Now that summer has drawn to a close, you might think it’s time to banish your garden equipment to the shed for the next six months. But there is still time to make sure your lawn is healthy, lush and cared-for before winter sets in. We’ve listed five tips to make sure you get the best from your lawn all year round:
Tip 1: Mowing
Whatever the size of your lawn, mowing little and often will produce a healthier lawn than waiting until the grass is longer. Regular trimming encourages roots to spread, which helps fill gaps and diminish weeds. Cut your lawn at least once a week in summer and every other week during spring and autumn. When the ground is frosty during winter it’s best to let the grass rest to avoid damage.
If once a week doesn’t sound possible for you, then investing in a robotic lawn mower could be a great alternative for establishing a healthy, weed-free lawn with little effort. Robotic lawn mowers are designed to cut short grass little and often. They leave tiny grass clippings on the lawn, redistributing the lost nutrients back into the soil, feeding the grass organically in an endless cycle.
Tip 2: Feeding
To keep your lawn looking good you do need to feed it. The soil provides plenty of nutrients so only once or twice a year is necessary to get results. The best times to feed your lawn are in the spring to capitalise on new growth, and autumn to recover and strengthen after the summer season. In spring, look for a slow-release fertiliser which will prevent a quick surge in growth directly after application which can making mowing more difficult. It will also ensure that the lawn has the nutrients it needs all season long. If feeding in the autumn, ensure you use a suitable autumn feed with the right balance of nutrients to ensure healthy root growth rather than just lush top growth.
If you prefer not to use synthetic fertilisers, check if your mower has a grass mulching function. This feature is widely available on most mid-range and premium lawnmowers and all robotic lawnmowers. Mulching chops the grass clippings into small pieces and returns them to the lawn surface where they not only help to conserve moisture in the soil during the height of summer, but also break back down into nutrients which the grass will use again.
Tip 3: Weeding
As a general rule, it’s more difficult for weeds to establish in thicker, healthier lawns, but when they do pop up, they can look unsightly. Hand-weeding in small gardens is better for wildlife and the environment, though is more strenuous and time-consuming.
If you do choose to use a chemical treatment, then the most effective time to treat weeds is when they’re growing vigorously, so feeding your lawn a week before you plan to treat the weeds will encourage their growth as well as that of your grass. And remember, it’s worthwhile checking the label on your lawn treatment, as grass clippings from treated lawns may not be suitable to be disposed of in green waste collection bins for quite some time after application and can contaminate any compost made with them.
Tip 4: Spiking
If you’re going to take the time to make sure your lawn is well looked-after throughout the year, then aerating it is an important part of the process.
Aerating (or spiking) has numerous benefits for your grass; it allows air to get to the soil, which is essential for healthy root growth and the delivery of nutrients. It also aids surface drainage and relieves any compaction which may have occurred over the summer months when the garden has been in more regular use.
You can achieve great results by pushing a garden fork about 10cm deep into the soil every 10cm and gently rocking back and forth on the fork handle to open up the ground, or you can hire or purchase a mechanical spiking roller.
If your lawn is heavy clay, you may benefit from using a hollow tine aerator rather than a garden fork which may cause compaction further down. The hollow tine aerator removes plugs of soil which allow water and air to penetrate the lawn surface and prevent waterlogging. If desired, a top dressing of loamy sand can be brushed into the surface afterwards.
Tip 5: Scarifying
Scarify your lawn using a specially designed machine with rake-like spikes to remove built-up thatch and moss from around the base of the grass. Removing this debris will encourage healthier, denser grass growth by allowing water and air to access to the soil more easily.
If you decide to use a scarifier on your lawn, we recommend watering your grass a couple of days beforehand - trying to rake up the debris when the grass is completely wet may result in the scarifier pulling the grass out by its roots instead of removing just the unwanted excess. Also, mowing your lawn prior to scarifying will allow the machine to get deeper into the roots of the grass and optimise the results. Late spring and early autumn are the two best times to scarify your lawn, when the weather and ground conditions are at their optimum and the grass is growing well.
Using a moss killer 7 – 10 days prior to scarifying the lawn can make the moss easier to remove and prevent regrowth.
If you don’t have the storage space or don’t want to fork out (pun intended) on specialist equipment, then using a traditional garden rake to scarify your lawn is a gentler method, that allows the grass to recover more quickly.
Whatever you’re trying to achieve with your garden, we can help you to accomplish it with our range of LawnMaster lawn mowers, grass trimmers, leaf blowers, chainsaws and more. Visit https://www.cleva-uk.com/lawnmaster to view the full range.
Posted by Leisel Williams