Spring Lawn Care
A beautiful lawn complements the rest of the garden and makes the whole garden look fantastic. A spring lawn care routine is the best way to spend a little time and effort getting your lawn into shape – mowing the grass, feeding with a lawn fertiliser and dealing with bare patches, ugly weeds and moss.
A simple spring lawn care programme will give you a lawn to be proud of, keep it in perfect condition and make friends and neighbours green with envy.
The secrets of success to a great looking lawn are:
- Regular and correct mowing
- Feeding with a spring and summer lawn fertiliser
- Treating weeds and moss
- Dealing with bare patches
Mowing in the Spring
The most important lawn care job for a fantastic lawn is correct and regular mowing. You need to cut the grass whenever it is growing – which is likely to be weekly or even more frequently as the weather warms up in spring.
The aim should be to keep it at the same height all through spring. For most lawns this should be about 2.5-4cm (1-1.5in) high. For lawns that take a lot of wear and tear the height is better raised to 5cm (2in). For very shaded areas, mow at a height of 7.5cm (3in).
Mowing too short and, as a consequence weakening the grass, is the quickest and easiest way of allowing weeds and moss to become established and spoiling the lawn.
Spring Lawn feeding
Next on the priority list is feeding the grass, and feeding the right lawn food at the right time will produce a lawn to boast about.
A good feed with a lawn fertiliser, not only makes the grass greener, but it makes it grow thicker and increases its strength, vigour and health so it is more robust and better equipped to compete with weeds, moss and weather-related stresses. In spring, the best results are achieved by using a granular feed that supplies a regular amount of nutrients over several weeks.
To feed, control weeds and moss in the lawn during spring, use a lawn feed product with clear claims on the pack that they will do the task you require. On weed and moss free lawns or to give a quick ‘fix’ and green up, use just a straight lawn food product, these won't make any mention of weed or moss control.
When using a granular lawn feed it is important to apply it evenly over the whole lawn at the recommended rate. The easy way to do this is to use a lawn spreader, such as the built-in spreader in the smaller sizes or use a wheeled spreader on larger lawns.
If you feed the lawn again in 6 week’s time it will remain strong and healthy all summer.
Treating weeds and moss
Lawn weeds are a major headache that can stop you fully enjoying your lawn. A strong, healthy and well-fed lawn will be able to deal with weeds and moss far better than one that isn’t fed and looked after properly.
But where weeds and moss are a problem you need to deal with them quickly. If you just have weeds but no moss, then you can quickly treat your lawn with a liquid lawn weedkiller. These products contain special ingredients that, when appied in accordance with the instructions, won't cause any damage to your lawn grasses but will control most broad-leaved weeds. If you only have moss but no weeds then there are lawn moss killers available, most will also contain a feed so it will green up your lawn as it kills the moss - bear in mind the moss will turn black as it dies so you may not want to do this just before a party!
For lawns with weeds and moss problems then the solution is also simple, use a granular lawn product containing feeding, weed control and moss control ingredients, they are easily spotted in the lawn care section of all good garden retailers.
Dealing with bare patches
After the ravages of winter, many lawns have bare areas that not only look unsightly, but are perfect places for weeds and moss to take hold. Give your lawn a treat by giving it the once over with a lawn patch repair product. The best products in the market will have a combination of grass seed, coir and slow-release feed and will cover bare patches in no time at all producing a thick grass covering of the bare area.
Or, where dogs have caused the bare areas, repair the damage with a special blend of salt tolerant grass seeds and a neutraliser to make the ground suitable for grass to grow in again. There are products on the market clearly advertising these properties and marketed as dog spot repairers.
Spring Lawn Care - Overseeding
Every year up to a quarter of the grass in the lawn can die, more after a cold, wet winter. Overseeding – sowing new grass seed into the existing lawn – can rejuvenate the lawn and bring it back to life.
Overseeding improves the lawn’s appearance and by increasing the density of the grass you will also reduce weed and moss invasion.
Further hints and tips for better lawns
- Trim the edges of the lawn whenever you mow to keep crisp lines that clearly show you care for your lawn.
- Cut lawn edges with a half-moon edging iron to ensure they look neat and well shaped.
- Scarify with a spring-tine rake to remove dead grass, thatch and other debris that will otherwise prevent healthy grass growth.
- On heavy clay soils, aerate the lawn in early spring with a garden fork or hollow-tined aerator to improve drainage and help reduce waterlogging problems and so make the grass grow better.
- After aerating, add a top dressing to further improve drainage and ensure healthy grass growth.
- Water the grass if it desperately needs it. Water thoroughly so the roots are well watered. If you just wet the top you will encourage roots at the surface, which are much more vulnerable to drought damage.