The lawn arranger

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With summer comes work, and the sound of lawnmowers going about their business. From the high-pitched, irritating whine of the electric, to the reassuring mechanical clatter of the old-fashioned push-along cylinder variety, there is no more certain way of knowing that the grass is growing.

Basically, you should trim the grass whenever you have the time. A twice-a-week dash over the surface, with the mower taking off very little, is the way to encourage a good thick turf. It’s less of a shock to the grass and helps to keep weeds at bay. And always trim the lawn edges regularly to give a neat appearance – and to remove moist hiding places for slugs and snails. A well-manicured lawn helps make a gorgeous garden.

If you’re going to water the lawn during any dry spells, then now’s the time to build up the moisture reserves. Fork over the turf so water can penetrate deep down to the roots and beyond. And remember to water either early in the morning or late at night to reduce evaporation.

Forget applying dry granule lawn treatments if the weather is hot and dry. Many people ignore the instructions on the packs that tell you to apply only when the soil is moist and the weeds and grass are actively growing.

When it’s dry, applying a liquid treatment is best. First water the lawn so the soil is moist and the following day apply a soluble treatment such as EverGreen Lawn Food Liquid. A week or so after the lawn tonic is applied check for weeds. The small-leaved weeds, such as black meddick, common mouse-ear and lesser trefoil are notoriously difficult to control.

Ordinary selective weedkillers advise several treatments but the likes of Verdone Extra kills many weeds with one treatment, and the list of weeds controlled includes these small-leaved weeds as well as white clover, daisy, dandelion and plantains.

Don’t mow the lawn for three days before or after treatment – for best results, leave it even longer so there is good leaf coverage to absorb the weedkillers and enough time for them to be absorbed before the next cut.