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28 Mar 2020

Get your lawn looking good

The Which? Gardening experts explain what to do to get your lawn in shape for summer

Having a lush green lawn will set off the rest of your garden and provide the perfect place to enjoy sitting and playing outside.

It will get a lot of wear over the warmer months, so make sure your grass is in top condition, ready to cope with all that's thrown at it.

How to get greener, stronger grass

The secret to greener grass is to feed your lawn. Strong-growing grass is also better able to out-compete weeds.

You can either buy feed that's watered onto the grass or granular feed that is spread by hand.

Always check on the lawn feed packaging to see how regularly it needs to be applied.

Check our Best Buy lawn feed.

How to deal with weeds

Weeds tend to incite mixed emotions in gardeners. Some prefer to go for a weed-free approach, and some like certain weeds, such as daisies, but want to get rid of others. If this is you, then either spraying carefully with a lawn spot weedkiller or digging out the weeds with a trowel or 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.

There's also a growing group of people who don't kill lawn weeds and only cut their lawns once a month so that weeds, such as buttercups , can flower and help feed pollinators.

Read our guide to lawn weeds.

How to 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 mosskiller.

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 by spiking the surface with a garden fork should also help.

Read our guide to dealing with moss.

How to repair bumps and hollows in your lawn

Bumps and hollows in your lawn can make mowing difficult and ruin its appearance.

To remove them:

  1. Use a spade to cut a H-shape in the grass and peel back the turf so you get two flaps.
  2. Then either add or remove soil to make it level.
  3. When you're satisfied, put back the turf and firm it down.
  4. Keep it well watered for the next few months while it regrows roots.

How to repair bare patches in your 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:

  1. Rake over the area.
  2. Sow the grass seed
  3. Cover with compost or soil.
  4. Water the area well for the first few months while it settles in.

How to relieve compaction in your lawn

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, at reducing the traffic to that area, 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.

How to smarten the edges of your lawn

Most of us mow the lawn fairly regularly during the growing season, but the secret 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 garden line or straight board as a guide. Then every time you mow your lawn, trim the edges with a long-handled trimmer or grass trimmer.

Choose a grass trimmer that is suitable for edging - a model that is designed for tougher tasks, such as a cutting brush, will be too powerful and hard to trim an edge with.

Discover our top grass trimmers and lawn edgers.