The most important job this month is to treat any weeds in the lawn with an appropriate lawn weed killer. If tackled now, they should die well before they set flowers and spread more seeds.
Broad-leaved weeds such as lawn daisy and plantain can be treated with lawn sand now, as long as the weather is dry and calm. The chemicals settle on, and scorch, the broad-leaved plants, but not the narrow grass blades. A second application a couple of weeks later is useful.
Hormone weed killers are a more modern approach to the problem. These are available in solid or liquid form and quickly enter the plant's sap, being absorbed through the leaves. Hormone weed killers are extremely powerful, so follow the manufacturer's directions precisely.
From now onwards it may be necessary to water the lawn during dry periods. Towards the end of the month apply a light dressing of nitrogenous fertilizer.
A perfect lawn is the result of regular care and effort throughout the year. An important aspect of lawn care involves setting the mower blade to the correct height. Set too low and you will scalping the surface, exposing bare earth for weeds to germinate and if the cut is set too high coarse grasses will be encouraged.
Mowing once a week is normal for most domestic lawns, but it can easily be more in a warm, wet spring when grass is growing quickly. A regular mowing ensures that the grass is cut at more or less the same stage, and to the same height every time. If you wait until the grass is long before giving it a close cut, it will inevitably be weakened, and this will make way for weeds and moss.
If there are any shallow depressions in the lawn that make it difficult to mow, they should be top-dressed periodically during the early part of the summer. Sprinkle sifted soil into the depression and brush it well into the sward. Never apply too much soil at anyone time or the grass might be smothered.
Dog' urine can cause brown scorch marks in the grass. The only cure for this is time, but if you can throw water onto the affected area immediately after the dog has fouled it, you will not have any marks to worry about.
Next page >> Managing Trees and Shrubs in May >>
Bulbs in flower in May include:
Conuallaria majalis (lily of the valley)
Erythronium (dog's tooth violet)
Leucojum aestivum (snowflake)