Lawn Care: A Complete Guide

Lawns typify British lifestyle. Whilst we might attract some criticism in saying so, the fact is there aren’t too many societies around the world that treasure lawns as much as the Brits do.

Lawns are the bridge between modern lifestyle and our past connection with nature. They symbolise civilised human settlements. Imagine your property without the beautiful law and all you would be left with grey and ugly landscape. 

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Lawns are the place where you enjoy quality time with your kids and enjoy the colours, sounds and magnificence of birds and insects. We’ve seen a growth in people trying to find the best bird table for their garden, providing a sanctuary for birds to feed and enjoy life. Alternatively, you may wish to keep the birds out with a heavy duty bird net and keep your flowerbed safe.

To enjoy all these you must invest time and effort in lawn care. Those who overlook lawn maintenance end up with an urban jungle that quickly turns into an eyesore. In this post we shall discuss the basic lawn care maintenance tips. 

How to Care For Your Lawn

Lawn care is seasonal and every season of the year demands specialised approach. It is important to keep the lawn feeding schedule in mind for the different seasons of the year. Finding the best lawn spreader for your garden can help a great deal with this. Here are your lawn care tips for the four seasons of the year: 

Lawn Care in Spring

As far as lawn care is concerned spring is without doubt the busiest season. You lawn has survived the harsh winter where lack of sunlight, occasional rains and perhaps even snow would have created dark patches everywhere. You might even notice dead grass in certain areas of your lawn.

You have no time to lose and have to prepare your lawn for the dry summer spell that is only few months away. With a good lawn maintenance regime you can bring the space back to life. Let us now take you through some of the important law care tips for spring: 

  • Clear The Moss: If the winter wasn’t harsh and there had been spells of rain, you are likely to face a moss epidemic. So you need to start with clearing the moss. It’s always worth investing in the best moss killer for your garden as well as, in some cases, identifying the best weed killer to get the job done. We also suggest you using a rake though be careful with the rake as to not tear the grass while clearing the moss. 
  • Deal With Bare Patches: You are likely to encounter bare patches in the lawn and you need to populate these areas with fresh seeds after you have loosened the soil. After this is done use the rake to cover the seeds with a thin layer of soil. Make sure you are choosing the right variety of seeds. There are times when dead patches are result of using the wrong type of seeds. 
  • Quench Their Thirst: Your lawn would be extremely thirsty after the winters and once you are done with the reseeding you need to start watering the lawn on a daily basis. At this stage the seeds would need plenty of water for the grass to grow.
  • Apply Spring Fertilizer: Just like animals that go into hibernation during the winter, your lawn grass does the same. They would have lost their body fat (excuse the pun) and they are starving. Thus you need to feed them with nitrogen rich fertilizer that also comes with weed killer to ensure your grass doesn’t need to fight a losing battle.
  • Remove Bumps: You might notice few bumps in the lawn once the seeds start to germinate. You should remove those bumps with a rake after cutting an H-shaped incision in that area. Remove the turf carefully preventing any damage and then remove soil underneath. Lay the turf again carefully. 
  • Mow The Grass At Higher Setting: Spring time mowing requires you to set the blades at a higher setting. You should target removing one-third of the grass. This will allow the roots to penetrate deep and result in a better flush. Avoid mowing if the grass is damp as this may result in peeling of the turf. 
  • Consider adding in a cascading water fountain and listen to the soothing sounds of running water during the day and when night falls.

Lawn Care in Summer

All the effort that you put into creating the lawn is for the summer months. It’s also a great time for drying that laundry outdoors (finally) with a retractable washing line. This is the time of the year when you and your family are likely to spend maximum time outdoors which is why it may be worth investing in the best garden storage bench depending on the requirements of your garden.

Your pets are at their busiest in the lawn and you take pride in hosting your friends for a lawn party. All that is possible when you have kept the lawn is at its best and it can withstand all the running and pounding.

