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Helping a soggy lawn

Grass Clippings - Puddles on LawnIt looked like winter had finally arrived with sub-zero temperatures a week or so ago and it was almost pleasant to be out in the crisp cold air with some ground frost in the ground.

It did not last long.  We are now back to more rainy days and soggy lawns and gardens, making it simply impossible to get out into the garden and do some much needed de winterising.

Spring is a long way off and the turf grasses are really suffering to combat the stresses of a wet autumn and winter.  The soil is simply saturated but oddly as the day time temperatures are unseasonably warm the grass is still growing, not fast but none the less, still growing.

It will be a little while before you hear a gardener or turf manager firing up their mowers as they simply cannot get onto the turf surface to work the machines.  All we need are a few weeks of no rain to let the root zone and upper sub soil drain through a little to help the grass roots dry out and breathe.

Any aeration that can be done at this time of the year simply has to be great to get some vital air into the root zone.  If you have puddling on your lawn, try aerating the area to the full depth of a border or garden fork as anything mechanical is out of the question.  The puddling may occur as the water table is high or there has been a lot of run off from a hard landscaped area such as a driveway or patio.  The area may also be severely compacted with an upper soil pan that any attempt to break the pan may assist natural water percolation.

Winter time is naturally hard for lawns, especially a wet winter.  If the turf grasses die out, the moss will easily get in to replace it.  Soil worm casts will be a real problem too, making the lawn surface full of sticky mud that has passed through the worm’s body during their burrowing activity. 

One positive thing you can do is to get your lawn mower serviced to avoid the spring rush.  Remember to be proactive and not reactive when it comes to your lawn this coming year, but sometimes you have to react quickly when the weather improves or deteriorates at a minutes notice if you have a spare weekend to sort the garden.  Lawn care is a science but one that is dependent upon the correct seasonal weather at the appropriate time of the year.  The growing season gets shorter or longer or interrupted by the change in climatic conditions and environment.

It is a hard life being a lawn, much harder than a garden shrub or plant as there are millions of little grass plants trying to survive when everything is thrown at them, without consideration of the physical demands that users put on them in the more active garden months.  Remember the lawn is the carpet of the room outdoors.  Fail to look after it and the carpet will become threadbare and need replacing over time.

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