Lawn Maintenance Schedule
For Domestic Lawns
Maintenance Guide for new and healthy lawns with a mix of both fine and hard-wearing grasses.
When to start watering? It is a good idea to begin watering your lawn when the grass first becomes firmer under foot, loses its vibrant green colour or becomes less springy. This is usually in mid Spring however, if the conditions remain cool and damp, then wait for warmer, drier weather.
When should I water? The best time is in the morning when the conditions are cool. Avoid watering in full hot sun as you will waste a lot of water through evaporation and increase the risk of scorching.
How much should I water? It is important to soak the grass. By doing this, you ensure the water travels through the soil to a good depth. This encourages the roots to follow. When watering, the aim is to replenish the soils natural reservoir when it is close to empty, not to keep it full all the time. Watering too often will result in a lawn with shallow roots.
How often should I water? There is no one rule fits all. Weather and drainage play a huge role. You should use your judgement and water your lawn when it requires it. In early Spring when conditions are mild, once a fortnight should be ample, in hot dry conditions your lawn may require watering up to twice a week.
When to start mowing? You should cut your lawn before it gets to 3.5cm tall whatever time of the year. This may require 1 or 2 cuts during a mild Winter. Regular cutting is usually required between March and October but this may vary depending on the climate.
How often should I cut? Cut once a week in early Spring and Autumn. Late Spring, cut twice a week and collect the clippings to reduce the spread of Poa annua, cut twice a week when the grass is growing vigorously.
How high should I cut? You should cut your lawn 3cm in Spring, Autumn and during prolonged dry periods. In the Summer, cut 2.5cm. Never cut more than one third off your lawn at one time. By cutting too much off in one go, you will reduce the growth and encouraged seeds to be produced.
When to collect clippings. Collect grass clippings in Spring or when weeds are seeding in your lawn. Leave the clippings only if your mower has a good mulch setting, there are no weeds seed heads forming or the weather is hot and dry.
Lawn Maintenance Schedule
When to use fertiliser. User fertiliser in the Spring, Summer and in Autumn. It is very important to use the right one at the right time. In the Spring and Summer, the aim is to support growth and, in the Autumn, hardening the grass and supressing moss is essential.
Conditions to fertilise. The ideal conditions for fertilizing are for the soil to be moist and the grass blades to be dry, avoid where possible adding fertilizer to whet grass. Ensure the lawn is watered within 2 days of the treatment, this is to help nutrients travel into the soil.
Spring & Summer. Use a fertiliser with Nitrogen as its highest single component. This will encourage fresh, leafy growth. You may also want to add Iron Sulphate Heptahydrate which helps supress moss, hardens grass and will green up your lawn fast (apply 1grm per m2 at this time of the year).
Autumn. Use a higher dose of Iron sulphate Heptahydrate at this time of the year to reduce moss and harden the grass for Winter. This application should be stronger than the previous. (3 grams per m2 ). Moss in your lawn will blacken with this application.
Winter. No action required.
There is no measure you can take that will stop weeds from seeding in your lawn. Wind and birds both spread seeds directly to your garden. The important thing is to solve the problem in its early stages. The best way to remove a single weed is with a small knife simply cutting out the plant root. Broad-leafed weeds such as Dandelions (Taraxicum Officinale), Daisies (Bellis Perennis), and any of the Pantego family crowd out grasses, if left to spread, these plants will outcompete most grasses resulting in a sparse lawn.
Some weeds such as Poa Annua will always exist in your lawn, this normally becomes most noticeable in the Spring when the grass produces seeds and the leaves turn a yellowy green in the dry warm weather. When Poa Aunnua is producing seed heads, it is important to cut them regularly and collect the clippings, this helps reduce the spread by seed.
Preventative Measures. Good turf management is the best way to stop weeds from establishing in your lawn. Scheduled treatments with a pre-immersive and selective weed killer is a good way to manage weeds in your lawn.
Direct treatments. The best time to spray a lawn is before weeds create seed heads, this is usually in Spring. More treatments may be necessary if, your lawn is open to seeds blowing into your garden, the Summer has been cooler or wetter than usual or the Autumn is mild. Important: never cut the lawn for at least 4 days after a liquid weed killer has been added.
There basic purpose of aeration is to produce holes in the lawn surface to allow air and moisture to reach roots. Aeration does in fact do far more.
Should I aerate my lawn? It is good practice to aerate your lawn once a year in the Autumn time to help relieve compaction, allow gaseous exchange to take place in the roots, reduced the risk of disease as well as improving drainage. If your lawn is particularly compacted, has a thatch issue or you wish to change the soil profile, then you will need to use a hollow-tined aerator.
When should I aerate my lawn? The best time is in Autumn when the soil is moist however, you can aerate in Spring, but this increases the risk of weeds taking hold. You should never aerate your lawn if the ground is dry and hard, the grass is yellow, the conditions are hot or the ground is frosty.