One of the pride and joys of most homeowners is their garden lawn. A freshly cut lawn provides the perfect flooring for any garden or other outdoor areas, and it’s the perfect space to enjoy some al-fresco dining or for the kids to play on.
However, if you don’t look after your lawn properly, then it will quickly start to bring down the overall appearance of your garden. That’s because it could start to dry out and become patchy, or you might find that a lot of weeds start to take over. In either case, you certainly won’t want to put out a deck chair and picnic blanket and relax on your lawn!
So, it’s really important that all homeowners understand good lawn care and what they need to do to keep their lawn healthy and in as good condition as possible. Thankfully, it shouldn’t be too difficult to keep on top of your lawn care, and it shouldn’t take up too much of your time either as long as you keep up with it. In this guide, we’ll cover the main points that you need to know about how to look after a garden lawn and how to keep it in good condition all year round.
The Basics Of Lawn Care
First of all, it’s important to know and understand the basics of lawn care. Even if you aren’t the most green-fingered gardener, you will still need to keep up with some very basic lawn maintenance. Otherwise, you could end up becoming very disgruntled with an untidy and unkempt lawn area! Here are some of the jobs you will need to carry out even if you do nothing else.
Cutting – If you don’t cut your lawn then the grass will just keep on growing and you could end up with a jungle! Through the summer, you will need to cut your grass once a week at the very minimum as the grass will be growing extremely fast.
However, in the winter when the weather is very cold, the grass will hardly be growing. Some homeowners find that they don’t need to mow their lawn at all between December and March. When you do cut it, make sure you do it on a dry day. That’s because the grass will be standing upright, so will be easier to cut. Although, you shouldn’t cut at the hottest time of the day, as that could result in the grass – and you – suffering from heat stress.
Feeding – To ensure that your lawn always looks its best, you should also feed it on a regular basis as well. If you do feed your lawn, the grass will grow a lot thicker so there should be less risk of patches forming. It should also appear a lot greener as well. There is no need to feed the lawn in the winter as the grass won’t be growing much.
You can start using a standard feed in the spring months and continue using this well into summer. Some people will still use this general feeder in autumn too, however, some people prefer to use a specialist autumn feed that will help to make the grass a lot more hardy and tough in time for the cold winter months.
If you are ever in any doubt about feeding your lawn, it could be worth speaking to a professional gardener for their advice
Weeding – It’s important that you don’t forget about weeding either. Failing to do so will quickly lead to your lawn becoming full of ugly weeds! Whether you try to prevent weeds from growing or deal with them once you can see them is up to you. Just make sure that you stick to a good routine to ensure that the weeds don’t take over too much!
How To Keep The Lawn Green
One problem that quite a few homeowners face is trying to keep their grass nice and green. This can be especially difficult in the summer months when temperatures are high. The heat could end up damaging or drying out the grass, and it will likely turn brown or a pale green if you are not too careful. Here are some of the best tips you can use to make your lawn stay as green as possible.
Make Sure You Are Watering It Deeply – One of the main things you need to be aware of in your lawn care is how deep the water is getting when you are watering your lawn. Ideally, you need to be doing some very deep watering. Deep watering once or twice a week will be a lot more effective than shallow watering it every day. All of this water that gets right down to the roots will help keep the grass very fresh and green.
Your grass can take more water than you think. Just think about when you last experienced hours and hours of torrential rain in the garden… Did the grass drown or survive?
Keep Your Mower In Good Condition – You should also regularly see to your mower as well. Ideally, it needs to be maintained often so that it can continue to mow your grass as effectively and efficiently as possible. For instance, you will need to keep the blades sharp. Over time, they will become blunt and won’t cut the grass quite as well as they should. If you don’t want to sharpen the blades on your own, you should be able to take them to a handyman or garage to take care of them for you. Dull blades will end up tearing your lawn rather than cutting it, and this will leave behind dull and brown grass tips.
Remove Pet Waste And Treat Affected Areas – Pet waste can sometimes lead to brown patches of grass. That is because these patches will end up over fertilised by all the excess nutrients. It’s best to remove any pet waste as soon as you spot it. You might also want to use a lawn repair kit that you can often find in garden centres.
