It looks like a battle has been fought across it. It’s poorly nourished, ravaged by frost, ragged at the edges… but if you start planning now you can create something green and gorgeous to enjoy through the warmer months. So here are our easy to follow tips for Spring lawn care.
The big mistake is to assume you don’t need to worry about your lawn for another month or so. Be ready to seize your chance now. Some of the groundwork is best done while the lawn is still dormant. The secret is to time the work for after the last hard frosts and before you’re back to regular mowing.
The winter frosts will have helped by breaking up the ground. It may look very lumpy and uneven but it will make it far easier to aerate if you need to. The garden police recommend you aerate in the autumn, but if you haven’t done so I believe it’s still worth doing in early Spring.
Don’t distress the lawn too much. A hand aerator will do a more gentle job than a machine if you plan to aerate at this time of year. The other reason to aerate early in the year is you’re less likely to spread weeds around. You may also need to roll your lawn to get rid of any lumpy bits.
Fill in any bald paches or dips and over seed. (Make sure you rake out any dead grass and moss first.) I use a combination of moisture retaining compost and top soil mixed with good quality grass seed.
The earlier you can get cracking the better, to ensure good root growth before you start mowing in earnest and the weather becomes dryer. And you’re less likely to be walking over your lawn regularly while the weather’s still wet and gloomy so it gives the seed a good chance of establishing itself.
I often cover the seed with see-through plastic for a short period to encourage germination and to protect against unexpected frosts.You can also buy special cloth to cover new seed.
It’s worth spending some time to browse the grass seed options in your local garden centre. Will your lawn have to cope with very dry conditions or does it contain sections that spend a lot of time in the shade, for example? Rye grasses are the toughest wearing and suitable for cooler, wetter climates and it’s worth looking at some of the other options or even a specialist lawn such as chamomile.
This year I also plan to plant some bulbs in my lawn, desgned to provide patches of colour and interest. Choose bulbs that will have finished flowering before you need to start mowing. Choose smaller bulbs and plant them in little clusters.
Finally, use a spring lawn care treatment to feed the lawn, keep weeds at bay and deal with any moss.
Getting the garden furniture ready for summer
We’ve got a whole section of restoring garden furniture, garden furntiture and garden decoration ideas, including planters and candle holders – and even how to build your own barbeque. Plus, we’ve got some useful tips on getting your lawnmower ready for summer use.
Getting the garden ready to enjoy this summer
How to mend your lawnmower