improve lawns

Improve Lawns

Winter can take their toll on our lawns. Although ours is growing well, there’s a wide sprinkling of weeds, bare patches and some unevenness. It’s quite depressing, at the end of last season, it looked healthy and was weed free.

Now is the time to take corrective action so you lawn will enhance the look of the garden for Summer.

Tidying up

Trimming the edges improves the look even of a tired lawn. Use a straight edge or hosepipe on curves to get a good line. Make sure the blade on your mower is sharp, giving an even cut.

If you have deep hollows, cut out the area, pack underneath with soil and replace the turf. Bare patches can be re-turfed or re-seeded.

Weed and Feed

Now is a good time to apply a high nitrogen weed and feed, most brands also kill moss. Either buy or rent a spreader, if you apply too much, you will kill the grass. Take care to avoid spilling onto borders or paving, it will kill plants and stain the latter. Follow instructions to the letter, if it doesn’t rain, you will need to water in. Don’t apply to recently turfed or seeded areas. Leave raking to 2-3 weeks after application, then it will remove the killed moss.

Top Dressing

A greenkeeper at a local golf course I knew swore by top dressing to improve lawns. As the name implies, you spread a thin layer of the dressing onto the lawn. It helps to level out hollows, stimulates grass growth and helps to control thatch. Being of a sandy nature, top dressing over time improves drainage. Before applying, for best results aerate and scarify the lawn. Only use a mix specifically mean’t for the purpose, it should be sandy and free flowing. Bags bought from DIY stores work out expensive. Bulk 0.8 cubic metre bags are cheaper but unless you have a large lawn, are too big; sharing one with a neighbour is a good option.

Mow the grass before starting and only apply when the lawn is dry. Don’t be tempted to apply too thickly, 3-4 mm depth at a time is enough. Spread using the back of a rake or a lute designed for the job. If needed brush lightly to get the dressing off of the grass leaves. Don’t try to fill deep hollows in one go, you will bury the grass and kill it. Instead repeat the process several times through the season. Inevitably you may have some bare patches, these can be reseeded.


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