Simple guide on how to manage your lawn
A lawn can certainly be one of the most inviting elements of any garden. If cared for in the correct manner it’s possible to create a splendid weed free area which is a central part of any thriving garden. However for many, the intricacies of lawn maintenance eludes them and as such the frustration of watching a lawn becoming filled with weeds, moss and brown patches can be enough to send them to despair. But fear not, with some foresight and guidance, it is possible to avoid these stresses, within this article you will find a simple guide on how to manage your lawn for the best results.
As you would expect, the time of year or more specifically the seasons pretty much dictate what needs to be done in terms of lawn maintenance, and below is a list of specific jobs relevant for each particular season which if completed should ensure a luxurious lawn to be proud of.
Spring is typically the busiest time of year for lawn maintenance. Its the start of the growing season in every aspect and as such is the most important time to do all those jobs that will reap the rewards later on.
Mowing should be undertaken approximately once a week. The first cut of the year, usually in Spring should be a high cut, to reduce any chance of potential damage to the grass. Reduce the cut height over a period of time to give the lawn chance to recover. During spring as the weather warms up, it’s a good idea to mow the lawn more frequently, trying to keep the height at around 1 to 1.5 inches for general wear and tear. For lawns that are subjected to a lot of wear and tear, then mow to around 2 inches.
Be aware that mowing the lawn too short in essence weakens the grass thereby giving weeds and moss the opportunity to flourish.
Weeds and Moss
Generally a problem in lawns that have poor drainage, spring is actually the best time to sort out any moss and weed related problems. Using a good lawn feed that offers moss and weed protection and eradication will prove useful. Alternatively there are specific products which will treat weeds and moss and leave the lawn grass itself untouched. Always read the labels.
Spring is the optimum growth time of any lawn, and as such the requirements for feeding are greater from mid spring. Feed roughly every six weeks to keep the lawn healthy and strong. Feeding can be done by hand with the built in spreader found on most feed containers or ideally use a wheeled spreader if your lawn is on the large size.
In the summer months, the ideal scenario is to mow twice a week if possible. although it does depend on the weather. If there is a drought, then reduce the mowing to once a week at most.
As you would expect, during the summer months the most important element is keeping the lawn nourished. If you have completed all of the spring tasks, then your lawn should have a healthy root system and be luscious and durable. Dependent upon the weather, it’s a good idea to give the lawn a good soaking at least once a week, if it’s been dry.
Summer can give us warm weather which encourages growth. This uses up nutrients within the soil, which means that replenishing the nutrients is important. A feed once every couple of weeks will ensure steady growth and if the soil is dry, soak the feed into the soil with a good soaking of water.
General repair & Maintenance
Summer provides the time to enjoy your lawn, however as with anything, the odd bit of repair and maintenance work may well still be required. Weeds and moss can still rear its ugly head, so keep an eye on the lawn and catch any signs of potential problems early.
Autumn is the time of year when in lawn terms its all about repair and preparation. The soil temperature is usually still mild so growth is still evident, which means cutting the lawn every couple of weeks. Feeding the lawn is important as well as over winter the diminished nutrients can take their toll. Scarifying the lawn is important as its time to get rid of the debris and dead grass and any moss and weeds that have made an appearance. Trim back the edges of the lawn and reseed any areas that need it. Aeration of the lawn is also essential as its provides the drainage required due to the typical wet autumn months.
This is the time of year when you can take a rest from lawn maintenance for the most part. Mowing of the lawn for instance should only be done if the grass is still growing. However care should be taken, not to mow grass which is wet or frosty, as this can actually damage the turf and lawn.
General lawn tips
Overseeding simply means adding grass seed to specific areas of the lawn that are required. As is often the case, lawns may well require regular overseeding to compensate for areas such as under tree’s or where the grass is struggling to grow. Ideally done either mid spring or early autumn, the key is to break up the surface around the area to be overseeded to create a suitable area to sow the grass seed. Add the seed and rake over, and add a sprinkling of water. If birds are an issue use netting over the area to protect the seeds. Usually growth will be seen in around 7-10 days.
Aerating the lawn
Dependent upon the soil type, aerating the lawn is essential. This process simply improves drainage and it is typically used in heavy soils such as clay based soils which retain moisture. A garden fork can be used or alternatively a specific aerator can be purchased which is rolled over the lawn and has spikes that fulfil the task.
Within the UK, it is actually not normally required to water a lawn, as there is usually sufficient precipitation to nourish the grass. Occasionally when a dry spell occurs, such as a drought, then once a week or approx every 10 days will be sufficient for most purposes.
For some, the option of waiting for a lawn to develop over time, is not an option. This is where the potential of buying turf comes in to play. Ready made turf, comes in a variety of sizes and can be laid down and instantly create a lawned area. The key to successful turf laying is the preparation of the soil that the turf is to be laid onto. Break up and rake the undersoil to create a viable bed for the turf, nourish with a good amount of water prior to laying the turf. Once the turf is laid, again, water to add extra water and nutrients.