As you enjoy the luscious green of your lawn you also need to spend some time in caring for it. So here are few lawn maintenance tips for summer: 

  • Keep Mowing: If you have followed the spring maintenance regime religiously your lawn would be in its luscious best when summer arrives. This is the time when it would require regular mowing.
    If you can’t schedule time for bi-weekly trimming you need to do it once a week. If you are looking to achieve the stripe pattern (we sure you are) you need keep the blades sharp to ensure they cut the grass higher. If you keep the grass slightly longer it is easier to bend them and this is what causes the stripes. You can invest in a lawn roller that will let you achieve picture perfect stripes.
  • Water The Lawn: Blame it on global warming or climate change but we have been witnessing extended spells of dry summer on a regular basis and, during such times, you need to water your lawn on a regular basis.
    Use a sprinkler or a hose to water your lawn and ensure the water is equally distributed to all areas of the lawn. If you spot your lawn losing its green and turning off-colour reapply nitrogen-rich fertiliser and you will bring them back to their best.
  • Lawn Care During Holidays: Summer is also the time when you are likely to go out for a vacation. Make sure to arrange for lawn mowing during your absence. If that’s not possible you need to arrange for regular watering. Once you are back turn the mower to a higher setting for a higher cut to ensure they recover quickly. 
  • Dealing With Weeds & Creepers: If you have started spotting weeds and creepers you need to apply a weed killer. For creepers spot treatment works best where you carefully remove them. Make sure you do this before you mow the lawn. 

Lawn Care in Autumn

This is the time of the year when lawns are often overlooked. After all the fun and activities you have had in the lawn during the summer you might be tempted to let the lawn take care for itself.

But revitalising the lawn during autumn would prepare them for the winters. Keep in mind that your lawn may have been worn out due to the increased activity during summer. If you invest quality time in lawn care during the autumn you will help the roots grow better and save yourself from more effort for the next spring.

The whole idea of autumn lawn care is to help the grass prepare for the winter. If your lawn needs any treatment it is the perfect time for it as the grass would be able to cope up with them before the mercury starts to drop. Do the following things during autumn: 

  • Scarify the Lawn: You need to scarify the lawn which is nothing but heavy raking. This is done to get rid of the thatch which is dead moss and a thin layer of old grass stems. Scarifying helps in removing other debris that prevents water and fertilizer from penetrating deep inside the soil and nourishing the roots. Scarifying also prevents pests and diseases from taking over your lawn. 
  • Mow Regularly: While you can avoid the weekly or bi-weekly mowing routine that you had practiced during the summer but you need to mow the lawn on a regular basis to ensure dead moss and old grass stems stop growing. 
  • Deal With Bald Patches: You may notice some bald patches in the lawn during spring and you need to reseed these patches using the same technique as we had mentioned for the spring season. 
  • Aerate The Lawn – Lawns tend to compact during the autumn months and this prevents the supply of oxygen to the roots. You can counter this problem by aerating which is also called spiking. Here you need to make use of a garden fork and create small holes in the lawn few inches deep and spacing them evenly every few inches.
    Doing so you will restore the supply of oxygen into the roots. If your soil is waterlogged this is a must during the winter to prevent bare patches in the following spring.
  • Apply Autumn Fertilizer – Autumn fertilizers are rich in potash and phosphates and these help in rejuvenating the roots and prepare them for the chilly winter months. You will have to choose between liquid and granular fertilizers.
    If the weather forecast is dry go for the liquid fertilizers and if there is forecast for rain you should opt for granules. Keep in mind that the granules can burn your foliage if the weather gods don’t work in tandem with them and in such cases water the lawn after the application of the fertilizer.

Lawn Care in Winter

Most people tend to completely ignore their lawn during the winter. After all you have worked throughout the three seasons already and as the temperature have started dropping and there are forecast for snow what’s left to do in the garden.

The fact is your lawn would now have to fight a battle for survival. There are two things you need to do during the winter – first you need to reflect on whether you have the right kind of grass on your lawn and also take few steps that will help you prepare for the spring.

