Caring For Your Lawn
A great British lawn is the centrepiece of many a garden. It might be considered the canvas on which most gardens are built. After a long Winter left to its own devices, you may need to spend some time caring for your lawn. With our tips, you can have your lawn looking its best in no time.
We will look at;
- Treating weeds and moss
- Feeding and fertilising your lawn
- Re-seeding to cover worn areas
- Treating moss and dealing with weeds
First things first, get the grass under control.
Winter brings many challenges to the gardener, and a lawn is no exception. Debris is the first hidden peril, so you might also consider removing any debris from the lawn.
Many a good mower has broken down early in the Spring after getting caught up in garden debris hidden beneath the long grass. Once you’re sure the lawn is clear, you might want to start with a two-cut strategy, particularly if the soil beneath is a little damp.
Cutting down to a length of around 3 inches first, letting the ground beneath get some air, and then 3 to 4 days later returning to cut to your normal length. Remembering to leave the grass a little longer in shady areas.
Quick tip; Watch out for over-mowing. Cutting the grass too often weakens the grass and damages the soil beneath. Once a week is as frequent as most grass should be cut, once every two weeks is quite adequate for most to keep a tidy lawn area.
Is this lawn I see beneath me?
Once cut, you might want to consider what the composition of your lawn is.
Is it as much grass as you would like it to be?
A few months without maintenance and in Winter conditions can often result in the growth of unwanted weeds and the spread of moss across your garden.
While many normal lawn seed products contain additives that will help to control weeds and moss, it’s often the case that after Winter a lawn might benefit from a special treatment with a liquid lawn weed killer.
Modern treatments of this type are safe to use and work quickly and effectively. Though to get the best results you might want to keep your children and pets off the lawn for a few days. In most cases these are “once a year” use products and are applied via a hose mixer, or, for smaller lawns, mixed into water in a watering can. Again, as with many of these treatments, this is best applied to dry lawns. Remember that wet weather can wash away any treatments or make their effectiveness patchy.
Fertilising and Feeding a lawn.
Depending on the soil type, you’ll all may well require feeding.
A good fertiliser-based granular feed will bring the best colour and strength to your grass. Releasing nutrients over a long period of time ensuring even growth, and less work for you in terms of lawn care.
As with weed and moss control, you may want to start Spring off with a special lawn feeding effort, using a “four in one”product.
You may find that a lawn spreader, commonly available from your local DIY store, helps to spread the seed evenly. Particularly useful with large lawns.
Topping off this feed every six weeks by adding mixture to your watering routine will keep the grass healthy and the soil beneath properly nourished to support a healthy garden.
Worn Out and Walked On
It is a rare lawn that doesn’t suffer from the occasional worn and bare patch.
This brings two problems for the gardener.
Often the ground underneath the bare patches has been trodden and compacted, making reseeding a little more complicated.
The second issue is that worn areas can ruin the look of even the most carefully planned garden.
You may need to use your garden fork to turn the soil over in the patched area, to begin with, normally turning the fork down to 3 to 4 inches at a maximum.
Quick tip; Half the depth of your forks prongs is probably more than adequate. The aim is to loosen a few inches of topsoil only.
Turning the soil over and loosening it, then feeding and rating the area making it suitable for reseeding.
While there are seed products on the market specifically aimed for patch repair, using the same lawn seed you would use in the rest of your garden is normally the best practice.
However, if you know that this area will continue to be heavily used, you might want to consider a specialist hard-wearing grass.
Once sown, follow the other points above to ensure that it remains healthy and green throughout the growing season.
Perhaps integrate patch repair as a process you do alongside your regular mowing routine. It’s very likely that an area once worn through the passage of people will wear again and require some level of maintenance throughout the season.