The lawn is the central hub of any garden and unlike most of your plants or trees, a lawn isn’t just to look at, it needs to be functional while remaining thick and vibrant. This can be difficult when typically the average lawn can be damaged from children playing, garden furniture, weeds and animals amongst other things.
Keeping your lawn healthy requires improving your soil, maintaining grass levels, watering regularly and tending to damaged areas as they arise.
Top tip 1 : Get rid of moss
If your lawn is smothered in moss, a lawn’s worst enemy, rake out the moss and any dead grass or thatch that has built up on the surface. Scarifying moss is usually undertaken in the spring time, as this is when moss is most troublesome in turf. You can use a scarifying rake to remove moss and regularly scarifying the lawn is extremely beneficial to its overall health and vigour. Scarifying lawns is often referred to as raking, verti-cutting and de-thatching lawns. All of them are pretty much the same thing. Moss likes waterlogged and compacted soil so to prevent moss in the future, spike the lawn with a fork, then brush sand into the holes to keep them open and aid drainage.
Top tip 2 : Re-sow worn out or dead patches
First rake out any dead grass and punch holes into the soil with a folk to loosen the hard soil surface. Firm and level the soil then sprinkle on fresh grass seed. If you have a shady lawn consider using shade resistant grass seed. When the grass seed is applied to the patchy areas add some top dressing over the top and water thoroughly and often for the first 3 weeks. Avoid leaving empty patches in a lawn as weeds will happily take root in that area and are more resilient than grass to the conditions that cause patches
Top tip 3 : Care for cracked earth with no grass growth
Sprinkle turf dressing over the holes so that they don’t close up – this will help improve drainage and moisture retention in the soil. Water deeply but avoid over-watering during dry periods – generally speaking, lawns can tolerate a dry soil. Cracked earth is normally due to poor water drainage in your soil. Water builds up within the soil preventing the grass roots from breathing. Ideally lawns should be aerated every 1-2 years to allow oxygen into the root zone and ensure optimal growth.
Step 5 : Happy mowing
Mow your lawn no more than once every 2 weeks to allow for a healthy root system. Added grass length helps to shade out weeds. Consider leaving a fine layer of grass clippings after cutting the grass – the grass degrades quickly into the soil and provides a boost of nutrients. Be careful not to leave large piles of dead or long grass. In Autumn, give it one last mow. Set your mower to a low setting and give the lawn a close buzz before winter sets in. This helps the soil dry out more quickly in the spring, which leads to a lusher lawn.
Step 6 : Get rid of the weeds and feed your lawn
Use a regular weed killer for a weed free immaculate lawn or if you’re happy with a more natural cottage style garden, then enjoy a scattering of daisies and clover which also help local bees and keep the lawn looking greener during drier spells. Feed your lawn and top up nutrients by applying a lawn feed.