People sometimes forget that a single lawn consists of thousands of individual plants. Regular maintenance is the best way to approach successful care. Aerating and addressing drainage during autumn helps the turf stay healthy over winter and assists growth into spring.
As the weather warms, service the mower and set the blades to high for the first cut of the season. A light trim on a dry day to encourage growth is ideal. Thereafter, mowing is best if practiced regularly as opposed to allowing the sward to become too long and necessitating a hard cut back which hinders even development. In high season lawns may require mowing twice a week but once will usually suffice to stay on top of levels. Little and often is the key to healthy density and growth. Always remove spent grass to prevent thatch build up.
Spring is the ideal time for maintenance. Use a proprietary moss killer on damp and poorly drained soils. Rake over and re-seed bare patches caused by dogs, autumn weed care or regular tread. Consider lawn sand to even out general bumps and indentations and aid production of a smooth and sturdy surface.
In mid spring (late March or April) use a proprietary lawn fertiliser at manufacturer’s rates. Feeding the lawn increases vigour and helps prevent weed and moss establishment. Apply fertiliser when soil is moist or when rain is expected.
Repeat application if lawn is looking tired during summer (May-August) or apply sulphate of ammonia under manufacturer’s instructions. Be careful not to scorch the grass and create problems rather than solve them. Do not apply fertilisers after late August or they will encourage leafy growth at the wrong time of year.
Helping you lawn now will give it strength to withstand the wear and tear of the season. Remember, lawns can tolerate drought and usually respond quickly to rainfall. Therefore, unless newly established, turf does not require watering over summer. It is perhaps a little yellow and unsightly, but not dead. Early season care will help support the root structure and later renewal from the base so spring maintenance pays dividends throughout the year.