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How to get the perfect Garden Lawn

Achieve a Perfect Lawn

10 Expert tips to get the perfect garden lawn and be the envy of your neighbours! Your complete and total guide to lawn care.

A beautiful lawn can transform a garden into something truly special and add significant value to your property. Despite the fact that a well-kept garden is so desirable, lawns in particular are so often unloved.

The lawn is the centrepiece of your garden and achieving a great lawn will make spending time in your garden so much better. In this guide you will find 10 expert tips to help you attain and maintain the perfect garden lawn.

Gardening is excellent for your mental and physical wellbeing so get out there and create that perfect lawn. To find out more about why gardening is so good for you, read our expert guide here.

After reading please let us know what you think by commenting below and remember to like and share.

1. Feed your lawn

To maintain a healthy lawn it’s really important to keep it fed. Over time the nutrients within the earth are being used up by your lawn and the surrounding plants. Regularly feeding your garden can help you to achieve a luxurious luscious green lawn.

Invest in a good sprinkler
Invest in a good sprinkler

Grass fertiliser is available from any good garden centre and you can apply this yourself. Do be careful in handling fertiliser and always follow the manufacturer’s instructions. If incorrectly applied some lawn feed can burn and even kill your grass which wouldn’t be good. You can avoid these issues by reading the manufacturers guidance and only applying the recommended amount of feed.

Try to evenly apply the fertiliser or your lawn could become patchy once this kicks in. After a few weeks over seed any patchy areas to get a complete finish.

2. Weed where needed

Even when you are regularly cutting your lawn it’s important to remove any weeds rather than try to hide these. Whilst the weeds might not be immediately obvious especially when the grass is cut short the weeds are in fact competing with the grass and draining nutrients and moisture from the soil. Weeds are unfortunately extremely resilient so unless you kill the roots they are likely to keep growing back.

Ideally try to remove all weeds in your lawn by hand rather than using chemical weed killers. Whilst there are some chemical weed killers marketed as lawn friendly the small print usually points out that these may damage or even kill your lawn. Ultimately if these treatments kill a weed it makes sense that they wouldn’t have a great impact on the surrounding grass.

Where removing all of the weeds by hand is not an option then a chemical treatment may be your only option. When using weed killer on a lawn only use a treatment designed for this purpose and follow the manufacturer’s directions.

It is usually best to apply your weed killer in spring and summer, when your lawn and any weeds are growing the most. Never apply weed killer within the first six months of sowing a lawn or laying turf as this can damage your lawn and hinder normal growth.

Always take proper care in handling chemical weed killers as these can be toxic and hazardous to people and animals. Keep weed killers securely out of reach of children and pets.

3. Regularly Mow

It’s really important to regularly cut your lawn to keep it healthy and prevent growth getting out of control. Taking too much length out of the grass in one cut can really weaken your lawn as much of the lawn’s nutrients and moisture can be lost in the portion cut off. For this reason it’s best to cut your grass every one to two weeks in the spring and summer and take less off the lawn in each cut.

Don’t cut your lawn in the winter months as growth will have already have stopped and mowing will only damage the grass. Leave the lawn in winter and resume cutting in the spring when you start to see good growth.

Regularly mow your lawn
Regularly mow your lawn

In March you can resume cutting dry grass with a high cut. Then moving into April as temperatures climb you will start to see more rapid grass growth. In April aim to mow at least once every 2 weeks. In May and June you should mow your lawn frequently but with a lower cut, once a week is ideal.

July and August tend to be drier so often grass growth will actually slow down. In dry weather you should mow weekly or bi-weekly. Continue mowing every one to two weeks as needed until October. Towards the end of summer you can raise the cut. November will usually be the last mow of the year.

4. Water your lawn

To keep your lawn healthy you need to keep it moisturised particularly in the summer months. If your climate provides plenty of rain then watering your lawn may be less necessary but when the temperature does climb for a prolonged period it is important to prevent your lawn from completely drying out.

Where your lawn becomes too dry you will see the grass become discoloured and start to die off, ideally you want to get the hose out before this happens.

Regularly water
Regularly water

Grass is very resilient so watering your lawn is not always strictly necessary. Unlike many other plants grass will enter a dormant stage if moisture levels fall too low and will resume growth after rainfall. Regular watering however can keep grass looking vibrant and healthy all year round.

