The Best Spring Lawn Maintenance Tips
Now that spring has arrived, your lawn is actively growing once again. If you want it to look gloriously green and lush by mid-summer, there needs to be a few tasks on your to-do list. Of course, this depends on whether you want a traditional lawn. Not everyone does! You may decide now is a good time to convert your grass to a wildflower meadow, to attract insects and other wildlife.
Mow the Grass
Once the grass starts growing again as the weather warms up, give it a quick cut. Regular mowing keeps weeds down and encourages the grass to grow thicker. You only need to mow the lawn once a week in the spring. If your lawn has a lot of flowers growing among the grass, you can leave it until early summer.
Don’t attempt to cut the grass when it is damp or frosty, as this will damage it and the underlying turf. Wait until the grass is dry – it won’t matter if you postpone the job for a few days.
The middle of spring is a great time to give your lawn a feed. Lawn fertiliser helps encourage healthy grass growth and will also discourage weeds and moss. Pick up some fertiliser from your local garden centre and feed the lawn according to the manufacturer’s guidelines. You may need to apply a second dose in late spring if the grass isn’t looking as fresh as you’d hoped.
Tackle the Moss and Weeds
Moss is a common problem in lawns. It often appears in poorly drained lawns or under trees, but can sometimes be an issue in new lawns where the site has not been adequately prepared. Ideally, moss should be raked out in the autumn, but if you didn’t get around to doing it or more has appeared, you can use a product that contains sulphate of iron, which kills moss. Look for a product that combines this with fertiliser, to encourage the growth of healthy grass.
Once the moss has died, rake it out and apply grass seed to the bare areas.
If your problem is weeds rather than moss, remove them by hand by digging each weed out and filling the hole with compost. Be careful to remove all the roots, or the weed will grow back. Any bare areas left once weeds have been removed can be reseeded.
If the entire lawn is infested with weeds, it will be easier and quicker to treat it with a selective lawn weedkiller. There are several products on the market that combine weed killer and moss killer properties with a lawn feed fertiliser. Apply the product over the entire area, following the dose guidelines recommended by the manufacturer.
Grass seed can be applied to areas where weeds and moss have been eradicated or patchy spots where the grass has died due to overuse or pets. Ideally, this is best done in the autumn, but you can also add grass seed in the spring if needed.
Before over-seeding your lawn, rake over the surface or break it up with a fork. Spread seed over the area and gently rake it into the surface. Cover the area with a net to discourage birds from feasting on your grass seed. New growth should appear after 7-10 days.
Trim the Edges
Spring is a good time to trim the edges off your lawn, so it looks a bit tidier.