Essential Lawncare Tasks for the Showpiece Lawn
The immediate effect of the essential general tasks such as mowing, watering, feeding and weeding is to keep a lawn looking attractive, but there is also a vital long-term effect. The vigour of the desirable fine leaved grasses is maintained and increased so that unwelcome invaders such as weeds, moss and some lawn diseases find it difficult to establish.
The number one essential task is correct mowing. For a showpiece it is essential that your mower has a rear roller to stripe the lawn. This means beginning and ending at the proper time with the blades set at the correct height. Although there is no correct height, each lawn is different, environmental issues, type of mower and usage all determine what height the lawn will be cut at. Read – Lawn Mowing article for more information.
The first effect of drought in lawns is a loss of springiness and a general dullness to the turf. Look for these signs after about 7 days of dry weather in the summer and 10 days in the spring. Then irrigate if possible. Read – Lawn Watering article for more information.
Balanced Fertiliser Program.
A balanced four application fertiliser program is essential if you want to have a pristine lawn. Apply granular fertiliser in early spring, late spring, summer and in the autumn. See Fertiliser Lawn Builder Program for more information.
The lawn is aerated by driving a fork or a spiked instrument at intervals so as to relieve compaction – drainage is improved and new growth is stimulated. Aerate at least twice a year if ground is compacted or if moss is present, if possible try to hollow tine once a year.
Raking / Scarification
Rake the lawn during the spring and the autumn. Raking the lawn with a spring-tine rake has several benefits. The build-up of thatch is prevented and any surface debris is removed. The removal of fallen leaves in the autumn is essential, never leave them on the surface as they smoother and kill grass plants. Raking up creeping stems of weeds before mowing helps to control their advancement. For more information see scarification / raking article.
Over-Seed the lawn.
Regular over-seeding the lawn improves the quality of the grass plants present. Grass plants will naturally die and due to the fact that we mow the lawn we do not allow the plants to flower and self seed and naturally fill in the gaps for the next year. So therefore when plants die back the space which they vacate is normally filled with undesirable grass plants and weeds. It is essential that the lawn is regularly over-seeded, it is good practise to do it after every physical operation. For more information see – Over-seeding article.
Apply a dressing of sand / soil mixture to help promote plant growth, help to level the surface, improve drainage. Operation done inconjunction with a lawn renovation. For more information see – Lawn Top dressing article.
Trim the edges.
A lawn with overgrown grasses at the edges can be an eyesore. Make sure that the mower can reach right up to the edges. Trim around the edges after mowing, either use hand sharp edging shears or powered edge trimmer. For more information see – Lawn Edges article.
Regular brush the surface of your lawn, an experienced gardener regards his besom broom as an important piece of lawn equipment. Surface dew should always be removed prior to mowing and any worm casts should be dispersed before the mower is used. Even if there is no dew or worm casts present it is good practice to brush the lawn prior to mowing, removes any surface debris and stands the plants up ready for cutting.
Kill weeds and moss.
Don’t wait for the problem to get out of hand. The occasional weeds can pulled out – occasional patches of moss indicate that the growing conditions have to be improved. Apply a weedkiller or moss killer promptly as soon as there is an obvious invasion. Best product is our Weed, Feed and Moss Killer. For more information see Lawn Weeds or Moss in Lawns.
Seed Bare Patches.