Keeping your grass happy and healthy
As the weather gets warmer, our experts have put together their top tips for a summer lawn care programme to keep your grass looking green and lush.
Mowing your lawn regularly keeps the lawn in good health by encouraging it to grow thicker and encouraging root spread which in turn helps to prevent weeds. Over the summer, we recommended you mow twice a week (once a week in periods of drought), but on a higher blade setting. Longer grass will withstand dry periods better in the summer, plus cutting your lawn too short will damage it and can encourage weeds to take root. If your lawn is shaded, keeping it longer will make it less susceptible to moss and bare patches.
The ideal time to mow your lawn is when it is dry. Wet grass is harder for the lawn mower to collect up and you don’t want clumps of grass all over your lawn.
Your mower blades are also important – they need to be sharp to cut the grass effectively! Blunt blades will damage the grass and leave it with a brown hue.
Once you have mowed, tidy the edges with some edging shears.
Weeds compete with your lawn for moisture, therefore it’s good practice to remove any obvious ones as you see them. Try to remove as much of the root as possible to prevent regrowth, but if the weeds are persistent, you may wish to consider a specialist product to kill them off. Use a 4 in 1 lawn treatment which will kill weeds and moss, help new growth and which has water retention properties to help absorb water more effectively and so stop the lawn from drying out.
Lawns can accumulate moss, leaf debris, dead grass and roots which can deprive the grass of the sunlight and space it requires to remain healthy.
Scarification, through vigorous raking with a spring-tine rake, or with an electric lawn raker, will remove all this unwanted build up along with smaller weeds.
If your grass is looking tired and not growing as well between May to August, you can apply an application of spring or summer lawn fertiliser, or a mix of sulphate of ammonia mixed with dry soil. Always apply this mixture when conditions are cool and damp and lightly water it in.
If you’re looking for an organic treatment, you can use chicken manure pellets.
You can repeat this fertiliser application 6-8 weeks later if needed.
We don’t advise using a spring or summer lawn fertiliser, chicken manure pellets or sulphate of ammonia after August. They contain too much nitrogen for autumn use and will encourage growth at the wrong time of year when it will be damaged by cold, pests or disease.
Once you have removed moss and weeds, or if you have areas where the grass is thin, you may find you need to over-seed. The best time for this is early autumn.
Dig over the surface of the lawn with a fork and rake it to give a fine surface and then sow grass seed at half of the recommended density. Lightly rake over again and net the area to prevent birds feeding on the seed! If the weather is dry, water for 2-3 days with a sprinkler or watering can with rose.
It is not usually necessary to water your lawn over the summer. Even if it goes brown and dry, it should recover when it rains again.
If you do wish to water your lawn, you’ll need to give it a good soaking to that the water permeates the soil. Watering in the morning, when it is cooler, will give the best results.
If your lawn is on clay soil, the dirt can become very compacted. Grass roots need air to grow properly, so aerating the soil in Spring and Autumn is important. It also allows excess water to pass through without washing all of the essential nutrients out of the soil.
Aerate the soil by spiking it with a fork every 10cm or so and giving it a little wiggle. If you have particularly heavy soil, fill the holes you’ve made with sand to aid drainage.