By showing your lawn some love and attention during springtime, you can create a beautiful lawn that can be enjoyed the whole year through. Because your grass is starting to grow again, now’s the perfect time to feed it, kill moss, weed and start mowing. It’s also time to deal with sparse areas by over-seeding them.
To make sure the grass is greener this year, here’s our 4 step guide to a luscious lawn:
- Weeding and treating
During the warmer spring and summer months, mowing is an incredibly important job. Helping to keep your lawn in good health, you should mow your lawn as frequently as it requires. In spring, you’ll probably find it needs mowing once a week, while the summer months will demand a more regular, twice-weekly mow.
Even though giving your grass a close shave might look good (and keep the grass looking better for longer), it can damage your grass, making it more susceptible to moss, weeds and drought. Therefore, keep your grass height around 40mm (1.5in) in spring and around 13-25mm (1/2-1in) in summer. If your lawn often has a hard time (playing host to regular football matches, for example), then you might want to keep it slightly longer so it can withstand the extra wear and tear.
And don’t forget to check out our guide Make the Most of Your Power Tools for a Great Looking Garden, which features a section on how to get perfect lawn stripes!
A good feed with lawn fertiliser not only makes the grass greener, but makes it grow thicker and increases its strength. This means it’s better equipped to compete with weeds, moss and weather-related stresses. Ideally, fertiliser needs applying mid-spring (a lawn spreader makes sure you get an even coverage), being applied according to the manufacturer’s instructions. However, if, during late spring/summer, your grass starts to lose its freshness, you can repeat the application.
3. Weeding and treating
Weeds and moss in the lawn can be a bit of a headache. Fear not, though, because there are some quick and easy solutions to these, and ones that will leave your grass healthy and better able to deal with moss and weeds.
Weeding your grass
When it comes to weeding your grass, there are some non-chemical methods you can try first, such as digging them out, and scarifying or aerating your lawn. However, if a lot of weeds have established themselves in your lawn, you might want to try a chemical weed killer. Choose one that will work on the particular weeds you have, apply it in spring and summer and always read the instructions before applying. Some applications will work in a single treatment while others may need two to three treatments every four to six weeks.
Only use a weedkiller combined with a moss killer when you have a moss problem as well.
Getting rid of moss
For poorly drained, damp lawns, moss can be an ongoing problem. However, spring is the perfect time to try and rectify this. Again, you might want to try a non-chemical solution to start with, such as scarification, which will remove loose moss. For chemical solutions, opt for a moss killer suited to your grass – for example, if your grass vigour is low, a moss killer combined with a fertiliser is ideal. Always apply according to the manufacturer’s instructions, and be aware that this control will only be temporary unless you can rectify the conditions of your lawn which are causing the moss.
To prevent further moss growth, it’s a good idea to feed your lawn on a regular basis, while maintaining it frequently. Aerate your turf, avoid mowing it too short and use grass seeds that are designed for shady areas (if your garden’s in the shade).
After the harshness of winter, or after removing weeds and moss, many lawns will have bare areas. These don’t just look unsightly, but are perfect places for weeds and moss to take over. In this case, over-seeding might be required.
This involves breaking up the affected area with a fork, before raking it to create a finer surface. Then, sow grass seed using half of the manufacturer’s recommended rate. To make sure the seed is incorporated into the surface, lightly rake this area again, and cover with a net if birds are a problem. After seven to 10 days, your grass should start to sprout – but don’t forget to water gently if, after two to three days of sowing, there has been no rain.
Top tips for keeping your lawn healthy
Trim the edges: Trim the edges of your lawn each time you mow it. Use an edging tool to achieve a pristine finish that will give your lawn a professional look.
Rake: Remove dead grass, debris and thatch that will prevent your lawn from thriving.
Water: If your lawn desperately needs it, give it a good water, making sure you really get to the roots. If you only water the top, this may encourage surface roots, which can cause further problems down the line. To make sure you’re getting to the roots, use a fork to aerate the lawn before you begin. And don’t forget to check for water restrictions in your area before you begin.