Now if you have had to deal with weeds and moss throughout the year the problem may be with the choice of grass. Certain species don’t grow well in a shady lawn. If lawn care was a bad experience in all the three previous seasons it might be worth relaying the lawn with a different variety of grass. Here are few tips for the winter: 

  • Relaying The Lawn: This is optional and only for those lawns where there has been a constant battle with weeds and moss. You should lay the new turf and let the soil settle in during the winter. But don’t reseed until February as your efforts are likely to be wasted. 
  • Keep Removing Debris: You need to rake away fallen leaves and other debris from your lawn as this will allow them to absorb more light during the winters and prevent the roots from dying. 
  • Don’t Place Heavy Objects on The Lawn: Your lawn is at its most fragile state during the winter and you can cause them lot of harm by placing heavy objects and furniture over them. Reduce the use of the lawn as much as possible during the winter especially when it is frozen or moist as this can cause maximum damage to the lawn. 
  • Clean Your Tools: Winter is the time when you are likely to pack up your mower but before doing so make sure you clean the blades thoroughly. If you are using a mechanised mower you need to drain out the engine oil and clean/replace the air-filter and the spark plug. 

Wait for spring to arrive and you are all set to get going with the entire regime again. Seasonal lawn maintenance regime teaches you many vital lessons. A good gardener is one who is able to use this knowledge to good affect the following season. 

How to Care for a New Lawn

Laying a new lawn is always exciting. It is synonymous to spreading a natural carpet outdoor. Let us take you through few tips to care for your new lawn, assuming that you have already prepared the soil and sown the seeds: 

  1. The first eight weeks are like the first few months in a new born baby’s life. You must make sure the lawn is watered regularly. You should never allow it to dry during this period. 

  2. Avoid walking on the lawn other than when you are watering it. Keep your kids and pets off the lawn, if possible!

  3. Remove all the bumps and lumps you spot in your lawn. While the lawn needs to remain wet you must also prevent water logging. We have already mentioned about removing bumps in our spring law care tips.

  4. In ideal conditions the grass would start to grow in a few weeks and you need to carefully size them to achieve that desired look. Avoid using a heavy lawn mower in the first few months.

  5. Check out for any weeds in the new lawn. You can use a weed remover or try alternative treatment if the problem isn’t solved.

  6. Choose the right fertilizer for your lawn. You will come across several guides on choosing the right fertilizer for different seasons and physical condition of your grass.

  7. Seek help from experts for the first year as this will ensure the grass grows perfectly. You can resort to DIY from the second year. 

When to Fertilize the Lawn 

You need to fertilize your lawn in two cycles – first during spring and then during autumn before the onset of winter. March is the best time to apply spring fertilizer which is high in Nitrogen content as they get your grass off to a good start and help in achieving a lush lawn.

There are two types of fertilizers you will get to choose from quick-release and slow-release. As the name suggests the quick-release type would last for about four to six weeks and you need to keep applying them through the spring months. Slow-release type would last for the entire season.

But the quick-release type should be your first choice. As autumn sets in you need to focus on strengthening the roots of your grass and this is when you need to apply fertilizer rich in potassium and phosphate. This will let the grass survive through the harsh winter. 

How To Apply Lawn Feed

There are basically two types of lawn feeds that you will come across – granules and in liquid form. The granules or the dry lawn fertilizers must be applied using broadcast type spreaders or drop type spreaders. Such equipment is available for rental and hence you don’t need to buy them.

If you have a very small lawn you can apply the feed using your hands but you need to take adequate protection in terms of wearing gloves and apply the feed uniformly. In such cases you need to apply the feed in sweeping motion carefully for even distribution. For liquid feed use hose-end applicators. You need to wear a mask while applying liquid feed to prevent inhaling in the tiny droplets during application. 

To sum-up we have discussed the basic lawn care tips for different seasons of the year and how you can enjoy a luscious lawn in your property. Gardening is an art which you master over time. Each new season would have important lessons for you. Get out and dirty your hands in the lawn because the fruit of your hard labour is something that you will take pride in. 

If you are looking to further add to the beauty of the lawn you can grow the exotic Niger seeds plant along the edges of the lawn. These yellow flowers blend seamlessly with your green lawn to add to the curb appeal of your property. As you enjoy the luscious greenery of your lawn it would also be great to have some birds chirping around. Sunflower hearts bird food is a great way to attract birds to your lawn. A conservatory alongside your lawn would be a great addition to your property. Add it some of the best conservatory plants and you can enjoy the greenery around when the lawn greys out during the winter months. 

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