Your lawn requires regular attention and care to keep it looking gorgeous and green. We’ve asked some gardening experts including Craig Roman of Dobbies Garden Centres and the team at Flymo to share their lawn care know-how.
With Flymo declaring April 7th ‘First Cut Sunday’ – the official day to kick off gardening season – now is the ideal time to give your lawn some much needed TLC.
Lawn care tips – the kit you’ll need
YOU WILL NEED:
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
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. Alter the cutting height with care
If you have ‘let the garden grow’ in colder months and your lawn is looking a little unkempt come spring, then fear not. You can gradually decrease the cutting height on your lawnmower over the weeks each time to reach your desired grass length. Cutting the grass too short, too quickly is known as ‘scalping’ and this can result in disease and weed infestation.
4. Improve drainage
‘If you have a wet, soggy lawn, plunge a fork into the ground all over your patch (called aerating),’ advises Craig. 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.
5. Repair patchy bits
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.
6. Top dress your turf
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.
7. Give it a feed
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,’ Craig continues.
8. More 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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Will you be mowing your lawn this weekend?