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Spring lawn renovation

Whilst this lovely dry sunny weather is a pleasure to work and relax it, we could really do with a spot of rain! I've renovated 6 lawns over the past month - scarify, aerate, top-dress and overseed - not cheap for the customers and they all have high expectations for their lush new look lawns. But, without the rainfall it really is a bloody pain. I've set sprinklers up where I can, but it's definitely not the same as Mother Nature's own.

It was the same last year and I think I'm coming years I will endeavour to only do renovations during the autumn months.

Anyone else struggling with the dry spell?

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  • PRO

    Same here I had one older customer who I told to water regularly call me back because the seed wasn't germinating and the lawn was bone dry. She said she watered it when I put it down and then thought that was enough as it looked wet in the mornings. Needless to say I had to reseed and give here a sprinkler.

    • Then they leave the sprinkler on overnight and wash all the seed away. Bloody right pain.

  • PRO

    I've been feeding the birds too 

    free grass seed to all birds 

    no rain Aaaagggghhhhhh

  • We had this issue 3 or 4 years ago and so now only do renovation work in the autumn. It's worked well for us so far. I'm sure it can still work in the spring but we found that you're a lot more dependent on the customer at this time of year which is always a gamble! Hope it works out for you.

  • PRO

    Struggling as well Sean.

    Have 4 I am extremely worried about - one is 2000m2.  Thankfully we did get 2mm of rain on Sunday so the most recent has at least had a little drink.    Autumn renovations are a non starter for me - too much else to do and the weather can be very unforgiving by late August where I am.  

    • PRO

      Two attempts at re seeding a lawn , customer keeping up to the watering but nothing happening my guess its still too cold here in the North for the seed to germinate . 

      Also a shortage of topsoil , only Two pallets per supplier apparently . And now my mate tells me you think you got problems ? its not great for fishing either ...

  • I've a few gardens that have large bare patches that I've agreed to repair.

    I'm down South, and I never try to get seed to germinate until at least mid May.... it only takes a frost or two and you've wasted your time.

    Also make it perfectly clear, that once the seed is down, my job is completed, it is then the customers responsibility to keep the seed moist without washing it away. I also make it clear that once it has germinated, it won't be a lush lawn, the grass will be very fine and will take time to strengthen and fill out.

    To be honest, repairing lawns has become something I now try to avoid unless I know the customer is pretty chilled in general !

  • Yes I've had similar problems slow recovery after scarifying. I haven't had chance to feed the few a do scarify which isn't helping . They all easy going clients and understand feed needs moister etc and it hasn't rained all month except for 7inch of snow a couple of weeks ago don't think thats quite the same as rain though. 3rd year in a row a think a dry spring here , that will mean its going to rain the majority of the summer instead 

  • Well, we've certainly had the rain now! Results are still disappointing, as I suspect the temperatures just haven't been consistently warm enough yet.I visited one site today and the only thing that had grown was the pigeon who'd been gorging on free seed for the past 6 weeks! The customer is very disappointed as on my last visit I said we were desperate for rain and now I'm telling them that it's been too cold!

    The fertiliser I put down at the same time doesn't seem to have kicked in yet on the existing grass. But you start doubting yourself - was the seed any good? , did I top-dress properly?

    I think I'm going to have to buy some more seed at my own expense, run a rake over the surface to till the seed bed and see what happens!

    Any of you guys seeing any results yet?

    • PRO

      Snow and minus 5 with me yesterday(5th May)...

      Established grass responding to fertiliser but newly seeded is mostly a disaster.  Thankfully the half acre lawn seems OK. 

      Hydrangea, buddleia, and Camillias have all been utterly decimated by frost around here.  Still seeing punters planting out in beds and borders despite EVERY garden centre warning to protect from frost! 

      Hey hoo....

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