A lush, green lawn is the perfect accompaniment to a well-kept flower bed. If your yard has been a bit neglected over the winter, it can get overgrown, clogged with weeds, and looking pretty untidy. Here are some top lawn care tips for salvaging it and keeping your lawn looking green, tidy, and an asset to your garden.
7 Top Lawn Care Tips from a Landscaping Pro
Here are some top lawn care tips from the pros.
1 – Mow The Lawn Regularly
Most of us don’t think much about mowing the lawn until the weather is hot, and we want to get outside again. Actually, to keep your yard at its best, it should be mown all year round. During the summer, mow the lawn once a week, and drop back to one every two weeks during the autumn, winter, and spring in warmer climates. (Of course, you won’t do this if the snow flies).
By mowing the lawn regularly, you can encourage the roots of the grass to spread. This means the yard will keep thriving and fill up any gaps in the lawn and block out weeds.
Dry weather can cause the lawn to dry out and turn brown. To stop this from happening, raise the cutting height of your mower to keep the grass a little longer. Keep the lawn at around 5 or 10cm, as this length helps to stop the lawn browning. If all this mowing is a bit much to keep up with, hire a lawn care service to help you.
Make sure you keep your lawnmower well maintained, with sharp blades, so it does a decent job on your lawn.
2 – Water Your Lawn (perhaps the most important lawn care tip)
Young lawns need to be watered thoroughly to help them, and even established gardens will benefit from some help with hydration. When you can, use rainwater from a water butt to water the lawn to save water. Greywater that has been collected from the bath or the washing up bowl is suitable to use too. Sprinklers are perfect for keeping your lawns hydrated, but they do use a lot of water from the mains, which wastes a lot of water. They’re also not allowed during hosepipe bans.
If your established lawn is looking brown, don’t worry. It’s not dead, and it should come back healthy and green again as soon as it gets some rain on it.
3 – Weed The Lawn
Weeds in the lawn are unsightly and can kill the grass underneath. Weeds with broad leaves, like dandelions, have wide, flat leaves that can smother large areas of the grass underneath them. Luckily, these full weeds are reasonably easy to remove with a trowel.
Smaller weeds, like clover and yellow medick, can spread quickly through the lawn, choking the grass, so rake the yard before you mow it. This helps to lift the weeds up above the grass where the mower blades can get at them, which will weaken and kill them off over time.
Be careful when using weed killers on your lawn. Chemical weed killers are expensive and generally don’t do anything to deal with a yard that is in poor health. Grass in bad health is the perfect place for weeds to thrive, so focus on tackling that problem instead of just killing the weeds. Chemical weed killers are also not a great option if you’re concerned about the environment, so choose natural options if you must use a weed killer.
4 – Relieve Compacted Grass
Compacted grass doesn’t grow very well, which can lead to your lawn having bald patches in the summer, which then turn into pieces of wet mud during the winter. You can relieve this compaction by aerating the soil. To do this, push a garden fork about 10cm deep into the earth, every 10cm along with the lawn, and gently rock the fork handle back and forth. The prongs open up the soil, which allows the lawn’s roots to breathe and encourages the grass to regrow, filling in those bald patches.
If your soil has a lot of clay in it, brush sharp sand or fine horticultural grit into the holes you’ve made. This helps to improve the drainage, preventing compaction from happening again.
5 – Edge Your Lawn
Define the edges of your lawn with a pair of long-handled shears. This stops the grass from growing into the borders. Edging makes the edges of your yard look much neater, and creates a smart finish. If your lawn has grown into the border at all, you can use a spade or half-moon edger to reshape the edge. You can create a shallow moat to help keep the lawn where it’s supposed to be. You could also install a permanent edging, like a row of bricks, which grass can’t cross and still looks good.
6 – Feed Your Lawn
If your lawn is large, you can invest in a wheeled lawn feeder to make this a much faster and more accurate garden task. When rain is forecast, put fertilizer on the grass. When it rains, the fertilizer will be washed down to the roots, where it can’t burn the leaf blades. Organic fertilizer is a right choice, as it will aid the long-term health of your lawn. If the forecast rain doesn’t happen, water the grass with a hose or a watering in to get the fertilizer where it needs to go.
Most lawns will benefit from a feed in the springtime and midsummer. Within a week, your lawn should be much greener and healthier.
7 – Fill In The Bare Patches
Bare patches don’t look good, but they’re easy to fill in. When you’re reshaping and edging the lawn, collect up any strips that you’ve cut away and place them 5cm apart in a compost filled seed tray. Grow these strips of grass outside or in a cold frame.
To replace the bare patch in the lawn, cut out a square or rectangle around the area. Use a hand trowel to dig up the soil here to whatever depth of soil your new turf strip is. Cut the turf to fit the gap, then gently lay it over the bare patch. Press it down there are no gaps, and so it is the same height as the rest of the lawn.
The Bottom Line on Implementing These Lawn Care Tips
These lawn care tips give you lush and healthy grass. Your grass will be greener, and the weeds will be fewer. And that is the grass that your neighbors will envy.