Other than the occasional grass mowing, lawn maintenance may not be on the top of your to do list. But it’s just as important as the rest of your gardening chores.
Here’s everything you need to know about keeping your lawn green all year round:
Feed your grass
Your lawn doesn’t have a big root system like trees, so it’s important to regularly feed it to maintain its density and bright green colour.
There are different types of lawn care products:
- Chemical lawn fertiliser to grow and get your grass green. Make sure you use a spreader and also a tonic to make it even.
- Organic products for added conditioning and fertilising.
- Soil conditioners help the root system strengthen, which is important in the summer months.
- Soil wetter helps your lawn to hold water in the root system.
Depending on your grass, you should be fertilising at least twice a year, in autumn (to protect for cooler months) and spring (to boost growth).
When applying fertiliser, do it in the mornings and use something natural or organic designed to ‘slow release’. Ensure you give your lawn a good drink afterwards, otherwise, it might burn.
If required, keep weeds and lawn pests at bay by applying chemicals and pesticides, only as needed and directed.
There are three key steps to perfect lawn mowing: regular edging, whipper snipping and mowing.
Do your edging first, then finish off the garden by mowing with a sharp, high blade. Most people don’t know that cutting your lawn a little higher is actually a good thing; it helps to keep the weeds away and gives protection against evaporation for the soil and roots. If you cut it too short, it can actually cause more stress and damage to the grass.
Keep it wet in the warmer months
To keep your lawn hydrated and healthy, you’ll need to adopt a good watering routine in the hotter months.
Deep watering is a technique used to encourage the roots of your lawn to grow deeper, away from the top layer of the soil where heat and evaporation will damage them. Deep water your lawn by watering less often, but for longer. The best time of day to deep water (or for any watering routine in summer) is either early in the morning, or late afternoon.
You could also look at a reticulation system to help keep the grass watered on a regular basis.
Wetting agents to help soil particles hold water for longer are also a handy trick for keeping your lawn wet.
Aerating the lawn
Your lawn needs a breath of fresh air too. Aerating your lawn relieves soil compaction and will allow air, nutrients and water to get down to the roots. You can aerate your lawn using a power aerator, or a garden fork for a smaller garden.
To make it easier, work your way around the garden in a line and if you overlap it doesn’t matter – it’s actually a good thing!
If your lawn has already suffered the effects of heat and evaporation, you can still turn it around by giving it some much-needed care.
Top dressing: If your lawn is suffering from a poor care routine or lack of topsoil, it might be necessary to try ‘top dressing’. Top dressing involves spreading a blended soil mix over your lawn.
Patch work: Dying patches of grass can be saved by using products such as lawn repair if caught early enough. If it’s gotten down to bare dirt already, you might need to patch up parts with turf. Lawn builder products can help promote growth in new and unhealthy lawns.
Weed and pest control
If your lawn is regularly maintained and well drained you shouldn’t have too much of an issue with weeds. But when the grass becomes a bit thin or weak they can become a problem.
Your type of grass will determine whether you use a spot technique or use different chemicals. Just be aware that you might have to do a top repair on the grass as well as it might die too.
For areas where pests can be an issue, there are a number of treatments that you can buy from any local gardening store.