If you’re going to have a lawn it needs to look inviting. A great lawn draws you outside on sunny days. Makes you want to walk barefoot across it on dewy mornings. A lush lawn shows guests you really care for your garden and sets off your beautiful planting.
A great looking lawn does take a bit of dedication.
Lawns put up with an awful lot of abuse. Trampled on when visiting the patio, shed or plant borders. Drought in hot summers and flooding in wet winters. Not to mention getting smothered with weeds and moss.
It’s easy to forget lawns are made up of 1000’s, perhaps 100,000s of individual plants (grass). Being plants they also need some occasional TLC, much like other plants in the garden.
So, consider building in some regular care routines to lessen the impact of these events.
My Top 6 Care Routines for a Lush Lawn
1.) Think about installing a path
All too often, especially in small gardens the same route is taken to get to the rear of the garden. This often leads to a visible ‘walk way’ where the soil is extremely compacted and the turf worn.
This can be even more of a problem in wet weather as the turf is pushed down into mud leaving the lawn very unattractive (and damaged).
If this is the case with your garden consider installing a permanent path. To keep the budget down a series of stepping stones is an attractive option.
All lawns need regular mowing to look their best in the growing seasons.
Firstly, your mower blades must be sharp. Blunt mower blades don’t cut the grass they rip it. This leaves unsightly brown patches where the blunt blade has ‘feathered’ the grass (by bashing it and not cutting it). Also, is the grass is on the longer side it can rip the entire grass out of the ground.
The optimal mowing height changes through the seasons, the type of grass you have as well as usage ie: ornamental, utility, shady etc.
Once you have identified this there are great resources on-line. However, one of the best gifts you can give your lawn is to raise the mowing height if we are experiencing a hot summer.
Raising the mower height helps to lock moisture in the ground reducing time between watering ( saving water, great if your on a meter)
3.) Scarifying and why you should be doing it.
Scarifying, sounds fancy doesn’t it? So what is scarifying?
Scarifying is the removal of thatch (dead grass and clippings) also moss from the lawn using either a manual, hand held scarifying tool or a motorised scarifier . Motorised versions can be either be electric or petrol and is definitely the preferred method on anything other than a small lawn as removing thatch and moss with a tine rake is back breaking.
Why is it important to scarify?
For a truly healthy lawn this layer of thatch and moss needs to be removed to allow water, air and light to penetrate the soil and roots of the grass.
When to scarify?
The best time to scarify a lawn if after the first light cut of the year. This is also a perfect time to carry out over-seeding if there is a high content of moss removed, leaving unsightly patches of bare soil.
How often to scarify?
Deciding how often to scarify is really down to a visual inspection. If the grass if thin with little or no thatch or moss build up then scarifying is not necessary.
Most home owners tend to scarify once every 2 – 3 years but it is not uncommon on thick lush lawns or lawns prone to moss to perform this on a yearly basis.
4.) Aerating and Top Dressing.
Lawns, especially utility lawns, ones which experience heavy traffic will become compacted over time.
Soil compaction stops slows the percolation of water to the grass and reduces much need air to the grass roots.
Further more water sitting on the soil encourages moss growth (no one wants that).
So, to reduce this, yearly aeration of the lawn is needed. In small gardens this can be performed with a garden fork or manual aerator . On large lawns the purchase or hire of a lawn aerator is advised.
Aerating is a simple as standing on a garden fork, pushing it into the soil a few inches and moving the fork back and forth slightly to create a void space.
Once performed it is then necessary to fill these voids with a lawn top dressing (or sharp sand). This keeps the void open and free draining. More can be found on how to top dress on the Rolawn site here.
5.) Feed and Weeding
Lawns, like all living plants need a little bit of extra help to look their best and maintain health and vigour.
There are many lawn feed products on the market, and more recently organic lawn feed and moss killing products.
Lawn feed is applied in mid spring. Occasionally a reapplication may be necessary in Summer if grass starts to loose it’s vigour. However do not apply in drought conditions or after August when new leafy growth could be damaged by winter frosts, pests and diseases etc.
6.) Finish the lawn off with a nice edge
So after all this hard work in creating a beautiful luxurious lawn do not let the side down and not do the edges.
A crisp, neat lawn edge is a simple process created with a manual lawn edging tool.