Lawn care tips – great ideas for healthier grass

We've got the advice for getting your lawn rich and bouncy for next year

Your lawn requires regular attention and care. Our green-fingered guru, Craig Roman of Dobbies Garden Centres, knows how.

Image credit: David Giles

YOU WILL NEED:

Grass seed
Lawn fertiliser 
Rake 
Spring-tine rake 
Half-moon edger 
Daisy grubber 
Garden fork

1. Get rid of leaves, weeds and moss

Clear leaves with a rake as soon as they fall so they don’t rot and damage grass. Banish weeds either by hand, using a traditional daisy grubber, or a chemical treatment. Chemicals are less effort but make sure you follow the instructions to the letter to avoid over-treating and unnecessary damage. Use a spring-tine rake to remove moss (called scarifying). It’s hard work but it stops the moss smothering the grass, giving it a chance to grow. Only scarify in spring, otherwise you can cause lasting damage.

2. Spruce up your edges

Image credit: Amateur Gardening

Keep the borders of your lawn neat by using a half-moon edger a couple of times a year. This tool will define the line between flower beds and lawn and make your whole garden look tidier instantly.

3. Improve drainage

If you have a wet, soggy lawn, plunge a fork into the ground all over your patch (called aerating). Go as deep as possible every 30cm or so, and it will help with drainage and encourage grass root growth for generally more healthy grass.

4. Repair patchy bits

Image credit: Amateur Gardening

Get rid of bald patches by sowing new grass seed. Rake up the earth until it’s crumbly, then sow seed according to packet instructions. Water the area well and don’t walk on it for several weeks.

5. Top dress

Brush top-dressing over the lawn surface to get rid of lumps and bumps once in the spring and once in autumn. Top-dressing is a mix of soil, sand and well-rotted compost, but you can also buy pre-mixed bags. Apply two lots, allowing a few days between each to let the mixture settle into any holes and dips. This will also encourage grass to thicken and put down more roots.

6. Give it a feed

Image credit: Amateur Gardening

Lawn feeds encourage grass to ‘green up’ and look healthy. Once you start feeding lawns they become dependent on it, so it’s important you don’t stop. Start in spring and get into a weekly routine during the main growing season but don’t over-feed as this can cause scorching. If you want to promote wildlife in your garden avoid using weed killers on the lawn and allow clovers, bugle, and tiny trefoils to populate the lawn, all of which give bees something to feed on.

Top Tips:

  • Stay off your lawn until you can walk across it without leaving footprints/sinking
  • Remove debris from lawn
  • Use a lawn aerator to help lawns drain
  • Feed and seed bare patches of grass
  • Avoid weed killers if you want to attract wildlife to your garden

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