Who doesn’t want a weed free lawn, with luscious grass, greener than next doors? When asking some people, their response might be, well if you want a decent lawn cover it with stone paving or artificial grass – and whilst this might be a solution, it is probably not one that the majority of the green fingered brigade would advocate.
Instead of resorting to concrete and carpets, what if you could learn a few basic tips that, if applied to your garden lawn, would improve the aesthetic appearance and feel of the grass. Now that would be much better wouldn’t it? Here we will look to do just that, to achieve a better lawn through a few handy tips and tricks.
The sound of the suburbs, as the mower spills the smell of cut grass over the garden fence, encouraging next door to cut their lawn, and so on…
Mowing is obviously a vital element of lawn care, so what should and shouldn’t you be doing?
- Sharpen the Blade – you want to cut not tear grass!
- Do not “scalp” the lawn – too short leads to weed infestation and discourages strong turf from growing due to a poor root system
- Adjust height to season – grass should be left to grow longer in summer as this prevents weeds and the shadow stops the soil drying out. For the last cut of the year, go short to avoid mould growing
- Shaded lawn should be mowed to a higher height
- Mow when the grass is dry for a more even cut, fallen wet cuttings should be removed otherwise then can kill the grass beneath – unlike dry cutting which can recreate growth also known as grasscyling – but use shorter cuttings for this
- Do not mow in direct sunlight, try and mow during shaded hours
What Type of Lawn?
If you want a hard wearing, fit to play on lawn, it will be based on rye grass. However chewings fescue will give a carpet like lawn akin to artificial grass sitting on stone paving. The choice is yours, and the two are pretty much incompatible, so look at what the lawn will be used for and decide accordingly.
Think of the elements – soil, drainage (water), sun and feed. Laying a new lawn may prove expensive if you simply opt for turf, ready to roll out. Seed is cheaper, but obviously not as instant.
Water and food are important to us, and to your lawn too. Water once a week, but give it a good soak. Take into account the soil type when watering too. New seeded lawns however require little and often to encourage the lawn to grow and not to wash them away too.
Whilst the sun provides a good source of food, it may be unreliable, so fertilize the lawn twice a year in spring/early summer and autumn.
Lawns need to breathe just like you and I, so aerating them helps, this can be by machine, or even simpler walking around the lawn in your golf shoes!
- Spring – lay sod and sow seed; fertilize; water if needed; mow regularly; scarify and aerate
- Summer – feed early; water, mow as needed; weed
- Autumn – remove leaves and compost; fertilize; aerate and give a good top dressing; scarify; lay sod or sow seed
- Winter – clear remaining leaves and leave alone!
Whether you want a carpet lawn, or a kid’s play area, these are the basics that will help you keep everything green and happy. Having a beautiful and functional lawn gives you that outdoor feeling that sitting on decking or stone paving simply cannot do. Surrounding your luscious lawn with beautiful borders and perhaps stone walling will finish off the garden lawn a treat, and that is exactly what a lawn should be, a treat to see, care for and most of all to enjoy.