Spring Lawn Care Tips
Spring is such a wonderful time in the garden; at last; after the long winter, everything begins to wake up. Temperatures rise, mornings brighten and colour returns to the garden. However, it’s important to realise that your lawn never really went to sleep!
Seasonal Lawn Maintenance
The first thing you will feel like doing is to get out the mower and give the lawn the first cut of the year. That’s fine, but remember that the lawn has been toughing it out all winter and will be pretty exhausted.
Simply cutting the grass will remove the parts of the leaf which are doing their best to store much-needed nourishment. This nourishment is sent down to the root systems which will be beginning to stretch out to support new growth on the surface. It’s also essential for helping the grass to fight off any diseases which may also be coming to life as the temperatures rise. That’s a lot for a tiny plant to do when it’s not in tip-top condition!
So, take the onset of spring as your opportunity to show your lawn you care! Below we have answered the most common questions people ask at this time of year. Follow the advice and your lawn will soon regain the strength it needs to grow strongly and look fantastic as the spring and summer unfold.
Should I feed my lawn in spring?
Yes! You should actually feed throughout the year – between 4 and 6 feeds in all. And it is important to use the right type of fertiliser for the time of year. TurfOnline recommend Vivid Green, a superb lawn feeds carefully created by horticultural scientists.
How do I choose the right type of spring lawn feed?
Look carefully at the packaging or information, and you will see the ratio of the key ingredients, nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K). For spring feeding, TurfOnline recommend one that has a ratio of 12-3-12.
Most lawn feeds come as dry granules and need water (rinsing) to be activated. Natural rain is normally sufficient unless you have bought a feed combined with a moss killer in which case you should water it in before the moss killer can scorch the grass.
How do I aerate my lawn in spring?
Aeration is one of the most important jobs to do in early spring (e.g. March). After the winter the soil may be compacted and very wet. This is not the ideal habitat for spring growth.
Aeration lets air into the soil which encourages better root growth and allows the roots to absorb more nutrients from the soil. David Hedges-Gowers’ book Modern Lawn Care has an excellent chapter on Aeration which we recommend you read.
What about scarifying the lawn in spring?
Scarifying your lawn in spring, or raking, the lawn is a really useful thing to do in the spring and the Autumn. You can easily hire a machine which makes it simple to do, and by removing the build-up of dead vegetation, scarifying prevents too much thatch from accumulating. This ensures that air and water can permeate into the soil and it discourages moss from spreading too.
How often should I mow in spring?
Your mowing routine is governed by the types of grasses you have in your lawn, the quality of finish you want and prevailing conditions (weather, the condition of the grass, etc). The book Modern Lawn Care has excellent mowing guides for you to follow.
As a rule of thumb, never cut more than one third of the current length. So, for example, if you leave your first spring cut for a few weeks and the grass suddenly shoots up, DON’T lower your mower blade and scalp the turf! Gradually reduce the height of the cut each time you mow.