How to Maintain Your Grass for a Healthy Lawn
This month, we thought it would be helpful to take a look at how to achieve and maintain a healthy and fresh looking lawn throughout the coming months.
Deal with existing weedsEvery lawn will have at least a few weeds. You might be able to deal with them by hand if there aren’t many, but if there are more – or if they are particularly stubborn – use a handheld hoe or weeder to remove them before the lawn becomes overrun. It’s best to avoid using chemicals so as to prevent pollution or damage to the surrounding plants, but if your garden is plagued by stubborn weeds and you feel chemicals are necessary, always follow the manufacturer’s label and try to stick to a selective, post emergent herbicide which will kill weeds and not the lawn itself.
Deep wateringDeep roots will help keep your lawn looking as lush and healthy as possible, so it’s best to water heavily but occasionally as opposed to giving it many light sprinklings. An initial heavy watering until the soil is moist 4-5 inches down, then waiting to water again until the the top 1-2 inches of soil dries out, is a good way to promote deep root growth.
Generally, 1-2 inches of water per week is a good number for most lawns but this might vary depending on temperature and grass variety. It’s best to water your lawn in the early morning, but the evening is acceptable too as less water will be lost through evaporation.
Mow at a high settingTaller, denser lawns are healthier than shallow lawns. Taller grass will help block weed sprouts and can stop them from germinating, allowing your lawn to focus on growth – which will improve disease resistance.
Keep your lawn mower blades raised to a high setting – so that the grass is around 3 inches tall – and make sure they are sharp.
After mowing, don’t rake up your grass clippings. Instead, leave them settled on the grass so that nutrients can return to the lawn.
Fertilise your lawnChoose a good fertiliser – one with a nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium ratio of 3:1:2 is recommended – and apply it periodically throughout the year. Early spring fertilisation will help jump-start root development, while an autumn feeding will repair damage suffered over the summer and prepares the grass for the coming winter months. Light feeding between these will help maintain healthy growth.
Aerate your lawnSoil compaction can hinder the growth of your lawn, preventing the proper circulation of nutrients, water and air throughout the soil. To make the lawn stronger and more vigourous, you should aerate the lawn to prevent against soil compaction – or rectify it if your lawn is already suffering.
Water the lawn a couple of days in advance to soften tough soil, which makes the aeration process easier. When mowing your lawn, make sure to alternate your mowing pattern, as this also helps prevent soil compaction.