If your lawn is looking rather worse for wear after the recent heatwave, fear not. Bringing it back to its former glory requires a little time and isn’t going to cost the earth to do! Follow these top tips from Radmore and Tucker to create the perfect lawn, year in, year out.
Your Seasonal Cutting Guide
Make sure your mower has sharpened blades for a clean cut. Cut only one third of the height of the grass in order to maintain its healthy growth. For the best results, mow once a week when weather conditions are right. This will keep down weed growth and keep your lawn looking its best.
Spring is the time to encourage healthy lawn growth by using a long-term fertiliser. Make the most of warm and dry weather to aerate a matted lawn. Encourage a thick lawn by mowing once a week, twice a week during periods of intense growth.
Cutting grass down too short when it’s very hot can cause a loss of nutrients so ensure you leave it at a minimum height of 30mm during the summer months. Water it regularly as and when required – hosepipe bans permitting. Don’t forget to utilise water butts to collect rainfall the rest of the year in case a hosepipe ban does come into effect.
Less frequent cutting is required during the dryer periods but do ensure you leave the grass slightly higher than you normally would when making the final cut of the year. Autumn is also the perfect time to fertilise your lawn ready for a lush, healthy look next spring. For best effects, mulch prior to fertilising. You can make this easier by using a mulching mower which will provide natural fertilisers to your lawn.
The finishing touches for the perfect lawn
Regular mowing will help to deter weeds from growing, but if they are still proving to be a problem removing them frequently by hand, roots and all, will help to keep them at a minimum. Treat larger patches of weeds with a spot killer designed to treat specific areas rather than the entire lawn.
The pH levels of the soil can affect the look and health of your lawn. Grass tends to prefer a pH level that falls between 6.0 and 7.2. Test the levels using a pH testing kit to see where your soil levels lie. Adding iron can lower high pH levels whilst extra lime will increase it.
Particular areas of lawn might suffer from more foot traffic than others. Limit the damage by laying down stepping stones or a path in the most affected parts. Set these down a little further into the ground, enabling mowers to run over them without catching. Repair any sunken areas by peeling back the turf carefully. Add topsoil and level out to the same height as the rest of the lawn, packing it down smoothly and firmly. Replace the turf and fill in the gaps of the edges with additional topsoil to seal the patch.
Tidy edges keep the grass looking neat. Trim edges with a lawn trimmer or an edging shears or cut them in with an edging tool. Uniform edges can be kept aligned by using a plank of wood as a template. For curves, lay an old hosepipe on the ground and edge along the curves of it.
Grass in shaded areas needs to be treated differently to that which sits in the sunshine. It doesn’t grow as fast as sun-hit grass will, so less fertiliser is required to feed it. It will also need less water as it evaporates less quickly.
So there you go! A little time and very little money will result in a lawn that you will be proud of in no time!