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 making you their go to for garden advice.
The secrets of success to effective spring lawn care are:
- Regular lawn mowing with the correct mowing height is essential; cutter height should ideally be no lower than 5cm for the first few cuts, in general.
- Feed your lawn in spring and then again in summer to increase strength, vigour and health.
- Treat lawn weeds and moss quickly and effectively using a lawn weedkiller.
- Deal with bare patches in the lawn immediately to deter weeds and moss taking hold.
- Scarify the lawn to help alleviate the build up of thatch layers in the lawn, including debris, dead grass and moss.
- Aerate your lawn to relieve compaction and let air circulate around the lawn root system. Aeration will also help if you have lawn drainage issues.
Mowing in the spring
The most important lawn care job for a healthy and good looking 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.
Try not to let the grass grow really long and then scalp it. This will weaken the grass and allow moss and weeds to come through. Much better to mow regularly and at a higher cut.
Spring lawn feeding
Next on the priority list is feeding the grass, with the right lawn food at the right time. A good feed 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 and control weeds and moss in the lawn during spring, use a lawn product such as Miracle-Gro EverGreen Complete 4 in 1. On weed-free and moss-free lawns or to give a quick ‘fix’ and green up, use a straight lawn food product such as Miracle-Gro EverGreen Fast Green.
When using a granular lawn feed it is important to apply it evenly over the whole lawn at the recommended rate. The best, most accurate and easiest way to do this is to use a lawn spreader. Hand-held spreaders are best for smaller lawns and wheeled spreaders for 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.
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 applied 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. Our selection of lawn care products can be viewed here.
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.
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. Use a product such as Miracle-Gro Patch Magic Dog Spot Repair.
Spring over seeding
Every year up to a quarter of the grass in the lawn can die, more after a cold, wet winter. ‘Over seeding’ – sowing new grass seed into the existing lawn – can rejuvenate the lawn and bring it back to life.
Over seeding improves the lawn’s appearance and by increasing the density of the grass you will also reduce weed and moss invasion.
Spring lawn care - further hints and tips
Follow these hints and tips so you can get the best out of your lawn:
- Trim the edges of the lawn whenever you mow to keep crisp lines. This really helps to neaten the whole look of the garden, but always collect the grass trimmings.
- 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.
- If you have over seeded or repaired bare patches, keep the area well-watered until the grass is growing well.
Check out our video tutorials for how to achieve a great looking lawn on our YouTube channel here.