How to maintain your lawn in spring
Spring is the time to give your lawn some help after the long winter months. Put in some work now and you can enjoy a healthy, lush lawn through the summer and autumn.
Step 1: Tidy up your garden
Begin by clearing up any debris, sticks or leaves on your lawn. Use a leaf rake and collect the debris in a garden bag.
Step 2: Cut your grass
If you haven’t cut the grass during the winter, give it its first spring mow when it is about 2-3 inches high. It is important not to cut any more than one third of the current length, so set the blades to high. Through late April and May you can reduce the height gradually, but always sticking to the one third rule.
Step 3: Trim the edges of your lawn
Trimming the edges of your lawn will help to ensure you have crisp lines to clearly show that you care for your lawn. Cut lawn edges with a half-moon edging iron or a garden trimmer to ensure they look neat and well-shaped.
Step 4: Scarify your lawn
Scarifying your lawn will thin out any thatch (dead grass) and remove moss. This will improve water filtration through to the soil, preventing puddling and discouraging diseases. To scarify your lawn gently rake the grass with a spring-tined rake. Alternatively an electric scarifier will do all of the hard work, you can either buy one or, if you'd rather, you can hire one.
Step 5: Aerate your lawn
Aeration perforates the soil with small holes to allow air, water and nutrients to penetrate to the grass roots. This aids root growth and will help create a healthy lawn. To aerate small lawns you can use a garden fork or manual aerator. Turn it back to front, insert it in the ground and carefully withdraw without wiggling it. Repeat every 2-4 inches.
Step 6: Tidy up the lawn surface
After aerating, you can either add a top dressing of good quality top soil to further improve drainage, or you can rake the little plugs of soil produced by the aeration across the surface. These plugs are full of good bacteria and will encourage healthy grass growth.
Step 7: Water the grass if needed
Spring usually brings sufficient rainfall to keep your grass watered, but if you do need to water, be sure that the water penetrates to the soil below. Inadequate watering will simply encourage vulnerable roots at the surface. Always water early in the morning or evening to reduce the amount of water lost through evaporation.
Step 8: Use lawn feed
If you have some bare patches then you may want to sow some grass seeds or use a patch repair product. If you're spreading a large area with feed and seed, use a spreader.
- When you cut the grass during the spring and summer, use a mulching attachment. This cuts the clippings into fine pieces which can then decompose and release nutrients back into your lawn.
- At the start of the season sharpen or replace your lawn mower blades and make sure you change the oil.
- If you want to create a striped-effect lawn, choose a mower with a rear roller.
- If scarifying, mow the lawn first to remove as much grass and debris as possible.
- As feeding, weeding and moss removal are all key jobs in spring, the easy option is to tackle them in one hit with a triple action lawn feed applied a few days after the first cut. Don't forget to rake out the black dead moss after treatment.
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