National Weed Control – Scotland

Must need to know

Frequently Asked Questions

General Lawn Care & Service Questions

No as long as we can gain access to all the grassed areas there is no need for you to be in. We do, if possible, like you to be there at the first appointment if possible so we can fully discuss how we will make your lawn fabulous. We will contact you by text or email a few days prior to the appointment so you can unlock gates etc. We hold keys for many of our clients’ gates so if that is suitable we can discuss that at the first appointment. All our operators are police background checked annually.

We do not hold our customers to an annul contract. If your circumstances change or you simply don’t want our service anymore you can cancel at anytime although we will ask you to pay for any treatments that have already been carried out but not paid completely by your monthly payments. Just simply send us an email and we will arrange everything.

Our products are specially formulated to last around eight weeks. We schedule our visits around this time which means that your lawn will always be your pride and joy.

your lawn will still be alive during the winter and although it wont grow very much at all it will still be taking up food from the soil. Our winter fertiliser will give it all the goodness it needs to survive the stress of winter.

Winter, with its higher rainfall, is also a good time to put down soil amendments to adjust the pH and help with drainage as they can be washed into the soil very effectively at this time. Our second visit in the winter will be to carry this out. This extra help in the winter means that come spring your grass will be ready to get going as soon as it becomes warmer.

ideally a lawn should ne mowed at the point where only one third of the grass needs to be taken off to get the grass to the desired height but for practical purposes once a week is a good schedule to keep in the growing season.

The best way to rid your lawn of weeds is with a selective weed killer specially for turf. This is formulated to kill only broad leaved weeds and not harm the grass. At National weed control we use professional grade products which can only be used by fully qualified operators. All our operators are fully qualified to apply these chemicals safely. Although the occasional weed will always get through a thick healthy lawn will naturally choke out most of the weeds after a treatment or two so less chemicals are needed. A spot spray only to the area with the weed is usually all that is needed after an initial weed treatment and a good fertilisation program is in place.

Most of these products are extremely high in the active ingredients with some being up to 16% iron and 15% nitrogen. this is not a problem if it is applied correctly using a spreader in the quantity on the box.

Unfortunately, most people buy the box and put the whole box on the lawn. More is better after all isn’t it? This combined with many people spreading it by hand means uneven amounts and occasional piles of product in one place. This chemically burns the plants above the surface leaving bald patches. Another issue is the very high nitrogen levels which even if applied correctly makes the grass grow at an extraordinary rate which will have you dragging the lawn mower from the shed in an almost daily basis.  We would obviously advise you to let us take care of your lawn but if you do want to do it yourself, use a spreader and put the right amount down.

Grass, like any plant gets most of its energy or food from the sun by photosynthesis, at National Weed Control we help the grass along with fertilisation but its best if the plant is in balance between the two. so by cutting the grass very short it puts the grass under stress and allows weeds and moss to become established.

 The ideal height for a lawn varies with the season. In spring 5-6 cm, in Summer when days are longer 3-4 cm except during droughts where it is best to leave the grass longer again to help it deal with the stress. In Autumn 5-6 cm to give the plant a chance to build up energy.

While the grass will grow a bit faster than when it was not fertilised our special formulations are designed not to cause lots of rapid growth but feed the grass and the soil microbes in the soil steadily over the period between visits. Some other companies use high concentrations of nitrogen and iron in their products to give an instant effect for the customer but the downside of this the customer has to mow the lawn far more often and the lawn will be under stress. With our program a weekly or fortnightly mow should still be sufficient to keep your lawn in tip top condition.

When we cut the grass and take away the clippings we are taking the nutrients that the plant has taken up from the soil and made by photosynthesis, away from the plant. If we cut the grass weekly that can be a lot of food removed over a year. A balanced fertiliser replaces these and keeps the grass in the best health. A healthy lawn will outcompete many more weeds and moss than one under fed and under stress. Lastly of course it looks so much better setting off the look of any bedding plants and will make your home look more cared for overall.

Moss loves damp slow draining soil and particularly when the soil is acidic. The standard treatment is to put iron also known as ferrous sulphate on the lawn this is a very effective treatment for moss. The only problem is that the iron further acidifies the soil and treats the symptom not the cause. For long term improvement it is best to make the conditions as inhospitable for the moss as possible the includes aerating the lawn either with a machine or liquid aeration product. Also addressing the pH or acidity will help, this is normally done by applying lime or another pH correcting product to the lawn until the pH is at about 6.5 this is ideal for grass but not for moss. In a soil with lots of moss a fertiliser with a higher potassium level will also discourage the moss.

  So, by carrying out one or all of these things the moss will fine it much harder to remain established and will disappear over a season or two. This also means that any scarification can be less aggressive and still remove thatch and debris from the lawn.

 Aeration is the loosening of the soil surface to allow water to drain through the soil improving drainage. As the water draws down into the grown it pulls air down into the soil which is really good for the roots of the plants and the microbes in the soil. Traditionally this is done with a core aerator which pulls plugs of soil out of the ground these gradually close up as the compaction in the soil is eased. The plugs are normally left on the surface to breakdown often they dry out and are dispersed when the grass is cut. Some customers may think this is unsightly or the operator is lazy but it does do the lawn good by pulling nutrients up to the surface a bit like turning over the soil when digging a garden bed. If your mower has the ability to mulch it is a good idea to mulch mow after aeration to help disperse the cores rather than collect them.

A relatively new method is liquid aeration this is sprayed on the lawn and watered well in. the product breaks up the soil and allows water to drain freely through the ground this is very effective and the results can be noticed within 24 to 48 hours. The benefits of this form of aeration in there are no unsightly cores on the lawn and it can be done when an aeration machine cannot be used due to weather conditions ( they weigh around 100kg!)

Scarifying is the process of raking out dead grass debris and moss which is collectively called thatch. This can be done with a spring tine rake but this is a very labour-intensive job so a machine with rotating blades is usually used to make life easier.

 In a healthy lawn, the microbe’s breakdown almost all of the thatch and there should be little or no moss. We always try to improve the condition of the lawn first before scarifying this reduces the waste that the customer has to deal with and means we can be a lot less harsh on the lawn. A lawn which has been very heavily scarified can take several months to get back to its former glory where as most lawns with a small thatch layer and in good condition should bounce back in two to three weeks.