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Lawn care

Spring and summer lawn care

By Ceri Thomas

Article 3 of 4

Grass gets a lot of wear over the warmer months, so make sure your lawn is in top condition, ready to cope with all that's thrown with it

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Feed the grass

The secret to greener grass is to feed your lawn. Strong-growing grass is also better able to outcompete weeds. Check the manufacturer's instruction regarding how often to apply the feed.

Kill lawn weeds

Weeds tend to incite mixed emotions in gardeners. Some prefer to go for a weed-free approach, in which case use a lawn feed and weed. 

Other gardeners like certain weeds, such as daisies, but want to get rid of other weeds. If this is you, then either spraying carefully with a lawn spot weed killer or digging out the weeds with a daisy grubber will allow you to target only those you want to remove. 

Low-growing spreading weeds, such as clover, can be difficult to kill. Try raking them before you mow to raise their stems and you'll weaken the plants over time.

Prevent moss

If your lawn suffers from moss, it's worth looking at what might be causing it, otherwise it will soon return after you have treated it with a moss killer. Shade from surrounding plants and trees is a common cause, so try to reduce this if possible by thinning out growth. Feeding the lawn and reducing compaction should also help.

Repair bumps and hollows in the turf

Bumps and hollows in your lawn can make mowing difficult and ruin its appearance. To remove them, use a spade to cut a H-shape in the grass and peel back the turf so you get two flaps. Then either add or remove soil to make it level. When you're satisfied, put back the turf and firm it down. Keep it well watered for the next few months while it regrows roots.

Relieve grass compaction

Compacted areas have poor drainage and water often collects in them after it rains. Beneath the surface, the grass roots struggle to get oxygen and the grass fails to grow strongly.

The best idea is to look, if you can, by moving the nearby bench or redirecting the path, for example. Then try to get some air back into the soil by pushing in a garden fork, in the compacted area, every 20cm or so.

Repair bare patches in the lawn

Areas that get a lot of wear often lose their grass. Try to remove the cause of the wear then treat the bare patch.

There are several kits on the market for filling bare patches, containing grass seed, food and compost. In our experience, these work well. Otherwise you can do it yourself using grass seed. Rake over the area, then sow the grass seed and cover with compost or soil. Water the area well for the first few months while it settles in.

Smarten lawn edges

Most of us mow the lawn fairly regularly during the growing season, but the season to a really smart finish is to have neat edges.

If your lawn edges haven't been cut for a while, recut them using a half-moon tool or spade, and a taut guide line or straight board as a guide. Then every time you mow your lawn, trim the edges with a long-handled trimmer or strimmer. Be careful with powerful strimmers as they are hard to control and difficult to cut a neat edge with. Find our top strimmers for lawn edging.

Mow the grass regularly

While the grass is growing strongly, you need to cut the grass regularly to keep the lawn looking neat. Read our advice about how to cut the perfect lawn.

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