A lush and well-maintained lawn is perfect green foil for colorful herbaceous borders. It is also a great setting for summer picnics and ground for birds and other wildlife. We show you how to keep your lawn looking its best all year round.
How to care for your lawn
Regularly mowing your lawn will help promote lush, green growth. Nip out weeds like dandelions when you see. Stop them competing with the grass. Spread the grass seed into bare ground to get them grow.
Use stored rainwater and grey water to water your lawn in dry summers to stop it going brown. Spike the turf with a fork to aerate trampled areas to help bring them back to life. Remove dead growth in autumn to maintain a lush, green sward.
Mow your lawn regularly
Cut your lawn at least once a week in summer and once every two weeks in rest season. Regular trimming helps the roots to spread. It will help to fill gaps and block out weeds.
Raise the cutting height of mower to leave the lawn longer around 5-10 cm during summer. This will make it minimize to get it brown in dry weather. Keep your mower well maintained and the blades sharp for lawn care.
Water your lawn
Always water young lawns but don’t over water as this can cause them to root shallowly and establish poorly. Where possible, use rainwater from a water butt or grey water from your bath or washing up bowl.
Sprinklers are perfect for keeping lawns hydrated. But they use a lot of mains water and are not permitted during a hosepipe ban. Don’t worry if an established lawn goes brown, it’s not dead. It will simply green up again when the rains come.
Weed your lawn
Plantains and dandelions have wide, flat leaves that can smother large areas of lawn and inhibit growth. Although, they are easy to remove using a hand trowel or daisy grubber.
Yellow buttercups and clover can also spread quickly through a lawn. Mow lift them up into the mower blades. It weakens and kills grass over time.
Try to avoid using weedkiller. Chemical weed-killers may be more expensive. It don’t tackle poor grass health, which helps weeds to thrive.
Relieve compacted grass
Compacted ground prevents grass growing well. It can lead to bare patches in the summer and mud baths in the winter.
Relieve the compaction and aerate the soil by pushing a garden fork about 10 cm deep into the soil every 10 cm. Gently move back and forth on the fork handle. The prongs open up the soil. It allows the roots to take breathe and helps the grass to regrow.
On heavy ground, such as clay soils, brush sharp sand or fine horticultural grit into the holes to improve drainage and prevent further compaction.
Edge your lawn
Edging a lawn is the finishing touch to a neat, clipped lawn. Use long-handled shears to define the edge of your lawn. It stop the grass growing into borders. It instantly neatens your garden, creating a very satisfying finish.
Use a spade or half-moon edger to reshape the lawn grown into the border. Install permanent edging that the grass can’t cross.
Feed your lawn
You need to feed it regularly to keep the lawn looking good. If you have a large lawn, invest in a wheeled lawn feeder for a fast and accurate job.
Apply fertilizer to grass when rain is forecast, so that it gets washed down to the roots. To stop it burning the leaf blades – an organic fertilizer will aid long term lawn health, over chemical alternatives.
If it doesn’t rain, water the fertilizer in with a hose or watering can. Your grass should look greener within a week. Lawns typically need a feed in spring and midsummer.
Fill bare lawn patches
It spoil the look of your lawn. It’s easy to sow grass seed over the raked soil. Alternatively, make fillers from unused turf.
When reshaping the lawn, collect up the strips and place them 5 cm apart in a compost-filled seed tray. Then grow them on outside or in a cold frame in lawn.
Cut out a square or rectangle around the area to replace the bare patch. By using a hand trowel, dig up the soil in the rectangle to whatever depth of soil your new turf strip is.
Gently lay the turf, cut to fit, over the patch for lawn care. Down it to ensure that there are no gaps. Your new turf is no higher or lower than your existing lawn.