Summer is only a few weeks away but is your lawn looking its best for the start of the garden party season? Maybe you held a garden party over the Platinum Jubilee weekend and it's suffering a little bit of a hangover?
Regular basic maintenance is the key to maintaining a healthy vibrant green lawn, and the work you do now will help it to stay that way during the (hopefully) hotter summer months.
If you're a little unsure what to do, then don’t fret, the Lazy Susan team is on hand with our 7 easy to follow basic maintenance steps to show you how to get your lawn ready for summer!
7 steps to get your lawn ready for summer
1. Cut It
First things first. Good lawn maintenance always starts with a good cut. And with the start of summer fast approaching, we are guessing your lawn has probably had a good few cuts already?
I know with the combination of rain and sun that we’ve had over the last month or so mine is growing super quick. We are pretty much at that time of year that if I leave it for a few weeks, there’s a good couple of inches of new growth.
Personally, I and many of the team here like to let it grow a little longer. It's good for wildlife, and it is good for the overall health of your lawn. Not too long though. You don’t want it ‘yellowing’ underneath!
Late spring/early summer, weather permitting, we all aim to trim it little and often. Keep it a couple of inches long and only trim a little off the top. We might take it a little shorter from late June/early July as we tend to spend more time on it.
If you do want a well-manicured bowling green lawn, then you can of course cut it shorter than us, but a regular weekly cut at this time of year, however long or short you like it, will keep it tidy and pest free.
2. Aerate It
This time of year is also the perfect time to aerate the soil beneath your lawn. Moss, for example, loves compacted hard soil that doesn’t drain well, so you need to get some air into it.
Aerating will not only help with drainage, but it’ll also help that air get to the roots, encouraging growth and allowing them to absorb nutrients from the soil.
I only have quite a small patch so I do it with a Hollow-Tine Aerator and punch out the little cores. However, if you have a larger lawn, then you could purchase an Electric Lawn Aerator for around £100/150 or, alternatively, you can hire them from the likes of HSS for around £35 a day.
3. Scarify It
The aforementioned Electric Lawn Aerators are often a 2 in 1, so they’ll also scarify your lawn at the same time. And basically, scarifying is just a fancy way of saying give it a bloomin’ good raking. Scraping all the moss and dead matter off your lawn so the soil can breathe.
Give the lawn a good cut first and that will make the aerating and scarifying much easier. Again, I do this by hand with a garden rake, but you have to be careful. You only want to rake up the thatch and moss from around the grass plants without damaging them!
4. Feed It
June is also the perfect month to give your lawn a good natural feed.
This is best done when the soil is moist, so we would recommend you look to add an organic fertiliser when rain is forecast. Fertiliser doesn't like the sun, it'll dry up before it gets a chance to penetrate down to root level, so apply it on an evening or a cloudy day.
In late spring you want to be applying a Low Nitrogen Fertiliser as this won’t stress the lawn or cause it to yellow/burn.
You want a feed that will slowly release the nutrients over the coming weeks to strengthen the grass plants and help them withstand the higher heat and lower rainfall of July, August and September.
5. Weed It
Weeds can be the scourge of any lawn and this time of year is the perfect weather (mild temps with a good mix of sun and rain) for them to thrive.
It is important that in late spring/early summer you get on top of things before they get a chance to spread and take hold.
The above aerating and scarifying will go a long way to getting rid of the bulk of weeds and moss. Moving forward try and always hand weed first (making sure you pull the full root up) and, as a last resort, maybe apply a lawn weed killer if needed.
This is also another reason why we tend not to cut our lawns too short. It can weaken the grass and allow weeds to take over. Leave them a little longer and that lawn will actually prevent weeds from taking hold.
6. Seed It
If your lawn is still showing signs of winter or if you’ve had to scarify moss, then it could be looking a little patchy.
This time of year is the perfect time to fill those gaps. To be honest you can sow grass seed at any time of year but it’s best in late spring or early autumn in our opinion.
Prepare the soil by raking it, breaking up the surface and levelling it off. Sow the seeds evenly and then cover with a thin layer of compost or topsoil to help keep it moist and help with germination.
If there’s no rain for a couple of days after you’ve sowed, then pop the sprinkler on. Also, make sure you keep any feet, pets, etc off it and you should start to see green shoots after about 10 days or so.
7. Water It
We’re lucky (or unlucky depending on which way you look at it) in the UK that we get a fair amount of rain, even in the summer, which is great for growing.
I store as much rainwater in a tank and I’ll use that if need be. However, while the key to a healthy lawn is moisture, we should all try and water responsibly.
If you want to prepare your lawn for summer so that the grass remains healthy, then a little TLC now is the key.
You generally find that during the summer months a well-established lawn will need watering every 10 days. If there’s no rain, then we would advise you to only water when the soil is dry but before any yellowing occurs.
So they’re our 7 simple steps to get your lawn ready for summer. If you’ve got any tips you’d like to share with the Lazy Living readers, please drop them in the comments below.
If you’ve got any photos of our outdoor furniture on or close to your perfectly manicured lawn, then we’d love to see them for our Do Some Good charity campaign!