10 Top Tips To a Healthy Lawn
Many people enjoy their lawns as somewhere soft to run around on with the kids or as a backdrop to a beautiful display of plants and flowers. The only sacrifice is that it will have to be maintained regularly in order to keep it looking green and healthy year after year.
Below are 10 tips to keep your lawn looking exactly how you had always pictured it.
1. Watering - During the hotter months the most important thing to do is keep your lawn watered enough to keep it from drying out scorching or dying off all together. Connect a sprinkler system to make sure the water will be given some time to sink in. Often a spray by hand won't do much good but if you don't have a sprinkler then this should be done early evening to reduce as much evaporation as possible. For prolonged periods of drought be sure to water everyday if possible.
2. Mowing - Most people know how to mow but many don't know how to do it properly. Start off by mowing a ring around the very outer side of the lawn one way. Once you've reached where you had started move inside this ring and begin to mow the other way, stopping as you return to where you started from again. This will give you enough room to turn without going off the edges. To create stripes it's just a case of going dead straight vertically, turning round and kissing the edge of the previous line as you come back. You'll need a roller to produce stripes and although they are more expensive, the results are evident why. It 's often best to cut in opposite directions every few weeks to make sure the grass isn't lying too much one way.
3. Edging - Although the edges can often be forgotten, after a cut, there is no better way of finishing it off with edging the lawn with edging shears. This will help to keep the edges clean and tidy and will often help with visibility to maintain the lawn.
4. Feed- With all of the usage on the lawn from wild animals to kids there is no wonder as to why why your lawn will need a nutrient top up. These can be applied in a granular feed or liquid feed. Granular will sink in over a few weeks and is an option many professional landscapers use. It is best off done twice a year in both Spring and Autumn but be sure not to spread in long periods of drought or even on a dry day if possible. This could well be a waste if it isn't washed in.
5. Weed - Often broadleaved weeds can be picked by hand when they start to appear but there are often occasions where weeds begin to spread intermittently and spread by connecting roots underground named 'rhizomes'. To kill off many weeds and moss on larger areas it is most cost effective and efficient to spread a weedkiller onto the lawn to make a big impact on them and hopefully kill them off. Larger more dug in weeds can also be spot killed by hand.
6. Scarify - To breath life back into the grass when it has been caked in dead grass and carpet weeds it's best to rake with a lawn tine rake. Rake one way(vertically) and then the other(horizontally) with some force to pull up moss and weeds and open up the soil. For larger areas a scarifiyng machine is advised. These are mostly petrol driven to and will cut into the soil at any preferred depth and drag up any overpowering material in between the blades of grass.
7. Aeration -Aerating a lawn will literally give more air to the roots and open up any inconsistent compactions or drainage problems. These can be used manually or as a motor powered machine but all will do the same thing. It will punch holes in the lawn, essentially taking a core every few inches leaving holes all over. Once this has been carried out it is common practice to brush sharp sand into the hole to keep the holes open and still let water through.
8. No Dogs Allowed - If you're looking to keep a perfectly green lawn there will have to be some boundaries for the beloved dogs out there! Unfortunately it is far too common for dogs to urinate on the lawn causing it to discolor in patches all over the lawn. Many people have special areas for the dogs to play to keep those more formal parts as green as they can be.
9. Top Dressing - For undulating sections of the lawn and hollows you can top dress with horticultural sand which will be light enough to lie on top of the surface and not cake up too much. Apply enough so that you can brush it in and top it up as you do it, no more than around a quarter of an inch. The grass underneath will still need light so make sure there is at least a tip showing.
10. Repair - Whether we've tried to pull up a tree and its roots or taken a healthy chunk of turf out of our beautifully sculpted lawn, we have all been in the situation where we've had to do a repair job to get rid of that chink in the armour! Cut out the section to be laid after all previous material has been removed. I always cut to the shape of the turf and not to the void in the grass. This helps to avoid cut off pieces and sticking them down and almost hoping. The more of the turf you can keep the better as cut offs stuck onto joins or edges will dry out very quickly and most probably die.
Now it's easy to see why people hire a gardening company to do it with the right tools and in half the time!