Growing pains

Whatever the weather, lawns know when it's getting towards spring, and that means it's time to start growing, so from now on, mowing regularly '“ plus, trimming the edges '“ is the key to a presentable lawn.

LOW LIFE: Moss is an unwanted visitor in many lawns.

Not too short, but trim enough to look tidy. The aim should be to keep it to a length of just above an inch. Some lawn owners may think that’s too much, but it’s a rule worth following as it will help deter weed growth because there is little light for germinating weed seeds, and a thick sward also deters the growth of moss.

If your lawn is looking pale or thin then a spring feed with a combined moss killer/fertilizer should help it green up and encourage more vigorous grass growth during the subsequent six weeks and the unwanted moss should shrivel and die.

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And now that the soil has started to warm up, the weather should be good enough to encourage strong germination of grass seed to hide all those bald patches that inevitably appear.

Nowadays you can find plain and simple grass seed to use for repair, or you can find quality seed and compost mixes that help to ensure even growth. Unfortunately, it’s virtually impossible to hide the joins – the only ways to do that is to use exactly the same seed used for the original lawn or to trim off an edge or two and use the bits to mend the damaged patches.

If those patches are the result of a dog (bitches are the culprits), it’s worth considering MiracleGro Patch Magic Dog Spot Repair. This contains gypsum, grass seed and coir. The gypsum is a calcium-rich mineral that helps rebalance the soil nutrients, while the grass seed has been selected for use on high-salt urine burns. Coir is a super-absorbent growing medium.

Patch Magic Dog Spot Repair may cost more than the traditional methods – copious amounts of water and/or regular reseeding (or, as a last resort getting rid of the dog) – but there are bound to be some gardeners who think it’s money well spent.

And, finally, if the weather springs an unpleasant surprise like ice, snow or yet more heavy rain, it’s best to keep off the grass until things improve.