It’s important to ensure your grass gets enough water but equally to ensure you don’t overwater your lawn. Keep an eye on the soil and if water is running off the surface it has been overwatered and can no longer absorb additional water.

5. Edge the lawn

Broken lawn edges can not only make your garden look a mess, they also make mowing more difficult. To improve the look of your lawn and to make mowing easier you should regularly maintain your lawn edging

Use a sharp spade or even better a half-moon lawn edging tool to cut out a square section of turf that contains the broken edge. Undercut the turf to remove it, and turn it around through 180° so that the broken edge is now within the lawn and one of the straight edges aligns with the lawn edge. Fill in the broken area with garden soil or potting compost. Finally level and re-seed with fresh grass seed.

Edge for a perfect finish
Edge for a perfect finish

Edging is not absolutely necessary but can help you achieve the perfect finish for your garden lawn.

6. Aerate

Soil that is too heavily compacted will not absorb moisture well and could hinder oxygen from reaching the seeds or roots of your grass.

Aerating your lawn helps your grass to reach the air and moisture that it needs in order to thrive. Aerating is achieved by using a garden fork to create small holes in your soil. Simply walk across your lawn and use your garden fork at regular intervals to penetrate the surface.

When complete these holes should be almost unnoticeable but will help moisture, air and nutrients to penetrate the surface enabling your lawn to thrive.

7. Repair & Reseed

Overtime it may be necessary to repair or reseed your lawn. This could be where the grass has struggled to establish itself in a particular spot and as a result has died off.

Grass in its dormant phase will start to grow once conditions allow but dead grass obviously will not come back to life.

In this situation it’s import to reseed to cover the bare patch and prevent weeds getting established. It is equally important to address the root cause that made the original grass die off whether this be a lack of sufficient nutrients in the top soil or insufficient access to sunlight or moisture.

There are a large variety of grass seeds available that will thrive in most conditions. Generally speaking this won’t need too much thought but for particularly dark or dry areas look for a suitable variety before sowing.

Remove dead grass and clear the area with a fork or rake before reseeding. Where possible turn the soil before sowing your seed and water the area frequently for the next couple of weeks, taking care not to overwater.

Reseed where needed
Reseed where needed

If using turf rather than seed then begin by cutting out the dead area using a spade. Rake the soil underneath, then measure out and fill in the space with your new turf. Depending on the weather, you will need to water your new turf every 5 to 10 days to ensure it establishes well in the ground.

8. Keep the lawn clear

To thrive and ultimately to survive your lawn needs to be kept clear so the grass can access the sunlight and the moisture it needs to grow. Avoid placing objects on your lawn which will block out the sun for prolonged periods such as garden tables or pools.

Covered grass may initially go into its dormant phase but if covered up for too long it will ultimately die off and you will need to reseed or re-turf the area.

A small number of dead leaves and twigs from surrounding plants will not negatively impact your lawns growth but excessive debris such as large piles of dead leaves in autumn can be an issue so be sure to rake away where needed.

9. Smooth your lawn

Lawns come in all shapes and sizes and whilst the surface does not need to be flat it should ideally be smooth. Any slopes in your lawn should be smooth to ensure that you do not scalp the grass when mowing. Scalping occurs where you go over an uneven piece of earth and the mower cuts down into the grasses roots damaging your lawn.

To get a smooth lawn you should smooth any large gaps with a suitable soil and reseed or re-turf that area if needed. For more subtle smoothing you can get a special sand and soil mix for this purpose from your garden centre. You simply apply with a rake and smooth the area in question.  

Keeping the lawn surface as smooth as possible will help you get a more consistent mow and reduce the risk of damaging the grass.

10. Don’t overdo it

Getting a great garden lawn takes some effort but patience is equally required. Where the grass doesn’t need cutting don’t cut it and never take excessive length off in one cut.

Ideally you should gradually reduce the length over several cuts until you find the perfect length and you can then maintain this through regular mowing.

Never cut your grass when the ground is wet or you will make an awful mess and damage the lawn.

Where you have re-seeded or re-turfed an area you should wait for the grass to become well established before you make your first cut.

Thank You for Reading

Gardening is excellent for your mental and physical wellbeing so get out there and create that perfect lawn. To find out more about why gardening is so good for you, read our expert guide here.

I hope that you have found this information useful. Please let us know what you think by commenting below and remember to like and share.

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