Too many people think looking after their lawn is a chore, and isn’t considered very important. Gardening trends come and go, but the lawn is definitely here to stay. Not only, does it provide an attractive feature, but often, a children’s play area, and a relaxing space all rolled into one. It also acts, as a foil to plants and borders – take away the lawn, and the garden would be much less interesting to look at!
It is widely believed, that to have a good quality lawn, you need to spend a great deal of time and money on maintenance. Unless you have a golf green or a football pitch for a garden…this is wrong. Yes, maintaining a top quality lawn will require more work than what is needed on a family lawn, but with modern fertilisers, weed killers and garden machinery, maintenance these days is much simpler! It is not too demanding on time and can be quite satisfying. The amount of maintenance that you give to a lawn, will depend on several factors; the quality of the lawn you wish to create, the time you have available, the size of the lawn, and the cost of maintenance.
Regular mowing and trimming of the lawn edges is the very minimum of work that should be done, alongside an occasional feed with a lawn fertiliser. Ideally, feeding should be done in spring, and again in autumn to maintain healthy and strong growth. At the other extreme, you could go for a full maintenance programme, as would be carried out on a fine turf sports surface, such as a bowling or golf green. This involves much more work, and as well as mowing and feeding, you will be carrying out weed control, aeration, scarifying, top dressing, discouraging pests, and many other procedures throughout the year. The result, however, will be a lawn of superlative quality.
Spring and Autumn are both good times to scarify the lawn, as it should be carried out when the soil is moist and still warm. This allows the grass, time to recover and thicken out before the onset of winter. Scarifying helps to aerate the soil and improve surface drainage, leading to healthier and thicker grass. It can be done by hand or machine - a wire lawn rake is a very effective method of removing dead moss and thatch on small lawns. The harder you press, the deeper the rake will go and in just a short time you will have a small pile of debris. A mechanical scarifyer is much easier to use and these are available in many sizes and specifications to suit all lawns.
Most people wanting to create or maintain a lawn to a good standard, opt for a midway approach and will carry out the basic requirements, to keep the lawn looking good, with a few other jobs thrown in, as and when they are needed. A lawn is often the one part of the garden which can be taken for granted, receiving little more than a regular trim to keep it tidy. People feed their hanging baskets, planted containers, house plants, vegetables and roses, but in many cases leave the lawn to fend for itself, resulting in a poor quality lawn, that is yellow, patchy, and full of weeds. Lawns are made up of growing plants, and just like other plants in the garden, they need nutrients, light, water and oxygen to grow properly.
In Autumn the grass growth will gradually slow down as the soil and air temperatures drop, which means that mowing is required less often, but general lawn care is still required. Autumn is an excellent time of the year to try sowing a new lawn from seed. The soil will still be warm from the summer months, and vital moisture will be provided from the autumn rain, as the new lawn develops. Preparing the soil thoroughly is vital, and making sure you keep the developing lawn properly watered.