A cool, shady winter can take quite a toll on even well-maintained lawns so, if yours is still suffering from a case of the post-winter blues, don’t feel that you’ve dropped the ball.
If you understand the underlying problems and apply the right remedies, your lawn will thank you for it.
A little work now will see your patch of grass looking fabulous in next to no time and will set it up well for the warmer months ahead.
Here’s our easy guide to getting it lush, green and healthy.
For soil to support quality plant growth, it needs to have spaces that air, water and nutrients can be transferred through.
This can be hard to achieve in lawns, as the soil is constantly being compacted, so the simple way to fix this is through aeration.
SPIKED LAWN ROLLERS are an easy and efficient way to aerate large lawns. Pick up a roller from your local hire shop, fill it with water, then pull it around the lawn.
GARDEN FORKS are ideal for small areas. Drive the fork about 50mm into the soil and gently rock it back and forth.
Repeat every 50mm across the compacted area.
Work backwards to avoid walking on the aerated parts.
Compacted soil reduces the movement of water, air and nutrients to the grass roots, leading to tired-looking turf and worn or dead patches. Here’s how to aerate it.
It wasn’t that long ago that the must-do spring chore for the lawn lover was topdressing.
Today, topdressing is really just done to fix lumps and bumps.
But that’s not to say that giving your lawn a full topdress isn’t an option, as the results are well worth the effort.
If you do decide to topdress, feed the lawn about a week beforehand and only use a specialist mix, which is available in bags from your local landscape supplier.
This mix is generally made up of 70-80% very fine organic matter with river sand.
Apply only a light covering and don’t water in the mix until the new growth punches through, as a hard crust may form.
Leaf mould produces a wonderful end product that can be dug in to improve any soil, used as mulch or incorporated into potting mix.
It’s easy to overlook weeds, but they can cause the biggest problems with your lawn by creating dead patches when they suck out nutrients and overshadow your grass.
Many weeds can be adequately controlled through feeding your lawn and regular mowing, but sometimes you need a more direct approach.
This is still the most reliable way to weed the lawn. A variety of modern tools are available to help you weed, or you can use an old-fashioned daisy grubber.
WEAR gloves while weeding, as some have prickles and others have mildly caustic sap.
PULL up the weeds, roots and all, to prevent them growing back.
AVOID shaking the weeds to prevent the spread of seeds.
KEEP a bucket on hand to toss the weeds into, then dispose of them in your green waste. Spot-weeding You can use selective weedkillers to spot-spray lawn weeds or use diluted all-purpose herbicide.
The important thing to remember is that non-selective herbicides will kill or damage all plants, so any overspray onto the lawn will cause harm.
If not using a ready-to-use pack, then there are two easy ways of applying herbicide to the lawn when spot-weeding.
BRUSH on using an old paintbrush or a special-purpose device such as the Yates Zero Weeding Brush.
SPRAY on to spot-treat the weeds. There are hooded spray heads available for many spray units, but remember that you’re still likely to get a certain amount of overspray.
Any weed takes nutrients away from the grass. With lawns, prevention is key, as healthy grass will out-compete most weeds. But if they’ve taken hold, there are ways to deal with them.