3rd August 2018
Caring For Your Lawn: The Basics
As the summer gets into full swing, we have been consulting with some of our trusted local gardeners about the best way to keep your lawn healthy, even in dry conditions. We were surprised when our gardeners said it’s shocking how many people get the basics wrong. And, as with anything, if you don’t do the simple things right, the rest tends to go a bit awry, too. So, we are taking it back to basics with our simple lawn care tips. Whether you are a seasoned pro or a gardening newbie, read on – you may just learn something new!
The secret to mowing is little and often. By cutting your lawn regularly, you will help the grass to grow thick, keep your lawn tidy and stay on top of those pesky weeds. As a general rule, mow your lawn about once a week with the blade set to 3 cm. Drop this down to 2cm when growth rates accelerate in spring/summer. At this time, you may need to increase mows to twice per week. If there is minimal rainfall, mow longer – reset your blade length to 3cm to prevent damage to the grass and promote root growth. Don’t worry if the grass loses colour; it will bounce back in the Autumn, provided it remains undamaged.
Feeding and Watering
A good lawn fertiliser can help to encourage lush, green lawn and prevent weeds. Feed once a week for good growth, but in exceptionally dry weather, stop the feed; you don’t want to encourage additional growth when water is scarce.
Caring for your lawn requires much more than the odd mow and water, your water management is central to your lawn’s health. The amount of water that you need will depend on a number of factors, such as soil type, climate and species of grass. As a general rule, the average lawn will need around an inch of water a week. Of course, the frequency and amount of water is irregular in nature; a lawn can be subjected to days of rain at times and days, or even weeks, without water at other times. With this in mind, your lawn is unlikely to suffer long-term if it goes a little while without water, provided you cut it long and don’t apply fertiliser until it rains again.
Use a rain gauge to see how much rain there has been; in the summer, you will be surprised at how much water falls with that innocuous, misty drizzle. If you are averaging around an inch a week, there is no need to water the lawn, but if there is less rain and your grass is starting to suffer, you might want to act. Don’t use mains water for your lawn; use well water, water collected via a water butt or grey water (recycled water from home use – such as bath water, or water collected while waiting for the shower or hot tap to heat up).
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