19 Mar How to care for your lawn this Spring
With Spring upon us and our grass showing green shoots, it’s time to think about managing your lawn for the year ahead.
Following on from our previous blog on general lawn care, we thought we’d highlight the focus for looking after your lawn in the Spring:
March & April lawn care
Over Winter your lawn won’t grow much, but once the weather starts to warm up in early Spring (March to April), you should start your annual lawn care regime in earnest with these tasks:
- Mowing: This is the most important as well as the most obvious maintenance for a healthy lawn as regular mowing keeps it in good health. On average a conventional lawn should be mown once a week. But leave any long lawns uncut in Spring, unless growth is very vigorous. For the first mowing in Spring, set the cutting height to the highest setting. Subsequently, gradually reduce the height of cut until the desired height is reached.
- Feeding: In mid-Spring – usually late March to April – use a granular lawn fertiliser designed for Spring or Summer use. Feeding the lawn will increase its resilience and help prevent weeds and moss from getting established. Follow the instructions carefully and only apply these fertilisers when the soil is moist or when rain is expected. If it doesn’t arrive within two days, water the lawn well. For a beautiful deep green colour, apply a liquid seaweed tonic, which will also aid moss control.
- Moss control: Moss is a problem for damp, poorly-drained lawns. Moss killers including sulphate of iron are the best to apply in Spring or Autumn. Moss killers combined with a fertiliser are best when the grass’s vigour is low. After two or three weeks, the moss blackens and you should use a spring-tine rake to remove it. Killing and removing the moss is just the start. To keep it moss-free, the vigour of the grass needs to be improved and any other factors to its build-up addressed. Good Autumn lawn maintenance is essential to keep on top of it (See below)
- Scarification (vigorous raking) is a good follow-up to moss killing as it pulls out any moss and debris out of the lawn. It’s also a non-chemical alternative to moss killers. On small lawns this can be done by hand (a good form of exercise if you have the energy!) On larger lawns, mechanical scarifiers are recommended and can be hired.
- Aeration: If your lawn’s soil is compacted, it makes life more difficult for the roots and the grass they feed to thrive. Aerating (or spiking) the lawn allows better movement of air and water in the root area. A well-aerated lawn will also manage better in periods of drought or waterlogging. For an average lawn, aeration every two to three years is enough. Concentrate on areas which get the most wear, as well as those which are compacted. Small areas can be spiked with a garden fork, spacing holes 10-15cm (4-6 inches) apart and deep. On clay or waterlogged soil, use a hollow-tine aerator every three to four years. This takes plugs of soil from the lawn. After hollow-tining, sweep up the plugs and then rake a top-dressing into the holes to improve air and moisture penetration.
- Weeding: If your lawn has any visible weeds, now is the time to start tackling them – when they’re growing fast, either with a weedkiller or a non-chemical method. With chemical weedkillers, always check the label when buying to ensure it will work on all the weeds in your lawn. If you prefer not to use chemicals, you can try: feeding, aerating and scarifying to encourage the grass to be more vigorous and compete better against the weeds; removing rosette-type weeds – such as dandelions, daisies and plantains – with a handfork; digging them out.
- Overseeding: After moss or weeds have been removed, or where grass is growing thinly, overseeding may be needed. Early Autumn is the best time for this job, but mid-Spring is also ok. Break up the surface with a fork and rake it to make a reasonably fine surface. Then sow the grass seed at half the recommended rate and lightly rake it into the surface. If it doesn’t rain for three days, water it gently. In areas with heavy use, choose a hardwearing utility mix including ryegrass. For shady areas, choose a shade-tolerant mix.
TTS is starting to get busy for lawn care, so if you’re looking for help with your lawn, please book now for the months ahead.
Enjoy your lawn and the summer ahead!
Please contact us for more information.