Lawn Planner: A Guide to Maintain Your Lawn All Year Round
Follow this monthly lawn planning guide to have a great looking lawn all year round.
As the weather is still Wintery and Jack Frost is still around, try to keep walking on your lawn to a minimum.
Walking over your lawn during wet and frosty weather may cause localised puddling, compaction and the blades of grass can become bruised, which will allow frost in, causing brown scorching.
Don't worry too much if you do, come April, spiking the lawn will help to rectify the compaction and puddling issues.
|Photo credit: www.Grassclippings.co.uk|
Now is a good time to check over your garden tools, make sure they are all in good working order. This will make your garden chores easier, as blunt or damaged tools could slow you down and make for more hard work. Don't forget to check your mower and spreader, these may need a service and parts may need replacing.
If the weather is mild and dry, take a walk over your lawn to inspect it's condition. Does it feel soft and spongy underfoot? If so, you most likely have moss and or thatch that should be treated in the Spring. Removing will promote grass to grow in these areas and improve the conditions of surrounding soil.
|Photo credit: RHS|
Are the leaves of your lawn all different shapes and sizes? Sounds like you have weeds growing, which will compete for moisture and nutrients, plus they can smother the grass. As with moss, a treatment needs to be applied starting from April, when the weeds are starting to grow. Make sure you only use a selective weedkiller, as you don't want to kill off your grass at the same time.
|Photo credit: Lawn Science|
Now you have inspected your lawn and know the problems you need to treat, why not look into the different products available and decide which is the best one for your needs.
As the Spring weather slowly starts to appear, don’t be tempted to start applying any products, as it is still possible to get Wintery weather, which will stop the lawn and weeds growing, also any products applied may be washed away.
It is also still to early to start sowing grass seed. Grass seed needs warm soil to germinate quickly, and at this time of the year, the soil will still be too cold and risk of frosts are still likely.
|Photo credit: Top Turf Lawn Care|
On your marks, get set, go.........Spring has started and it's time to start your lawn feeding programme, as the temperature is slowly starting to rise and the risk of frost has lessened. You can also start to apply a treatment for killing off the weeds and moss, as these are slowly tarting to grow. Treatments should be applied as per the products on packet instructions, this will ensure you achieve the best possible results. After you have applied your treatment and the moss has turned black, you will need to rake it out, allowing the grass to tiller and fill in the gaps. If you have been left with any large bare patches, these can be dressed and new grass seed sown, after the instructed time frame on the products label. Applying too soon could damage or kill off any new grass roots produced.
|Photo credit: Times Newspaper|
When you start to prepare the area you intend to sow grass seed, you will find that weed seeds lying dormant in the soil will germinate as well, making your new lawn look untidy. Most of the weeds will be annual weeds, which will eventually die with regular mowing. The perennial weeds will need treating with the correct type of weedkiller, when the new lawn areas are more than 2 months old.
Don’t rake the lawn before applying moss control, as this will spread the spores and encourage more moss to grow.
After raking, you will need to spike the lawn, this will help with aeration and relieve compaction, which will encourage stronger and healthier root growth.
|Photo credit: Grass Clippings|
If you have lots of worm casts on your lawn, make sure you brush them away before mowing, as constant soil contact with the blades will quickly blunt them leading to poor mowing. Worms are a sign your lawn is in good health and they also aid with aeration, and adding organic matter to the soil underneath.
|Photo credit: RHS|
Your grass will probably have grown to a height where it requires it's first cut, then you can mow the lawn as and when needed. For everyday lawns that are use to hard traffic, cut down to a height of 3cm and ornamental lawns take down to 2cm.
Areas that you have recently sown with new grass seed, need to be kept moist at all times, this will help the seed to germinate and establish a strong root system. When it comes to cutting this young grass for the first time, ensure your mower blades are sharp so it cuts the grass, as blunt blades will smash into the grass, possibly tearing it out of the ground.
Keep up with the mowing, but don’t forget the edges of the lawn.
|Photo credit: Lovethegarden|
Make sure you keep up with your feeding regime, and that any surviving weeds are treated.
