Because a sexy lawn gets spring sprung…
It might not be shorts and flip-flop weather just yet, but we’ve technically made it through another winter and, for you, an awesome lawn-lover, that means one thing: it’s safe to open your kitchen door, head into your garden and start prepping your turf for spring. You might not quite be in a frame of mind where starting up the mower excites you, but do some quick maths and you’ll realise that we’re heading toward another glorious hammock season where flowers bloom, BBQs sizzle, garden games get dusted off and your lawn starts growing again (meaning you’re one-step closer to getting whiff of freshly cut grass– mmmmm).
But before we get too carried away with this utopian dream, I have to play the bearer of bad news because neglecting your spring lawn care duties can mean your lawn looks like it was napalmed for the rest of the year. Thankfully, there are a few things you can do to change that to yaypalmed without having to up your work ethic. How epic would that be?
So, without further ado, here are the 8 epic ways to get your lawn prepped for the start of springtime:
I know what you’re thinking: “But I already raked up the leaves last autumn!” And, to a certain extent, you’re right. You did. The problem is, raking your lawn is about more than just collecting those excess leaves. It’s also a matter of getting on top of your thatch issues because even a half-inch layer of thatch is considered excessive. That’s why I recommend you grab life by the rake right now, press down a little bit harder than you normally would and start removing any grass blades that kicked the bucket over the winter, because dead grass blades are destined to become thatch unless you do something about it.
And that’s not the only reason to begin raking. The other thing you’re looking for is matted patches of grass because that can be a tell-tale sign your lawn has caught a bad case of snow mold, a nasty disease that can keep spreading unless treated. Luckily, a good old raking session can be enough to solve this problem.
Nothing winds me up more than a “do not walk on the grass” sign. It’s like putting a “do not eat this cake” sticker on a chocolate gateau because grass was made for enjoying and that’s final. The problem is, when a lawn is enjoyed year after year, there’s a chance it can suffer from compacted soil, which can lead to other issues, such as moss. Thankfully, there is a simple answer and that’s lawn aeration — and we can help you time it perfectly.
I know I said “moss means compaction”, but it could also mean acidity, as in your soil is too acidic, which can suck because grass loves nothing more than a neutral pH level. The answer: sprinkle a little lime on your soil. Just don’t sit there with an umbrella in your cocktail hoping to see it work straight away because liming can take its sweet time doing its thing. In any case, there’s a handful of ways to perform a DIY soil check — all you have to do is remember this super-important rule: liming is only a corrective measure, not a preventive one. So if your lawn isn’t actually too acidic, don’t lime it — that will simply cause your lawn more problems.
As much as you may wish your grass looked as perfect as one of these famous lawns, most of us need to accept our lawns are riddled with bare patches, whether they’re caused by dog-wee, heavy foot traffic or just general neglect. That’s where overseeding comes in wearing a red cape. By slowly releasing a nitrogen-based fertiliser into your soil, overseeding works by germinating any bare patches of your grass. Of course, how well and how fast this solution works all depends on the time of year you choose to use it (as well as what the weather is doing), so make sure you give us a call to get the best results.
If you’re all about a weed-free lawn, you need to accept that your spring lawn care is as much about weed prevention as it is about fostering healthy lawn growth. The reason I’m telling you this is because not all weeds are combated in the same way. It all depends on whether you’re about to throw down with an annual weed or a perennial one because that will determine whether you arm yourself with a preemergent herbicide or a post-emergent herbicide.
To break it down for you in the simplest way possible: annual weeds are best dealt with using pre-emergent herbicides and perennial weeds are best destroyed with post-emergent herbicides. That said, if you’re an eco-hero that prefers the idea of chemical-free weed control, there are ways to hand-combat your weeds. You could even harvest them, cook them and then chow down on them. Talk about next-level recycling.
This may disappoint the teenage thrill-seeker inside you, but when I say tune-up, I don’t mean turn your lawn mower into a redneck go-kart that could beat the land speed record. What I mean is, now’s the time to get your mower ready for another tough and tiring summer of grass cutting. Here’s the way I see it: pushing a mower up and down your lawn can be more tiring than a toddler who just ate a handful of coffee beans, which is why you should reduce the stress put on you and your machine by tuning it at the beginning of each summer season.
In years gone by, this is the time of year where I’d usually recommend you buy a new mower and then point you toward this list of best mowerson the market. But it’s 2020, and the future is now. So instead of reading a bunch of articles, measuring your lawn and trying to determine which push mower is best for you, now’s the time to put your feet up and buy one of these awesome robotic mowers. Just imagine the satisfaction you’d get as you watch Keen Kevin doing lengths and laps of his garden, sweating away in the spring sunshine as you work on your tan from the comfort of a hammock, your little robot friend working hard on your behalf to get you the perfect cut. Now that’s what I call dreamy.
If you’re currently slurping on a cuppa Earl Grey, I suggest you put it down in case you a) inhale it accidentally or b) spray it everywhere. Right. Ready. There’s more to mowing than just pushing your mower up and down as it cuts your grass — there’s actually some strategy to it. I mean, if you’re not too fussed about how you mow because you do it simply to please your partner and neighbours (and not because you care about your lawn’s health), then mowing all willy-nilly will be fine.
But if you do care about how healthy your lawn is (and why wouldn’t you?), there’s a bit more to mowing than switching your mower on and cutting your lawn short enough to let your neighbours know you’re still alive. Now, I’ll be doing a whole post on lawn mowing strategies next week, but the most simple trick is to alternate the directions in which you mow so that your grass roots don’t start to grow in one direction, which could cause both an ugly lawn and encourage disease.