TLC for Your Lawn
Give your lawn a new lease of life
If you want to get your lawn looking as good as it possibly can in time for the summer, it needs some attention now. We asked lawn expert Matthew Rice from Greensleeves in Tring for advice on what to do now – and for the rest of the year.
Warming temperatures mean your lawn is starting to grow and will need its first cut of the year.
‘Don’t cut too severely though,’ warns Matthew Rice from local lawn experts Greensleeves. ‘Taking the top off is enough. Rake the lawn first to ensure the grass blades sit upright and neaten the edges with blades or a strimmer.’
You should also scarify your lawn now (removing the surface thatch to allow nutrients and water to reach the roots). A lawn rake will do the job too, but is hard work!
Mow the lawn regularly to keep it tidy, healthy and under control. ‘If any areas need over-seeding, now is the perfect time to do it, and dig out any stubborn patches of weeds,’ adds Matthew.
‘A spiking and hydration treatment will prepare your lawn for the dryer, hotter months,’ says Matthew.
This is also a good time to feed your lawn and help it grow.
As it’s getting warmer the lawn may need watering – but remember to avoid the heat of the day to avoid scorching the grass.
‘Clover can also get out of control at this time of year, so raking before you mow can also help,’ says Matthew.
Your grass is probably quite dry now. ‘Leave the grass slightly longer to help it retain moisture,’ says Matthew.
‘A lawn treatment is a good idea too, as it will replace any nutrients that are being rapidly used up during this period of fast growth, and will target troublesome weeds.’
Water your lawn regularly. A sprinkler is ideal if there’s no hosepipe ban. Keep it regularly mowed.
As the temperature starts to cool, raising the height of your mower will allow the grass to thicken and protect the roots from frost and snow.
‘You’ll mow less frequently now as grass growth slows,’ says Matthew. ‘If you didn’t scarify earlier in the year, do it now to prepare it for winter.’
Autumn is a good time to aerate your lawn. This is particularly important to relieve compaction and ensure adequate drainage once the winter rains arrive.
‘Regularly remove leaves and debris that fall on the lawn either by gently raking or using a leaf blower,’ says Matthew.
Try and keep the lawn clear of leaves and debris to help control the build-up of thatch.
‘Keep off frozen lawns if possible so you don’t damage the grass,’ says Matthew. ‘Frost makes the grass brittle and more susceptible to damage.
‘Winter is the time when moss tends to take hold so it’s important to maintain your lawn treatment plan.’
Rake the lawn thoroughly if weather conditions permit. If the weather has been mild you can begin to think about aerating and scarifying.
‘Consider installing water butts – it will come in very handy come summer to keep a thirsty lawn hydrated,’ says Matthew.
‘Repair and reshape the edges of your lawn to get them ready for the first cut of the year.’
Greensleeves offer a thorough lawn care treatment throughout the year. For more information go to www.greensleeves-uk.com.