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Toadstools

Toadstools in lawn HCT TurfSometimes toadstools or mushrooms will suddenly appear in lawns. They are nothing to worry about. They spring up when conditions are just right for the spores to grow, the right moisture and temperature. And they disappear again within a few days just as quickly.

People often ask us what to do with them, why they have appeared and whether they are harmful to the lawn, children or pets.

There’s no need to do anything with them. But you can just brush them away if you would like them gone. Whether you remove them or not, won’t make any difference to whether they spread as spores from toadstools exist in the air all the time anyway.

The majority of toadstools are not poisonous, but animals are very unlikely to eat anything which is.

Of the thousands of different types, only two main fungi could do actual damage to gardens. The rest of them will not cause any deterioration to lawns. The two to beware of are Armillaria (honey fungus) and Marasmius (a type of fairy ring). Other types of fairy ring are not harmful.

See the RHS website advice for how to identify and deal with these two specific fungi:

https://www.rhs.org.uk/Advice/advice-search?keywords=Toadstools

 

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Autumn Lawn Care

We supply quality turf all year round. If you would like any further advice on lawn care or would like to talk to us about your order, please contact us on 01392 231040 or email sales@wesellturf.com

Why use laying boards?

There are a couple of reasons why you should use turf laying boards for your project

1.The turf laying boards ensure an even distribution of your weight which:-

a. Avoids indentations made by walking on the newly laid turf, and
b. Helps to compress weight for good soil to turf contact.

2. They also act as a straight edge for your next row!

Laying boards turf HCT

Using laying boards.

Professional landscapers use turf laying boards for the reasons stated above. And, when you’ve spend hours raking and levelling your soil, you really don’t want to undo all that hard work by putting your big size 12’s in the soil or leaving tracks by heaving your heavy wheelbarrow across the garden!

What you’ll need

You’ll need at least a couple of boards, approx. 4 foot long each. This will enable you to move one board along while you are standing on the other. Plus, a 4 foot board means it’s not too heavy to pick up and reposition.

Let’s get started

  1. Lay your first row of turf.
  2. Place your laying board on top of the turf to use as a platform to work from. Stand on the laying board to ensure you don’t do any damage to the newly laid turf.
  3. As you move along, move the first board and place it onto the turf and move along without standing on the fresh turf.
  4. Stagger the joints (brick pattern) of the turf from row to row to avoid any unsightly joins.
  5. Push the turf as close together as possible.
  6. It’s useful to sprinkle fine top soil into any gaps between rolls of turf and brush over with a soft broom for even coverage and to avoid the edges drying out. In warm weather some shrinkage is normal, so these steps will help to make the newly laid lawn look as good as possible.
  7. Curved and slanted lines will require the turf to be cut to fit. An old kitchen knife will do the job just fine!
  8. At the end of a row of turf where a piece is cut to fit, it is best to avoid finishing with a very small piece. If necessary, cut the previous piece and use a longer strip to finish. Again this reduces the problems of shrinkage.
  9. Any exposed edges of new turf can be butted up with more top soil along the cut edge to stop it drying out and help the turf to root down and establish.
  10. Water the newly-laid lawn well. Continue to do so regularly until its established.
  11. In warmer weather this this could mean watering it once or twice a day. Take a look at our summer guide for more details.
  12. Avoid walking on your new lawn for a couple of weeks so the turf can bed in and knit together.
  13. And only mow once the turf has rooted. Find out more here

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TURF ORDERING

We supply quality turf all year round. If you would like any further advice on lawn care or would like to talk to us about your order, please contact us on 01392 231040 or email sales@wesellturf.com

Do you sell grass seed?

Buying grass seed.

People often ask if we sell grass seed. The short answer is no. We buy our grass seed by the tonne in bags of 20kg which will cover 570 square metres. The mixture that we buy has been similar since the 1980s when we started growing our own turf, but each year we try to improve the results with adjustments to the cultivars selected. At any one time there are hundreds to choose from with varying qualities.

Seeding large areas

If you have an area of around 500 square metres to seed by all means call us. We may be able to sell you a bag or two of seed if we have enough stock for our current requirements, however we would not be able to sell part of a bag. If we can’t spare any at that time we will suggest trying Mole Valley Farmers who sell a lawn seed mixture, or search online. There is a good chance that their price will be lower than ours so you may like to try them first.

Where to buy small amounts

For patches or small areas to seed, garden centres and even supermarkets (in season) sell boxes of grass seed. The box should tell you the seed mixture, coverage and instructions. We generally use 25% ryegrass and 75% a mixture of fescues. It varies a little from year to year but a mixture like that will look very similar to our turf. Even if you put down seed which is a little different from this proportion, over time it will all look the same as the grass plants grow and spread. It is definitely not crucial to get precisely the same seed.

How much will I need?

