Seasonal Turf Care Guide
Once you have a lovely new lawn it will need a little bit of care throughout the year in order to keep it healthy and avoid the common pests & diseases. Turf is relatively low maintenance as long as it gets enough sunlight & water - and with this quick guide, you can keep your awn looking lush and green all year round by performing just a few seasonal tasks.
As the frost begins to clear you can start repairing any damage that has been done to the lawn by winter. Rake and clear away any leaves or general garden debris from the lawn and, de-thatch if necessary. If you have an extremely high amount of thatch buildup, you can use a chemical solution and apply a moss killer to deal with any moss that has developed.
Once the lawn starts to grow again, it won't be long until it is time for your first mow of the year. Don’t take more than a third off the length of the turf and its best to mow little and often at this time of year to protect the fine blades of grass that may still be weakened by the winter frost. This is also a good time to overseed the lawn if it needs patching up a little. Aerate the soil before doing this by sticking a fork into the ground repeatedly. This helps air and moisture get deep into the soil where the roots can take advantage of them.
Finally, give the lawn a spring feed, and consider applying a top dressing. The grass will begin to grow rapidly so this ensures the turf has the correct nutrients, avoiding any potential diseases such as fusarium.
Regular mowing helps keep your lawn looking its best and can also improve the appearance of any weeds that have sprouted by cutting the heads off. If you do have weeds infesting the garden, now is a great time to get rid of them either chemically or by hand by removing the stem & roots.
When mowing, if the conditions have been especially dry, raise the height of the mower. You may find that in long dry spells it’s best to not cut the grass to help reduce stress on your lawn. The key to keeping you lawn a healthy green colour is to ensure it gets enough sun & water, so if it has not been raining you will need to water it yourself. Watering is most effective in the morning or in the late afternoon. If you water the grass in the middle of the day when it is usually the hottest, a lot of the water will evaporate before it has a chance to soak into the ground. When watering, don't be shy! give the lawn a nice long soak to allow the water to penetrate deep into the soil where it can reach the roots.
As the weather begins to turn colder later in the year you should start preparing your lawn for the winter. Gradually reduce the amount of mowing and begin tackling any moss that has developed by scarifying the lawn. By raking the lawn you will remove both the moss and any other dead matter that has appeared in the turf.
Give the lawn an autumn feed that will help prepare the lawn for the harsh winter. This needs to be low in nitrogen but high in potassium and phosphates. Consider overseeding the lawn if there are areas that need to recover from the wear and tear of being used throughout the summer.
As the leaves start to fall, do your best to remove them from the lawn to ensure the turf is not killed off below.
Your lawn won’t require as much care in the winter as the other seasons, after all the weather will be far too cold to enjoy sitting out in the garden. Once the temperatures fall below 5 degrees the turf will stop growing and lie dormant. Therefore, avoid walking on the lawn too much, as this can damage the tips of the blades. However, try to continue to remove any leaves and debris that fall on the turf.
Now is a good time of year to maintain and repair any of your garden tools that require it - such as sharpening your lawn mower blades, as well as planning any projects that need to be done next spring!