First lawn feed of the year

I've already mown my lawn twice this year after a mild end to February (I live in the South East). I'm now itching to give it a dose of pelleted chicken manure, but is it too early?

The grass wasn't in great condition at the end of last summer, and then I must have applied the autumn lawn fertiliser in a patchy fashion, so all-in-all it's not looking great in places. I applied iron sulphate at the weekend and plan to scarify when the ground is firmer and the grass is in better condition. I figured an early dose of chicken manure could help to spur things a long.

Is it too early for chicken manure? If so, does that matter? It's a slow release fertiliser.


  • LoanaLoana Posts: 427

    Thankyou DR i was wondering the same thing, mower being serviced on thursday, so looking forward to mowing, just love mowing ?

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 28,233

    It would have to defrost here first....

    It depends on your growth rate, your location and the weather. 

    Feeding too early is therefore fairly pointless unless there's something to feed. If you're using a weed and feed product, it's more effective if the weeds are actively growing. Our ground is too wet to cut grass from mid/late October onwards usually, but the growth is slow because it's too cold so it's rarely growing  much before April. I often use a feed only in late March or early April as it encourages growth, and then the weed product works better as it has more to work on. That can be a good tactic. image

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • Thanks for the feedback. In that case I'll probably spread some chicken manure pellets if I have time this weekend.

    I don't bother with weed and feed combos or weed/feed/seed as they feel expensive and I prefer to apply each at the right time. Verdone Extra (now Weedol's weedkiller for lawns) is awesome stuff - one application a year will keep your lawn weed-free.

    I'll probably scarify in 4-6 weeks depending on growth and weather, and reseed patches shortly after.

  • raisingirlraisingirl East Devon, on the Edge of Exmoor.Posts: 3,771

    I'd have to clear the snow off mine image

    You've got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em
    Know when to walk away and know when to run
  • Thanks Verdun. I've used chicken manure pellets in the past and I've found they're okay if you accept the lawn will be out of action for a couple of weeks (not an issue in March).

    There are a lot of factors that affect it: My lawn is just a rubbish family lawn mix, so I think it's best when kept on the long side. As such, small pellets (e.g. Westland ones) sit between the blades of grass and soon aren't noticed. Last year I tried cheap ones from Aldi but the pellets were too big and it was like having dogs' mess all over the lawn! image

    Also, if you keep the pellets damp they break down more rapidly.

    I was hoping that if I apply them now, they would largely be in the soil by April. I'd be nervous about scarifying now as I'm not sure the grass is growing well enough to recover quickly - I hoped the chicken manure could spur on its growth so it's in good shape for scarifying. Do you disagree?

  • Disagreeing is good! You don't learn when everyone agrees image

    I take your point re chicken manure. The reason I use it is to encourage worms and improve the soil (I'm not fussed about increased worm activity because we have so few currently) and because I've found normal chemical fertilisers to be more like red bull for grass. I like the idea of something that's slow release, although chicken manure may not be the best for that. 

    We sometimes have foxes in our garden but, coincidentally, their activity was probably higher before I started using chicken manure. I've not noticed much of an issue since.

    I'm still nervous about scarifying before applying some kind of fertiliser because I'm worried it won't bounce back. I've got a big tub of Growmore so I might chuck some of that around even if it's not an ideal mix for lawns.

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