Look after your lawn and be the envy of your neighbours with the advice and information that we give you.
All aspects of lawn maintenance are dealt with on a seasonal basis, including advice on grass selection, weeds and control, information about pests and diseases of lawn and much more. Follow our maintenance schedule for a great lawn. And of course we take you through how to lay a turf lawn.
All of the lawn articles have been written by our editor, who has managed thousands of acres of grass areas ranging from highly ornamental lawns through lush bowling greens and tough wearing sports turf.
We also run a lawn advice service online
Your lawn will probably take up more time than the rest of your garden - in cutting alone. As a centre piece, it can either enhance your garden or be a disappointing eyesore. Yes it takes time - and work - but get it right and your lawn will set the canvas for the rest of your garden.
The First Cut
The spring season is an important time for getting your lawn into top shape for the following months. What you do now in the spring by way of lawn care, will determine how well your lawn will cope with the wear and tear of day to day use, and also its ability to withstand drought or even water-logging during the summer months.
If you are just starting out with your lawn, then have a look also at our Autumn lawn care page.
When the spring season actually starts is more a combination of climatic conditions and general 'feel' about things than an actual date on the calendar! This is certainly true of lawns and lawn care maintenance.
Lawn Care Main
Lawns take up a lot of time compared with most aspects of the garden. In spite of the time and care lavished upon lawns, many fail to live up to expectations. Maybe the expectations are too great to start with. Problem being, that next door and surrounding areas seem to have better lawns!
Throwing money at an established lawn or patch of straw is not always the best way forward - neither the most successful in terms of attaining the quality lawn that you want. It is always a good ide to take a step backward, to see what the problem really is with the lawn. More often than not it will be something to do with your lawn care regime.
Summer Lawn Care and Maintenance
Summer is a time when you should be able to take advantage of all the work you carried out by way of lawncare in the Spring months. Mowing will be at a minimum - especially in hot dry spells - and other main cultural lawn care operations are normally carried out in Spring and Autumn. So, pull up a few chairs, get the BBQ going and put down the lawn mats for a picnic outside. What else is the lawn for, but to enjoy!
Generally, far too much mowing is carried out in the Summer months. Maybe out of habit, the mower is started every Saturday or Sunday. Maybe essentially because this is the only free time from your normal work schedule. How much better life would be if you realised that mowing frequencies should actually reduce in the summer.
Not all lawns need aeration; but most do! Soil Compaction drives air out of the soil. A garden lawn is probably the most hostile environment provided by gardeners in furtherance of obtaining a beautiful garden. This is one reason for aerating a lawn. No other plant / grass are subjected to such willful abuse than the grass on the garden lawn, it needs care!
Top Dressing Lawns
Top Dressing of Lawns is beneficial. It encourages new basal growth of the grass plants - giving a thicker sward of grass Top Dressing is also a good way to 'level out' the bumps and hollows in an uneven lawn.
Top dressing is normally carried out in mid spring. It can be done at any time in the growing season (March-October), but a dressing in the spring soon 'disappears' under the resultant lush lawn growth. Earlier in the growing season - but not in the autumn - a suitable fertiliser or feed can be added to the top dressing to give that little bit extra.
There are many and varied problems associated with keeping a good - or even reasonable - lawn. Quite often the problems are caused by something quite simple. That is, if you know what to look for! Describing a lawn problem seems to be beyond many of the people who write emails to me for help. A brown spot is a brown spot is it not? Well, err no, not always.
Bumps in the Lawn
Ok! Let's get one thing right, straight away. You do not get a level lawn by using a roller. Using a roller, simply gives you hard bumps and hard hollows - and all the bits in between.
In fact, unless you are going to carry out all of the other operations necessary for a first class lawn, you can get rid of the roller altogether - although I might concede that it is useful for a light run over before the first cut after the winter.
Brown Patches in Lawns
There are several causes of brown patches on lawns and other bare areas on the lawn, some are outlined below... Broadly, lawn brown patches can be split into three categories - depending upon the size of the patch. Recognising the size and shape of the patch - simple you might think - can go a long way in identifying the cause of the brown patch. I have had mails in the past where the write has claimed to have brown patches on the lawn, when in fact the entire lawn was brown - killed off by the wrong use of a certain weedkiller!
Lawn Moss Killer
If you really want to eradicate moss from your lawn, then you have to find out the actual problem that is causing it, rather than just treating it. The reasons are various, but not too difficult to isolate.
They can be one or several of the causes outlined below.
The latter is also available as a ready to use 'Moss Gun' for small patches. Neither do anything by way of treating the basic problem of moss in lawns. They simply are simply Lawn Moss Treatments - killing the moss which is there. It will return. You can also use lawn sand
Moles in your Lawn
Moles are one of the most frustrating of all garden and lawn pests! They are rarely seen, but can cause absolute mayhem. The damage they do to plants is minimal, but if you are unfortunate enough to have moles in your garden, they will cause you more angst than an infestation of aphids! The main problem being, that they are so difficult to get rid of, and you normally see the damage they do, before you realize that you have a mole or so!
