Every spring is different and 2019 has been no exception! After the heatwave of 2018 which caused many problems with various plants including lawns, we had a fairly benign winter where there was not really much in the way of cold weather, but unfortunately not much in the way of rain either.
Each year we have to approach how we care for our lawns in a way that suits how the weather is behaving, it is no good to have a wall chart with recommendations that we follow “whatever” the weather is doing. During March, we are likely to see more frosty mornings and we should remember that this means the leaves of the plants are frozen so we should not be walking all over it or cutting it. If the forecast is frosty, leaving the cutting for a few days.
There are two main species of Chafer Grub that cause problems in turf and sports surfaces: the Garden Chafer Grub (Phyllopertha horticola) and the Cock Chafer Grub (Melolontha melolontha) The ones shown to the right are the garden Chafer which is much smaller than the Cock Chafer with the larvae growing to 15mm in length. These will generally last for one season in the soil whereas the much larger Cock Chafer will last up to three years growing to quite a size (up to 30mm in length).
Many lawns suffered in the heatwave of 2018 which wasn’t helped by the late, cold and wet end to the winter which dragged on into spring. This results in lots of cases with lawns that have bare patches which have not recovered. The reasons for this are many and we do need to have a look to diagnose why and suggest remedial action. However, one to the more deep-rooted reasons is a phenomenon called (rather boringly named) “Dry Patch”.