With only a few months' training under her belt, GardenSite's own Flori Bosnigeanu took part in this year's Great Birmingham Run, raising over £500 for the city's Children's Hospital.
Pay attention to your lawn in the spring and Nathan James Dodd reckons you will receive dividends later in the year.
Regular maintenance is key to achieving an impressive lawn and in the spring you need to tackle moss, weeds and grass that requires feeding after the cold winter months.
You can treat each individually or buy a lawn care product that will kill the moss and weeds while at the same time invigorating the grass.
Wait until the soil is moist, the grass dry and rain is forecast. Always carefully read the manufacturers' instructions or you may end up scorching the entire lawn.
Measure out sections of the lawn and apply the appropriate amount of fertilizer. If you are doing this by hand it's a good idea to wear gloves. Larger areas can be better treated with a spreader.
The dead moss can be later raked out and the area over seeded, perhaps with a tougher variety. After breaking up the surface, sow the seed and lightly rake, sprinkle with water during dry weather.
Many people will be out over Easter giving their lawn its first cut of the year. Before mowing, lightly rake out any debris and then set the blades high (about 40mm).
Although regular mowing is recommended, remember not to weaken its roots by cutting grass too short.
Healthy well fed grass that grows vigorously will help to discourage weeds and moss from returning but the lawn's location might not.
Moss loves damp ground, so if the soil wasn't prepared very well before the lawn was laid and suffers from bad drainage, take a fork and spike the affected areas.
Shade is also a contributing factor, so think about cutting back any overhanging vegetation to let in more sunlight.
Aerating the soil will also help in high traffic areas, i.e. where children have been playing too much football, and the earth has become compacted.
On-going maintenance is key to successful lawn and, by investing some time and effort in the spring, you'll be reaping the rewards later in the year.
Nathan James Dodd
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