‘Perfect time’ to begin ‘lawn rescue plan’ – steps to achieve a ‘lush lawn’ by summer

‘Perfect time’ to begin ‘lawn rescue plan’ – steps to achieve a ‘lush lawn’ by summer


Home Depot: How to ready your lawn for Spring

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Grass grows whenever the temperature rises above 7 degrees celsius. With warmer weather on its way. Gardeners’ World said now is the “perfect time” to begin a “lawn rescue plan”. This means mowing, aerating and digging up weeds to ensure it will look its best by summer. The experts added: “By summer you’ll have a healthy lawn that’s able to withstand the wear and tear of regular use.”

To get a “perfect lawn”, the experts recommended buying a lawn mower, half-moon edger, garden fork, lawn seed, hosepipe, edging shears, wheeled applicator and spring-tined lawn rake.

The first step is to cut the lawn, mowing in one direction and then another direction to ensure any parts are missed.

The experts said: “Rake up clippings so they don’t smother young, emerging shoots, neaten edges with a lawn edger.

“Improve aeration where growth or drainage is poor by pushing a garden fork 10cm to 15cm into the soil. Wiggle it around to heave the soil up by a centimetre or so. Work backwards, spiking the lawn at 15cm intervals.

“If you want a manicured lawn without weeds, dig up dandelions and plantains with a hand trowel. In large areas, you may consider applying a selective lawn weedkiller.

“When mowing, always mow in the opposite direction to the last cut, to prevent a knap forming. Rake out as much moss as you can, then apply moss killer if desired. However, if you want a more natural look, where bees and other insects can forage for food, skip this step.”

To rake out dead grass and moss, gardeners should use a spring-tined lawn rake.

If the lawn is large, small areas should be tackled at a time before collecting the debris.

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According to Gardeners’ World, the lawn will look “ragged” but will soon recover. It should then be mowed with the blades set low.

They added: “From now on, when you mow the lawn, leave the clippings in place to act as a nutrient-rich mulch that will feed the grass.

“To help your lawn even further you can also feed the grass with a specific lawn fertiliser.

“Add a slow release fertiliser such as pelleted chicken manure, a spring lawn feed or a multi-purpose feed during a mild spell. Water in well if there’s no rain on the way, trim the edges if necessary.”

Bare patches can be repaired a few days after the lawn has been fed.

To do so, break up the soil, scatter seeds and then sprinkle with potting compost. 

For thinner areas, gardeners should scatter the seed at half the rate stated on the packet, then lightly rake it in.

The experts continued: “Mow the lawn weekly or fortnightly, depending on how you want your lawn to look. Leave newly sown areas of lawn to sprout, without mowing, and keep them well watered. You could use a sprinkler if the weather is dry.

“Firm in the roots of recently sown patches to ensure they establish well.

“If your mower has a roller, push it over the area with the engine off. Alternatively firm the grass gently under foot. Avoid mowing re-sown patches until the grass is four centimetres tall.

“Keep mowing and edging your lawn when necessary. After just a few weeks, it should be looking healthy, dense and even.

“Make repairs after heavy use. Loosen the soil surface of damaged areas with a spring-tined lawn rake. On clay soils, spike with a fork to reduce compaction.”

Lastly, the mower’s height should be raised during hot and dry weather and newly sown areas should be kept well watered.

Gardeners’ World added: “Keep the lawn lush by applying slow release fertiliser to established areas, and add a milder, diluted liquid seaweed feed to recently re-sown patches.”

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