Apply Plenty Of Fertiliser – When you are fertilising your lawn, there is no need to be worried about overdoing it as bought fertilisers will have the right balance of nutrients in them. Generally speaking, it’s best to fertilise a lawn every six weeks. If you want to keep your lawn green while also preventing excessive growth, then it could be best to use a fertiliser that has a low nitrate count.
Water The Lawn Early On In The Day – One mistake that many homeowners make is that they water their lawn in the middle of the day. This could be the hottest time of the day and the water on the grass could heat up to the point that it causes heat damage to the blades. Ideally, water your lawn when you first get up.
How To Cure Lawn Patches
When a lawn isn’t doing too well, you might start to notice some patches in it. These can become annoying if they frequently appear and end up being quite large. Thankfully, there are a few things you can do to repair them.
1) Clear Away Any Dead Material – One of the first things you will need to do before you start to repair the patch is to clear away any dead material. This will help the grass to germinate and grow a lot better once you scatter the new seeds over the patch.
2) Make Sure The Soil Is Loose – Before you do start to scatter some new seeds, it is really worth loosening up the soil in the patch too. Ideally, you should loosen up the soil in the top 2-3 inches. This will make sure that plenty of air gets down to the seeds and new roots as they start to grow. Lawns and the soil beneath them tend to get incredibly compacted over the years so loosen it up a little before sowing seeds.
If the soil isn’t in very good condition, then you might also want to mix in some compost while you are loosening it up.
3) Add New Grass Seed – You will need to buy some top-quality grass seed and sprinkle it all over the patch.
4) Fertilise It – Once you’ve planted the seed, don’t forget to add some fertiliser. The grass will need all of the nutrients so that it can start growing well and will be able to thrive in the patch.
How To Prevent Weeds
Next, it’s time to look at the best ways you can prevent any weeds from growing on your lawn. You may not be able to completely prevent them, so it’s also worth knowing what you can do about them when you first start to spot them. Here are some great tactics.
Focus On Strong Lawn Growth – The best way you can try to prevent any weeds from growing in the first place is to try and ensure your lawn is growing as well as it possibly can. So, as part of your lawn care, you really need to focus on strong growth. As long as you follow all of the tips that have previously been mentioned, then this shouldn’t be too difficult. As long as the grass is growing well and quite thickly, there should be no room for weeds in the soil. However, this tactic doesn’t always work, so it’s always worth being aware of the next few points as well.
Know What Weeds You Are Dealing With – Every weed needs to be treated differently. So, once you do notice a new one in your lawn, you need to find out what it is and the best ways you can kill or remove it without damaging too much of the lawn around it. You will be able to spray some weeds with a simple homemade vinegar mixture. The vinegar kills a lot of weeds but shouldn’t cause any damage to the grass. However, not all weeds will be too bothered about this kind of homemade weedkiller. You will need to physically remove them from the lawn.
Pull The Roots Out – There are quite a few weeds that you will need to physically pull out of the lawn. When you do, it is really important that you try to pull all or as much of the roots as you can. If you leave any root behind, then the weed will likely grow again. However, it won’t be able to if all of the roots has been removed.
Something else that homeowners will need to do in their garden is manicure their lawn. This is also known as edging and basically describes everything you need to do to ensure that the edges of the lawn are neat and tidy. Here are some tips that can help you overcome most of the common issues related to manicuring a lawn.
Uneven Edges – If your edges are uneven and slightly ragged, there is no need to worry too much. They can be quite easy to fix. You can simply use a sharp spade to cut them again to ensure they quickly end up back in shape. You should always use a plan of wood along the edge of the lawn when you are reshaping it to ensure a very straight line. To make sure your lawn looks good all-year round, try to find the time to reshape your uneven edges about twice a year.
Broken Edges – There are a few reasons why you will need to address broken lawn edges. They will make the whole lawn look quite untidy, but they will also make mowing the grass a lot more difficult as well. The best way to fix broken edges is to buy some new turf and cut it to shape so that you can place it in the current edge. That should help replace any lost areas of grass.
Lawn-Edge Decoration – Your lawn doesn’t have to run all the way up to your garden borders. In fact, some homeowners like to fill the gap between their lawn and fence with flower beds or decorative stones. You might want to take a look at your local garden centre to see what they suggest for some pretty lawn-edge decoration.
As you can see, taking good care of your lawn shouldn’t be too difficult. The more you keep up with it, then the less amount of work it should be in the long run.