When sprinkling seed with your hands you will need about 35g per square metre. If you have such a large area you are using a tractor and seed drill you could reduce it down to 20g per square metre.

turf vs seed HCT turf suppliers Devon

The advice on the RHS website is very helpful, you can find our more here – https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?pid=424

We supply quality turf all year round. If you would like any further advice on winter lawn care or would like to talk to us about your order, please contact us on 01392 231040 or email sales@wesellturf.com

 

 

How do I get rid of moles, humanely?

Moles can create quite a big problem in lawns and gardens, and of course their mole hills are much more visible than some of the smaller pests we get in our gardens.  But how can you get rid of these furry little creatures, especially when you have just invested in top quality turf?

Mole lawn damage often happens in the spring and early summer as this is when the animals are closer to the surface. In the summer they tend to be deeper underground.     

How do I get rid of moles, humanely?Mole Traps

Humane traps work by letting a mole into the plastic tunnel via doors that close behind the mole and traps it. Then simply remove the trapped mole as far away as you can to a new location where it can happily continue doing what it is designed to do.

You’ll also need to ensure you check these traps at least every day as moles feed regularly and will starve quickly. TV gardener Toby Buckland recommends washing your trap in soapy water to remove the scent of humans (moles are clever little animals and won’t go near anything that smells of humans). Place the primed trap in the run, which often appears as raised tunnels between the hills. Bury the trap with grass and then cover with a plant pot to avoid pets and visitors setting off the trap.

However, if you have a dog that digs you might wish to avoid traps altogether!

 

Mole Repellents

Alternatively you can use materials which the mole finds offensive.

Try putting something down the tunnel that smells bad and is preferably biodegradable. Try a pickled egg down the mole hole, human hair, very old cheese, sour milk or even garlic can also be effective deterrents.

If you are not keen on any of these, you can buy natural mole deterrent bulbs. Simply plant them in your garden and they secrete a smell which is almost undetectable for humans but moles can’t stand.

If this is not for you, you could try a solar mole repeller. They create a low-frequency vibration in the soil that spreads out within the target area. Such vibrations aim to mimic the sound created by another animal digging – such as a predator or a competing mole. Moles are generally solitary animals with their own territory. Just push the devices into your lawn and leave them – it’s that easy. 

Happy mole hunting!

We supply quality turf all year round. If you would like any further advice on winter lawn care or would like to talk to us about your order, please contact us on 01392 231040 or email sales@wesellturf.com

 

 

Aeration, why, when and how?

Aerating your turf or lawn is a great way to prep it ready for the summer months.  Aeration lets air and water into the soil to encourage better root growth and allows the roots to absorb more nutrients from the soil. It is an important job to do in early spring (March is ideal) after the harsh winter months and when the grass is starting to grow again.

When soil becomes compacted, even slightly, it can inhibit the flow of air, water and nutrients that support thicker, healthier turf growth. Even a thin layer of compacted soil (just 1/4 – 1/2  inche) can affect the health and beauty of your lawn.

If you think your turf is compacted, maybe it looks stressed? Or is hard to the touch? Or do you have rain puddles in your lawn? do the screwdriver test. Simply use a regular screwdriver, insert it into your lawn by hand. If it doesn’t slide in fairly easily and it meets some resistance, your soil is likely to be compacted.

Why you should aerate your lawn?

1.         Aeration improves soil water uptake
2.         It helps the roots obtain more oxygen
3.         It helps fertilizer to penetrate into the turf
4.         It reduces water runoff and puddling on your lawn
5.         Aeration promotes stronger turf grass roots
6.         It helps to reduce soil compaction
7.         Aeration helps improve heat and drought stress tolerance
8.         It helps breakdown thatch

How to aerate your lawn.

Aerating is best done when your soil is damp, from either irrigation or rainfall the day before. Overly dry soil can be really tough however, don’t aerate an overly wet lawn either.

There are three main type of equipment that can be used, from small manual pieces to larger tractor-like machines

Aeration HCT Turf ExeterSpike aerators. These simply poke a hole down into the soil with a solid spike. The easiest ones to use are aerator “sandals” which you strap to your shoe, and simply walk across your lawn. These are great for homeowners and small areas.

Slicing aerators. These have rotating blades that cut or slice through grass and thatch and down into soil. Like spike aerators, slicing aerators leave soil in the ground, but they create pathways for air, water and nutrients without causing more compaction.

Core or plug aerators. These are typically preferred by lawn professionals. They use rows of hollow spikes that remove plugs of soil from the turf and deposit them on top, where they break down. The size of the plugs and the holes they create vary in width and depth, depending on the machine used. 

Many local gardening services can do the job for you, or you can rent equipment from your local hire shop. A lot like mowing, you work back and forth across your lawn, concentrating on problem areas, like pet runs.

We supply quality turf all year round. If you would like any further advice on winter lawn care or would like to talk to us about your order, please contact us on 01392 231040 or email sales@wesellturf.com