June 2018 Lawn Diary
This Month in a Nutshell
Apart from a few easy jobs just enjoy the garden and hopefully some more warm sunny weather.
Summary 'to do' list for now through June:
- Pest and disease control
- Weed Control
- Repair damage caused by wear and tear
A dry May and apart from late May storms and flooding it's been fantastic weather but with testing (dry) conditions for some trying to get seed to germinate. No complaints though, sometimes it's nice to use the deck chair more than the mower! But, just in case, my usual reminder......
... take every opportunity in good conditions to improve the health (and therefore drought tolerance) of your lawn with good lawn care practices including aeration, fertilisation, weed control and seeding because we may be in for a drought!
As yet just a few reports of red thread but if conditions worsen, particularly after the spring bank holiday heat wave and thunderstorms, we may well issue an alert so please make sure you are registered for updates. Having said that, if your lawn is prone to this disease getting a good feed in now before the disease hits may be a very wise move.
June long range forecast courtesy of the Met Office:
UK Outlook for Monday 4 Jun 2018 to Wednesday 13 Jun 2018:
There will be a good deal of fine weather around next week, with the best of the sunshine in the northwest. However scattered heavy showers and thunderstorms may affect southern and western areas at times, although there will still be some dry and bright weather in between. There is likely to be some mist, fog and low cloud around eastern coasts, although with some sunny spells possible too. The warmest weather will likely be in the west, but it will be cooler near the east coast. Into the middle of June there is very low confidence in the forecast, but it may be that there is still plenty of fine weather and warm spells, but rain could become more frequent and widespread at times.
UK Outlook for Thursday 14 Jun 2018 to Thursday 28 Jun 2018:
There is low confidence in the forecast at this stage, and the details will only become clearer nearer the time. For the time being, it looks as though there will probably be some fine weather initially, especially in the north. However, more changeable conditions could develop in which case we will see rain becoming more frequent and widespread across the UK at times, followed by some more settled spells. Temperatures overall will likely be near or slightly above normal for the time of year. There is potential for further warm spells of weather to develop mainly in the south however, with northwestern areas likely to be cooler than earlier in the month.
Regular mowing is the key to a great lawn. With June temperatures and a little moisture, growth should be at its best so regular mowing will produce a beautiful dense turf. Regular means at least once a week.
If conditions are or become dry then growth will be slow but do mow at least every 10 to 14 days to control coarse grasses and seed heads.
Finally adjust your mowing height to suit the growing conditions.
For the mowing season you need to do two things: keep it clean and keep it sharp. If the grass is lush or 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 mid-year to maintain a clean cut.
If this is your first application of the year use a 2-3 month slow release Spring & Summer fertiliser. It has good grass safety and will take you through until the autumn.
Similarly, if you made an early spring application of spring & summer fertiliser you should be considering your second application about now. 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, recent growth and rainfall. If soil moisture is available and growth has slowed with some loss of colour then consider an application to maintain looks, colour and health.
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.
Weeds should be well on the way now so this is a great month for applying weed killer to the whole lawn either by knapsack sprayer or watering can if you have not already done so. If you're using a watering can try the weed & feed sprinkle bar for faster more accurate application.
If you've been diligent with your weed control and have few weeds then keep at it with a combination of spot treating individual weeds with a Ready to Use Weed Killer or manually removing any obvious large weeds.
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.
Wait now until autumn.
If you water this month do it in the mornings to reduce the likelihood of red thread. This is also the time when dry patches or fairy rings start appearing in the lawn. They can easily spoil an otherwise great looking lawn so a little effort in this direction pays dividends. Some watering, a little very shallow spiking and applications of wetting agent is all that will be required from now until perhaps August. See Pests and Diseases below.
As discussed in Lawn Aeration Advice, aeration is highly beneficial if done properly. If conditions allow, using lawn aerators such as a rolling aerator or aerator sandals makes it the job relatively easy. At the very least you should be looking to use a fork on the most trafficked areas around clothes lines, path-to-lawn entry points, kid's goal mouth and postman's shortcut. Add grass seed and fertiliser to any worn areas after aeration then water thoroughly.
Please note that it is now too late to be slitting or using a hollow tine aerator. These increase drying so if conditions are or become dry you are just compounding the problem.
Wait until autumn.
The late spring and summer months are the time the lawn is used most. If children and teenagers are enjoying playing outdoors then damage can soon occur. Getting on top of it early is a wise move. Rotate areas of use if possible and then water, spike and fertilise heavily used areas. Do the same for worn areas but with the addition of about 10 to 20 grass seeds per square inch.
Renovation requires water to help the grass repair and recover so only undertake renovation and seeding if you can water if conditions are or become dry. Any turfing laid will require regular watering to establish.
The disease to watch out for from May onwards is red thread; occurring as humidity levels rise causing severe disfiguring of the grass leaves. There are ways to reduce its impact with the careful use of watering and fertiliser so read the red thread advice.
In addition, if your lawn suffers from 'dry patch' or 'fairy rings' then as the lawn dries these will become more evident. Watering, very light spiking, fertiliser and a wetting agent will go a long way to relieving the problem.
Chafer Beetles may also be seen around the garden. A very common insect throughout the UK and Europe hatching in May to June - hence the name June Bug! If you see large numbers, have a read of our Chafer Grub advice as this may indicate a forthcoming lawn problem.
Finally, this is the month ants become very active so if hills start forming in or around the lawn you'll need some ant bait stations or antkiller sachets. The sachets are brilliant for stopping the ants in their tracks but do be careful with the concentration - more is not necessarily better! The bait stations are best used as a preventative measure after using the sachets.
Unlikely to be required until next spring unless you've over sowed.
Top dressing is an advanced lawn care procedure to reduce thatch and smooth the lawn surface. If you are not a lawn 'nut' then I suggest you don't need to bother!
If you are, then you should have your first dressing done and may be considering a second around now. Not a problem if there is plenty of moisture and growth is good. Application rates and frequency will vary depending on your goals and type of lawn so please read our top dressing advice.
With potentially dryer months just round the corner put this off until autumn unless you can water the area daily.
*Lawnsmith Products from this page:
- Spring & Summer Fertilisers
- Liquid Fertiliser
- Knapsack Sprayer
- Weed & Feed Sprinkle Bar
- Lawn Weed Killer
- Wetting Agent
- Lawn Aerators & Scarifier
- Ant Bait Station
- Antkiller Sachets
Thanks for visiting the Lawn Diary
Have a great month