Lawn Care

  • The Wembley turf: Our top 10 ‘Did You Knows’

    The Wembley turf: Our top 10 ‘Did You Knows’

    With England’s first home game of the football season taking place against Slovakia in a World Cup qualifier at Wembley on 4 September, we thought we’d take a look at some fascinating facts and stats about the stadium’s hallowed turf.

    And while most of the footy facts might be quite well-known, the same can’t be said about the pitch itself.

    For example, did you know that …

    1. The Wembley pitch has a Desso Grassmaster system which was introduced to overcome early problems with the pitch after the new stadium was opened in 2007. The technology combines synthetic grass with the real Wembley grass and uses a SubAir system, integrated undersoil heating and artificial lighting.

    2. The system means that even during very cold spells, the soil temperature can be kept at a constant 17 degrees, ensuring a world class playing surface.

    3. It took almost two weeks to insert over 48,000km of synthetic thread into the turf.

    4. Each strand of synthetic grass has six blades, so amongst the real Wembley grass, there are 120 million blades of Desso Grassmaster, which were inserted into the ground using long needles.

    5. Wembley’s real grass is a 100% ryegrass mix that’s exclusive to Wembley and is called Wembley Special Mix.

    6. The initial pitch problems at the new stadium were caused by the stadium’s microclimate due to its enclosed structure and because it’s in complete shade between late September and late March. The pitch had to be re-turfed 11 times in three years so eventually, the fibre-sand turfed surface had to go.

    7. The new pitch is four metres lower than the previous pitch.

    8. The pitch is covered by a protection system during concerts, when up to 25,000 people stand on the pitch area.

    9. The pitch maintenance routine includes daily cutting; weekly sub-surface aeration to control moisture content and oxygen levels in the roots; a fertiliser schedule; and the use of artificial lights to encourage growth.

    10. The system’s technology sends up-to-the-minute information to head groundsman Karl Standley’s mobile phone on pitch temperature, moisture levels, salinity and humidity.

    And, for our footy fans, here are four more facts about Wembley:

    The first match at the original Wembley Stadium was the FA Cup Final in April 1923, when Bolton Wanderers beat West Ham United 2-0 in the famous White Horse Final, so-named because a mounted policeman went onto the pitch to help clear the crowds. The game had not been ticketed and an estimated 200,000 fans turned up. Oops!

    The most famous game was, of course, the 1966 World Cup Final when Geoff Hurst became the only player to score a hat-trick in a World Cup Final as England beat West Germany 4-2 after extra time. Since then it’s been 51 years of hurt for fans of England’s senior side, and counting ...

    The last game at the old Wembley was a 1-0 defeat against Germany in October 2000. The stadium and famous Twin Towers were then demolished to make way for the new Wembley Stadium featuring its iconic arch.

    This is the 10th anniversary of the new stadium being opened.

    In six years’ time, we’ll be celebrating 100 years of Wembley Stadium. So many memories, so many stories, all played out on the most famous blades of grass in the world!

  • 8 top tips on keeping your lawn healthy during the summer

    8 top tips on keeping your lawn healthy during the summer 8 top tips on keeping your lawn healthy during the summer

    8 top tips on keeping your lawn healthy during the summer.

    August: Long hot days, fun in the sun, summer holidays with family and friends. What’s not to love?

    But for our lawns, this is the time of year when they can really struggle without some regular TLC.

    The good news is that most lawns will recover fully from a drought or a dry spell. Even if lawns turn brown and dry during the summer months, they usually recover as soon as the rains return.  It would take an extremely severe drought to kill off your lawn completely.

    However, it’s still advisable to do a few simple things to protect your lawn from the worst effects of dry weather.

    We’ve compiled a list of 8 top tips to help your lawn survive and thrive.

    1 – Don’t mow so low

    Raising the height of the cut helps to avoid weakening the grass.

    2 – Mow less frequently

    Allow your grass to grow a bit longer. You could even include an area of butterfly and bee-friendly meadow flowers and just sit back and enjoy them during the height of summer.

    3 – Don’t be so tidy

    Yes, you did read that correctly! Avoid the temptation to clear away the grass clippings when you mow as they will act as mulch and help to retain any moisture in the soil for longer. Take care to ensure the clippings are nice and small so that they don’t smother and damage the grass.

     4 – Give your lawn a drink

    Water the lawn every 7-10 days (if water restrictions permit), but don’t over-do it. Too much water isn’t just wasteful, it’s potentially damaging. It also makes the lawn less drought-tolerant, so in the event of a hosepipe ban, when watering isn’t an option, it will deteriorate more rapidly.

    5 – Get your timings right

    Water your lawn early in the morning or late in the evening. Watering in the hottest part of the day will increase evaporation.

    6 – Nip it in the bud

    Water when the soil gets dry, but before the grass starts to change colour. The grass will usually stop growing and start to go brown when the top 10cm of soil dries out.

    7 – Use your fork

    If the ground has become very hard, aerate it with a fork before watering to help the water to sink in.

    8 – Work out how much water your lawn needs

    Ensure that the water reaches a depth of 10cm. You can do this by testing some areas a few hours after watering. You’ll soon learn how much water your lawn needs and how long to leave your sprinkler on.

    9 … And relax!

    We thought we’d add this 9th tip because this is the time of year to be out enjoying your garden and making the most of the summer weather.

    If you follow the dry weather advice, there’s every chance you won’t need to repair or relay your lawn in the autumn. If you have encountered problems, then you might want to consider relaying your lawn with drought-resistant grass mixes.

    And remember: Prevention is better than cure. By having a maintenance programme this autumn and next spring, your lawn will be in great shape for summer 2018, too.

    Ask our experts: Get in touch to learn how to achieve the best height cut from your mower during a dry spell.

  • The secret to great stripes on your lawn!

    secret-to-great-stripes

     

    Lawn stripes are simply created by the two-tone contrasting colours of grass laid flat in one direction and again in the opposite direction. When grass is bent away from you, it appears lighter in colour as light reflects off the fatter part of the grass plant. Pushed towards you, the grass looks darker.

    To get good lawn stripes you will need a mower with a rear roller. A heavy steel roller will produce a more pronounced stripe than a lighter plastic roller.

    • Start by cutting around the edge of the lawn
    • Work from one side of your lawn, cutting up and down the length
    • Only ever push forward with the mower, this is because it is the direction of the mower (and the roller) that makes the grass bend in different directions thus creating the striped effect.
    • Slightly overlap the stripe each time so that you do not have thin strips of uncut grass left between the stripes.
    • Cut the edges with a grass trimmer for a neat result
    • Sit back and enjoy the view of your beautiful striped lawn, perhaps with a nice cup of tea or cold beer?

    Next time you cut your lawn, cut along the same stripes in the same direction as previously to develop a more pronounced lawn stripe.

    • There are actually many varieties of grass available and fine ornamental grasses will produce more pronounced stripes in your lawn.  These grasses are however delicate and require more care and attention than the common general purpose grasses that make up the majority of lawns.

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