New seeded and turfed areas after to be left for a certain length of time, before any feed or weedkiller can be applied to them. This will be detailed on the products instructions or if in doubt, contact the manufacture for clarification.
Regular mowing of your summer lawn at this time of year, means the cut height needs to be adjusted to of 2.5cm of everyday lawns and 1.2cm for ornamental lawns. If there is a chance the weather will turn hot and dry for a good few weeks, raise the cutting height to prevent the base of the lawn being scorched. Also in hot, dry weather its best not to apply a feed, as the grass has slowed it's growing process down and may become scorched.
Are you making sure to regularly watering of new grass. Established, well maintained lawns are very resilient to drought and will not need watering unless you need a good looking lawn for a social occasion. If you have to water your lawn, give it a good soak by leaving the sprinkler on for an hour or more to allow the water to penetrate right into the soil. Spiking will help water penetrate the soil. Water early morning or late evening to avoid evaporation losses.
|Photo credit: Altons Garden Centre|
As you can only use Evergreen Complete twice a year and have already applied it in early April now is the time to use it again if weeds and moss are still a problem. No weeds or moss then use Evergreen Extreme Green, Evergreen Spray and Feed or Miracle Gro Lawn Food.
Keep mowing. If you go away on holiday and come back a couple of weeks later to long grass don’t be tempted to cut it all down in one go. Take it down in stages over the next week or so to prevent the base of the grass suffering scorch and extending recovery time.
Take a note of any bare patches, which can then be attended to in September.
Start preparing the ground for any turfing in the autumn by weedkilling, digging and levelling to remove any humps and hollows.
Don’t forget to sit down in your garden on a nice day just to enjoy it, have a picnic.
Seed any bare patches. First use a garden fork to spike the lawn and lift gently to crack the soil to remove compaction. Try to do this in dry conditions, as the soil will fracture more easily. Next rake to make some tilth, sow the seed, then rake into the surface of the soil and water. Give a final rake to level the soil before turfing, making sure to remove any stones turned up. Thoroughly soak the soil before laying the turf, once laid water again. Keep moist until established.
Keep mowing, gradually raising the height to 3cm.
Feed with Autumn food like Evergreen Autumn 2in1 to toughen up the lawn for the winter, and kill off any moss present, which must be raked out when black. Spike the lawn to aid drainage over the winter.
|Photo credit: RHS|
Remove fallen leaves either by raking or raising the mower height and sucking up the leaves shredding them, which will help in the composting process.
|Photo credit: Little Bit Of Green|
If turfing was not carried out last month, this should be done before the winter weather sets in, give the turf time to grow strong roots. Make sure to keep it wet and don't use a roller to flatten it into place.
This is the last month you can normally use Lawn Weedkillers, as the growth rate is starting to slow down and will take longer for the weed to die.
Make sure you are regularly removing fallen leaves of the grass, also to make sure you pick up any fruits that have dropped. This will help the grass from picking up any diseases and also it can be used in your compost bin.
If you have not already done so, make sure to feed the lawn before Winter sets in!!
Mow if really needed, but only if the weather is still mild, this will also remove any more leaves in the process. Do not let the grass grow too long making it flop over, as this will encourage bald patches and disease to develop.
Keep off the lawn in frosty or wet weather, stick to using the path.
|Photo credit: RHS|
Lawn Care Cheat Sheet Guide
Optimum recommended timings
(every 2 weeks early season, every week mid season, top if mild in Nov)
|Feed, Weed, Moss & Water Smart Formula
(EverGreen Complete 4 in 1)
(EverGreen Extreme Green Lawn Food)
(EverGreen Mosskil Soluble, Scotts Lawn Builder Lawn Food plus Moss Control)
Scotts Lawn Builder Lawn Food plus Weed Control)
|Broad Leaf Weed Control
(Weedol Lawn Weed killer)
(EverGreen Grass Seed Range, Miracle-Gro Patch Magic & Grass Seed Range)
(EverGreen Enriched Lawn Soil)
(EverGreen Autumn, Scotts Lawn Builder Autumn Lawn Food)
This lawn planner has been created as a guide and does not take into account regional, or seasonal weather variations.