02/03/2014

Lawn care advice

A fantastic looking lawn can be a brilliant feature for your house. It can be a place for sizzling a sausage on the barbeque during a summer party with friends, or a key selling point for your home. Follow our simple, easy to follow advice and achieve that lush green lawn with ease this summer.

1. Use the correct cutting height 

In the UK people tend to like their lawn cut very short. While this is fine and down to personal preference, when cutting the lawn for the first time make sure you cut it much longer. Grass is a living organism, and is stressed when it is cut. Think of it like losing an arm. Never cut more than 20% of the length of the grass off in one go to avoid stressing the grass more than necessary. This may mean you have to cut the grass over a period of weeks to get it as short as you want, but it will prevent damaging the grass and killing it over the long term. 

2. Use a sharp lawnmower blade 

When cutting the grass make sure you use a sharp blade on your lawnmower. It is recommended that you change the blade on your lawnmower every year. A blunt blade with struggle to cut the grass cleanly, tearing it and ripping it out of the ground, and it will take you longer to cut all the grass in your garden. This will damage the roots and stress the grass. A sharp lawnmower blade will cut the grass cleanly and leave you with a nicer, neater looking lawn. 

3. Timing is crucial 

Always avoid cutting your grass in wet weather. When the lawn is wet, grass will tangle with the lawnmower blades which will result in you ripping the grass out of the ground instead of cutting it. This is especially relevant for longer grass. Don’t rush to the garden to cut the grass at the first opportunity. Grass grows at a much slower rate in the winter months. Wait until the weather becomes warmer, usually about mid to end of March before you cut the grass for the first time. You may not have to cut the grass that often to begin with; however by the end of June to early July, you should mow the grass once a week to maintain a good looking lawn. 

4. Seed your lawn 

If your lawn has a few balding patches, think about adding some good quality seed. If you want the grass to be green in time for the summer, seed the lawn mid-March. This will allow time for the grass to grow. In hot weather you may be required to water the seed regularly to encourage growth. Be careful not to overwater though. Too much water could result in the grass roots forming too shallow so that it struggles to survive later on. 

5. Remove moss and thatch 

Lawns with a large amount of moss can sometimes struggle to grow healthily. Moss will absorb moisture and water from the ground limiting the amount the grass has to grow. Once moss has begun to grow it can soon take over your lawn. One of the best defences against moss is to have a healthy thick lawn of grass. To defend against a moss invasion begin the season (around March) by using a scarifier, like the Flymo lawn rake to pull up all the moss and thatch in your lawn. Depending on the amount of moss you have it may make the lawn look very bare, however the grass will soon recover in a week or so. If there are large bare patches, consider laying some lawn seed. In areas that have been particularly bad with moss, consider spraying them with some moss killer. One of the best defences against moss is grass itself. Consider laying additional lawn seed over the entire garden. This will limit the space between the grass blades and limit the room for moss to grow. Another tip is to spike the lawn with a garden folk. This will aerate the ground to relieve compaction of the soil. This allows oxygen to reach the grass roots which is required for root growth. 

6. Feed your lawn 

During prolonged hot periods you may be required to water your grass. How often and how frequently depends on your lawn. If the grass begins to turn yellow or brown give your lawn water. Avoid watering your lawn during the hottest periods of the day. The water will act as a magnifying glass and burn the blades of grass. The water you use will also evaporate at a faster rate meaning you need to use more water than you need to. Always water your lawn either early in the morning or at dusk in the evening. Gardena watering products are highly recommended. 

7. Around the edges 

Give your lawn a tidy finish. After cutting the lawn go around the edges and cut any long grass with a pair of shears or an electric grass trimmer. Go one stage further and use an edger or a garden hoe to create a sharp clean edge to your lawn. 

8. What to avoid 

Certain chemicals and processes can damage your grass. If you are using a petrol lawnmower never put petrol in when on your lawn. Due to the chemicals in petrol, it will scorch the grass if spilt, leaving an odd looking patch. If you are planning on having a barbeque in your garden try and avoid placing any disposable barbeques on the grass directly. The bottoms of these will become very hot and burn the ground.

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