Cute little things they might be, but if your lawn is your pride an joy, or if it is just a nice lawn to sit and relax, the molehill trademark will soon turn you against them! One mole can wreak havoc in the garden, but a few and you have a potential disaster.
Fairy Rings in Lawns and Turf
Fairy rings in lawns normally start to show up in late spring or mid-summer. They then carry on growing right through until the autumn and usually into subsequent years. They are easily recognised by either of two or both trademarks. Once they have started, they will be visible throughout the year.
They are most commonly seen as dark green circles of lush grass in the lawn usually after they are a half a metre or so across, though they are visible at first as a tuft of dark green grass.
The Fairy rings may also be first noticed as a group of toadstools manifest in mid-summer. (Sometimes without the dark green grass!) Not all toadstools in the lawn are as a result of Fairy Rings.
Dogs Fouling Lawns | General problems
The main problem with dogs on lawns is that of the brown patches caused by bitches urinating. Male dogs are not such a problem in this respect, for they do it differently..
The brown patches tend to be a circular patch with bright green grass growing around the perimeter as the bitches urine eventually breaks down to Nitrogen, which then feeds the area outside the actual damage. The brown patch is basically scorching - similar to that caused by applying too much fertilizer - especially in dry conditions.
Treatment by soaking the area with water - immediately after the bitch has done the deed! Soaking the brown patches after they have formed will be absolutely essential if you are going to over-seed the patches.
Lawn and Garden Edging
Garden lawns have to stop at some point, often causing a minor problem as to how to end or edge your garden with your lawn. Much will depend upon the style of your garden, but you will also have to take into account basic things like, the type of lawn mower you want to use, and even the basics of, how much time do you want to spend giving your lawn a neat finish!
It is not normally a good idea to simply end your lawn at the boundary of your garden edge; against a wall or fence. This will inevitably lead to either additional maintenance work - or an untidy finish, where the mower blade cannot quite get to the edges of the turf at the garden border edge.
Feeding a lawn is a relatively simple operation, but so many get it wrong, or do it when it it not necessary! Here's how and when to do it; and what to use.
Each of the aspects are important. Do it at the wrong time and you could end up with a weakened lawn. Use the wrong feed and scorching or unhealthy grass can result.
The process that causes most problems, is simply that of putting your fertiliser on the grass! Uneven application leads to a patch lawn at best, and a ruined lawn at worst!
The question of whether or not to water the lawn will become more of an issue over the next few years - for environmental and financial reasons. We discuss and advise.
Lawns are often - needlessly - rectangular. Rectangular lawns of course fit in well with formal gardens, but also hold quite an area of unused land that can be better used for planting in many instances. If you have a rectangular lawn, just think a little about how often you actually uses the corners! Corners are also a nuisance when mowing.
A well thought out and cared for lawn will do much to enhance the value of your home - maybe financially, but certainly aesthetically. As far as the garden itself is concerned, a lawn will act as a foil to bring out the best colours of your planting scheme, and be one of the fist things that visitors notice - even if subconsciously when visiting your home.
Maybe its time to re-think your lawn shape and put ideas into action bit by bit. There are not many easy changes that you can carry out which will have a marked effect upon your garden. Changing the shape of your lawn from rectangle to a curved lawn will do wonders in most cases.
In the UK the weather is generally an advantage - as far as lawns are concerned! Add in a bit of expertise, and your lawn will be the tops. Watering is normally taken care of 'automatically' other than in the hottest months The same is not always true of the USA where some states have weather conditions that - whilst they are good for a healthy life - are not always the best for a healthy lawn. The problems here can be negated with the right choice of seed or sod.
A good lawn will add so much to your home and garden environment. It can simply be used as a foil for the garden borders or beds, as a recreation area for adults and kids alike. You don't have to get out in the car to have a picnic. Spread a sheet on the lawn, and the rest happens!
Lawns are good exercise - and most of us need that! As a games area, or simply the act of mowing and certainly scarifying, it is guaranteed to shed off the pounds during a season - providing you don't do other things to excess.
A lawn will also serve as a first or second home for family pets - not to mention the kids on a sunny day, or after an exciting football match on the TV!
In short, the lawn can be what you want it to be. We all have our own uses and ideas about what a lawn should be. The only thing you have to remember, is that your lawn will need care and maintenance to give you an ideal area of grass for whatever use you put it to. Lawn Aeration is one aspect of lawn care often overlooked. Yet it is so important to the wellbeing of the lawn - especially if it is a well used lawn.
Starting from scratch - building a new law - don't just level some ground, order and lay the turf, and then think about what uses you are going to put your grass lawn to. Think it out properly, and plan for the lawn that you actually want. Be aware of the different maintenance regimes and equipment that will be required for different types and uses of lawns. Neglect is not an option if you want a functional lawn. get it right at the start, and you will be prepared for the inevitable work that it required with your patch of grass. If you are not prepared for this, then gravel, paving or decking are the other options. Is that what you really want?
All of our lawns advice pages are written with you in mind. We will do all we can to help you get the best from your lawn, and even show you how to rectify many of the problems that are associated with having a good lawn.
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