The past two weeks of hot weather (June 2013) seems to have spurred on grass into growth and caused a great many lawns to run to seed, making them look rather untidy.
Grass going to seed causes lighter patches on a lawn and the grass plants themselves tend to grow thick, tough stems which can “fall over” preventing them from being mowed properly. This adds to the untidy look of the lawn when the grass is flowering.
Seeding is often caused by the grass being stressed in hot weather. As it drys out, the stressed grass “bolts”, running to seed in an last effect to produce a new generation before it expires! This process is extremely costly in terms of effort for the grass, especially as it is usually already suffering. This means that it produces less leaves and weakens it leaving it open to fungal infections and further problems
How to I stop it from going to seed?
Sometimes the grass will run to seed naturally as part of its life cycle, and this is usually unavoidable. However, regular mowing and keeping it watered and growing strongly are the best ways to prevent grass from seeding.
Additionally, using a spring-tine rake, or a long cane (also called a swisher) to brush the lawn just before mowing. This acts like running a comb through the grass, causing the flowering grass stems to be lifted clear of the sward, helping them to be cut more easily. Doing this regularly will ensure that the energy in the plant will go to produce lush green leaf growth, which is the key to a lush green lawn.
Getting a great looking lawn for the summer always involves a lot more effort than people realise, but it is simple tips like this which anyone can do that turn a average lawn into a great looking lawn that is the envy of your friends and neighbours.