Monthly Archives: September 2017

  • Guide your garden through the changing seasons this September

    September. The month that generally marks the end of summer and the start of autumn, in the UK at least. It’s always a busy month for gardeners, as they tackle an assortment of tasks to ensure everything in the garden is kept ship-shape during the changing seasons.

    Guide your garden through the changing seasons this September Guide your garden through the changing seasons this September

    In our latest blog, we get to grips with some of the main September jobs, starting with those all-important lawns.

    1 Cut back on cutting back! September is when you should start to mow your lawn less frequently. Give it a helping hand at this time of year, by raising the height of the cut a little.

    2 Examine: Look for wear and tear and take action now if necessary as September is the optimum month for treatment, giving the lawn time to respond ahead of the impending colder weather. Also check for damage caused by fungal disease or pests.

    3 Treat: Treatment could involve raking to keep moss and other unwanted elements under control. But be careful not to rake too deeply as this will damage the turf. Aerating, or spiking, will help the lawn cope in the event of waterlogging. Using a garden fork, spike your hole 10-15 cm deep and the same distance apart. If your lawn has surface irregularities, you might want to apply a top-dressing mix. The Royal Horticultural Society advises a mix of three parts sandy loam, six parts sharp sand and one part compost or leaf mould. Apply 2-3kg per sq m (4.4-6.6lb per 10 sq ft), working the dressing in well with the back of a rake. The result is better rooting and thicker turf. If you purchase a ready mix, be sure to follow the instructions on the pack.

    4 Feed: Do this after raking and spiking but before applying the top-dressing. Use an autumn lawn feed, as this is high in potassium.

    5 Renew: Early autumn is a great time to create a new lawn from turf or seed. Laying a lawn from turf is the quickest option, with instant results. However, using seed is the easier and cheaper way and you get a wider choice of turf. Which option you decide will be down to your own requirements.

    There are other gardening tasks to tick off in September, too.

    Fruit & veg:

    If you grow fruit or veg, now’s the time to reap your rewards! We all love harvest time, especially when there’s a healthy crop of berries, apples, pears, tomatoes, potatoes and the like to bring to the table. Enjoy!

    Flowers:

    September is the time to sow hardy annuals and plant new perennials. Also cut back and prune your flowers and divide those herbaceous perennials that have become overgrown and ‘clumpy’. This will encourage fresh and healthy growth next year. Take cuttings of tender perennials and if you don’t have a greenhouse, you can use a nice bright windowsill to grow them on. Bring other non-frost hardy perennials indoors. If you’re troubled by pesky perennial weeds, then tackle them now as they’re vulnerable at this time of year. Use weed-killer containing glyphosate but remember to protect valued plants with plastic sheeting.

    Trees & shrubs:

    Prune late summer flowering shrubs and give evergreen hedges their final pre-winter trim. You can now also plant and move trees and shrubs to give them a head start in time for next spring. Also give your plants and shrubs a liberal soaking. The soil will absorb it better, before the onset of colder weather. Start to prepare ahead for another great year in the garden by planting spring flowering bulbs.

    General maintenance:

    Cover any garden ponds with netting to keep out fallen leaves during the winter months and clear dead leaves away as soon as you can to avoid disease in the garden.

    And finally …

    Once you’ve done your September jobs, you can put your feet up with a cuppa and dream of spring … preferably with a nice portion of pudding made with all that lovely autumn fruit you’ve just harvested!

  • 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!

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