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Garden Centre hosts free advice session on spring lawncare

DOBBIES, the UK's largest garden centre, is inviting gardening enthusiasts to its Southport store this spring for a free Grow How session, providing expert advice on how to care for your lawn as the weather warms up.

Taking place on:- Saturday, 6 April 2024, at:- 10:30am, gardeners of all abilities in Southport will have the chance to learn about common causes of lawn difficulties, including moss and weed growth, and how to overcome them.

The Dobbies team will uncover how to identify various types of mosses and weeds on the lawn. They'll help gardeners spot everything from rough-stalked Feathermoss and Haircap moss to common weeds such as Clovers and Dandelions, and how to manage them.

Attendees at Dobbies' Southport store will learn to identify the common causes of moss and weed growth in lawns, including:- waterlogged conditions, acidic soil, and seed dispersal by wind and how to reduce them.

A special focus will be placed on long term lawn care techniques, including:- aeration, light and water penetration, alongside scarifying to remove thatch and encourage new grass growth, resulting in stronger, more beautiful grass.

Ahead of the event, Dobbies' Horti Manager Mark Cunningham, shares his top tips and explains the importance of starting lawncare early for a lush summer garden.

Mark said:- "As we look forward to the warmer months, I can't stress enough the importance of lawncare in spring. Scarifying is a crucial step to remove dead thatch or moss, ensuring your lawn can breathe, soak up sunlight, and grow. Following scarification, addressing any winter damage is essential. Aerate waterlogged areas to improve drainage and reseed bare patches to encourage new growth. Applying a high-nitrogen lawn feed will invigorate your lawn, enhancing its green colour just in time for summer. Also consider leaving a small area of your garden untended to support local wildlife. A patch of wildflowers can attract pollinators, adding life and colour to your garden, and creating a biodiverse environment. This balance of care and natural growth not only results in a beautiful lawn but also contributes to a healthier ecosystem right in your back garden."

Dobbies' Grow How sessions at its Southport store take place on the 1st Saturday of every month, where garden experts host an informal and interactive demonstration lasting:- 10 to 15 minutes. This is a great opportunity for gardeners of all abilities to come together to learn something new or enhance their skills, encouraging attendees to make the most of their space.

Did you know? Dobbies was founded in 1865 by James Dobbie and its current headquartered is near Edinburgh, in Scotland? Also, Dobbies is now the UK's largest garden centre retailer, with:- 3,800 colleagues and 77 stores, including:- 6 Little Dobbies.

Merseyrail's Southport line is celebrating 120 years of electric train services

THE 18 mile route was the world’s 1st inter urban electric railway when it opened to passenger service at the end of March 1904. It was the then Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway company who carried out the work, with the project starting in 1902. Along the busy route that generated commuter and leisure travel, the new electric trains replaced Victorian steam trains between:- Liverpool Exchange and Southport via Waterloo and Ainsdale.

The line voltage was originally 625V DC, and power to the live rails was supplied from a specially built electricity generating Station at Formby. The electrical equipment for the line and the trains was supplied by the Dick Kerr and Company at Preston and the electric multiple unit trains were built by the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway.

Those original trains were replaced by the London Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS) Class 502's, from:- 1939 onwards, which in turn were replaced by the British Rail built Class 507's between:- 1978 and 1980.

The new state of the art Class 777's are the 4th generation of electric trains to have operated along the historic route, which is now part of the well patronised Merseyrail Northern line.

2 of the original brick built large transformer buildings dating from 1904, that now house modern equipment at Southport and at Hillside are still in-situ and have been silent witness to 120 years of progress. Sadly the site in Formby was demolished a few years ago.

Neil Grabham, Managing Director of Merseyrail, said:- "This is another historic milestone that we are celebrating on the Merseyrail network this year. It illustrates the incredible railway heritage that we have in this part of the UK. We are incredibly proud of the history of our network and the public service that has been provided in three centuries; from the 1800s, through the 1900s and now into the 2000s. Today, thousands of customers are travelling on the Southport to Hunts Cross line every day. It is one of the busiest lines on the Merseyrail network with a 15 minute service, seven days a week during the summer months. And we are sure that the new fleet of Class 777 trains will serve the people on this line for many years to come."

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