Ah, the lush, green and perfectly manicured lawn – the envy of neighbours everywhere. But what if your lawn is looking more than a little bit sorry for itself? Maybe you’ve recently moved from a home with no garden to one with a lawn area for the first time and don’t know where to start or simply need advice on how to make your lawn go from looking sad and patchy to lush and green. Worry not! In this article we give tips on how to maintain and care for your lawn that will hopefully see you on your way to making not only your grass green, but your neighbours too – with envy.
Weeds get everywhere and the lawn is no exception. Clover, dandelions, daisies, Silverweed and Creeping Cinquefoil are amongst the common weeds that will take hold in any area of your lawn that is weak or patchy. Similarly, any areas that are waterlogged or bone dry will provide the right environment for weeds to grow. Although weeds will never be completely eliminated from any growing space, using some of the advice below to create a thick lawn will help to make the environment tricky for weeds – a thick lawn cuts down on the available growing space for weeds. Weedkillers are useful in eradicating weeds that already exist and some useful advice on which to use can be found in this helpful article from LawnWeeds.co.uk.
Having the right tools for the job is half the battle won but despite the huge range of lawn maintenance equipment, you really don’t need to spend huge amounts of money to get a great result for your lawn.
- A lawnmower will be essential to help keep your lawn at the optimum height and a little bit of research as to which mower would best suit your space and needs will pay off in the long run. Some handy advice can be found here on the GardenPowerTools.co.uk website.
- A strimmer will be handy for areas that the lawnmower cannot reach.
- Edging trimmers will be useful to give a clean-cut edge to your lawn
- A rake to clear fallen leaves and remove any debris
- Dethatching rake to remove any thatch
Giving your lawn a feed 4 times a year – in Early and Late Spring, a couple of months later in Summer then once in the Autumn – this will help maintain the health of the grass and as a result, give a green and lush appearance. Choose between a granular or liquid feed and remembering to follow the manufacturer guidelines on dosage, apply in an even and uniform pattern to the lawn, so that all areas are treated equally.
Thatch is a mix of both dead and living roots, stems and shoots that build up in the lawn and is useful in providing protection from the elements, provided it remains up to 0.5” thick. Over this height, it then needs to be removed. Known as de-thatching, this is an essential job in creating a luscious lawn and should be carried out when the grass is growing actively, and the soil is moist to help removal. Dethatching will allow water and lawn feed to penetrate deeply and give the lawn the chance to breathe. Although many expensive attachments for mowers exist to carry out this job, a simple dethatching rake and a bit of energy will achieve a very similar result. Mowing the lawn to around half the normal height prior to beginning this job will make it easier to remove the thatch. Work over the lawn evenly and remove any thatch after the job is completed. Don’t worry – the lawn will look a bit sorry for itself and might have bare patches. These can be filled in with seed and covered with a light soil dressing. Protect from birds with stakes and netting and water regularly.
Aeration is the process of removing plugs of soil from the lawn to allow vital nutrients, air and water to get right down to the roots. As with dethatching, this might appear a little drastic but have faith that it will work wonders for your lawn. You can hire an aerator and it’s important to follow all safety advice for use. This job will be easier if the lawn has had a good watering the night before. Go over the lawn once (or twice if the soil is impacted or has never been aerated), in an equal pattern, and leave the plugs where they fall to allow any nutrients present in them to return to the lawn.
We hope this article has given some useful tips and advice. Remember, if all else fails, you can always swap to an artificial lawn – there are some very realistic options on the market!