanced lawn care procedure that reduces thatch and smoothens the lawn’s surface. If you are not a lawn nut then I suggest you don’t need to bother with this!

If you are, then you should have your first dressing done, and you may be considering a second around now. It’s not a problem if growth is good, however! See top dressing advice.

The New Lawn

With the potential for dryer months, I’d put this off until autumn unless you can water the area daily.

View Grass Seed Blends

Thanks for visiting the Lawn Diary

Have a great month