Lawns and Lawn Care
Spring is the best time to take a little time and effort to get your lawn into shape.
The weather should be improving (hopefully) so that you should be able to mow the grass, feed the lawn with a lawn fertiliser and deal with bare patches, ugly weeds and moss.
The secrets of success to a great looking lawn are:
- Regular and correct mowing
- Feeding with a spring and summer lawn fertiliser
- Treating weeds and moss
- Dealing with bare patches
Did you know?
Studies show that green spaces lower blood pressure, improve attention and reduce fear and anger. Children who spent more time in green play areas show reduced ADHD symptoms and have less weight gain.
So keeping your lawn looking its best has benefits for everyone!
The most important lawn care job for is correct and regular mowing.
You need to cut the grass whenever it is growing – which is likely to be weekly or even more frequently as the weather warms up in spring.
The aim should be to keep it at the same height all through spring.
For most lawns this should be about 2.5-4cm (1-1.5in) high.
For lawns that take a lot of wear and tear the height is better raised to 5cm (2in). For very shaded areas, mow at a height of 7.5cm (3in).
Mowing too short weakens the grass and is the quickest and easiest way of allowing weeds and moss to become established and spoiling the lawn.
|Month||Recommended Mowing Frequency|
Every 2 weeks
Every 10 days
May – August
At least once a week
September to October
Every 10 days
November to December
Top off if weather is mild
Never give the lawn a close shave. It should be long enough to remain healthy but short enough to be visually pleasing. Here are some optimum heights for different lawn types.
Do not mow more than a third of the height of the grass in one cut.
Trimming around the lawn gives a sharp edge that is very pleasing to the eye. You can buy a half moon edging iron that should only be used once or twice a year. At other times use long-handled edging shears to maintain a neat appearance every time you mow.
Sharpen the blades
Have the blades of your mower sharpened at least once a year. Blunt mower blades are very damaging to your lawn because they rip the grass instead of cutting it. This results in blades of grass that turn white at the tips and become more prone to lawn diseases.
A good feed with a lawn fertiliser, not only makes the grass greener, but it makes it grow thicker and increases its strength, vigour and health so it is more robust and better equipped to compete with weeds, moss and weather-related stresses.
In spring, the best results are achieved by using a granular feed that supplies a regular amount of nutrients over several weeks. When using a granular lawn feed it is important to apply it evenly over the whole lawn at the recommended rate. The easy way to do this is to use a lawn spreader. If you feed the lawn again in 6 week’s time it will remain strong and healthy all summer.
Treating weeds and moss
A strong, healthy and well-fed lawn will be able to deal with weeds and moss far better than one that isn’t fed and looked after properly.
But where weeds and moss are a problem you need to deal with them quickly. There are many treatments available that can be used from April, throughout spring and summer.
Dealing with bare patches
After winter, many lawns have bare areas that not only look unsightly, but are perfect places for weeds and moss to take hold. You can use a combination of grass seed and slow-release feed will cover bare patches.
Every year up to a quarter of the grass in the lawn can die, more after a cold, wet winter. Overseeding is sowing new grass seed into the existing lawn and this can rejuvenate the lawn and bring it back to life. Overseeding improves the lawn’s appearance and by increasing the density of the grass you will also reduce weed and moss invasion.
More hints and tips for better lawns
- Trim the edge of the lawn whenever you mow to keep crisp lines.
- Cut lawn edges with a half-moon edging iron to ensure they look neat and well shaped.
- Use a rake to remove dead grass, thatch and other debris that will otherwise prevent healthy grass growth.
- On heavy clay soils, aerate the lawn in early spring with a garden fork or hollow-tined aerator to improve drainage and help reduce water-logging problems and so make the grass grow better.
- After aerating, add a top dressing to further improve drainage and ensure healthy grass growth.
- Water the grass if it desperately needs it. Water thoroughly so the roots are well watered. If you just wet the top you will encourage roots at the surface, which are much more vulnerable to drought damage.