Revitalising a parched and patchy lawn
REMOVING THATCH once a year helps keep your lawn healthy. Use a scarifying rake or machine to remove the build up of dead grass and organic matter. This restores the passage of air, water and nutrients.
AERATE the soil to reduce compaction, improve water absorption and supply lawn roots with oxygen. Use a garden fork to punch holes and aerate the soil. For very hard compact or large lawns, a ‘core aerator’ machine may be hired.
WEEDS love dry hungry lawns and can be kept to a minimum with regular feeding and mowing. Avoid mowing too low in summer. Small numbers of weeds can be dealt with by hand, otherwise special lawn weed sprays are available. However, don’t spray new lawns with weedkiller for at least two months after sowing.
MOSS appears in shady, poorly drained, compacted or poorly fed lawns. Moss killers can be sprayed in spring or autumn but the moss will reappear if conditions remain the same. Consider re-landscaping with plant groundcover plants in shady areas, or lay stepping stones in heavy traffic areas.
RE-SOW brown patches. Prepare the ground first, so that the seed can make good contact with the soil; mow the lawn short then rake to remove thatch and create shallow grooves in the soil. Add a layer of weed-free topsoil or lawn mix, then scatter the seed and water gently. Feed and water as for a new lawn.
SUNKEN AREAS that have a good cover of turf may be remedied without sowing any seed: Cut and peel back a section of turf and fill underneath with topsoil or lawn mix. Carefully replace the turf and water thoroughly.
FEED with lawn fertiliser to support the flush of growth. A good lawn fertiliser contains the correct proportions of nitrogen and other essential nutrients.
WATER during dry weather. Lawns need water to stay green and a newly sown lawn must not be allowed to dry out. If you have summer water restrictions, choose a drought tolerant lawn variety.