Cutting your lawn every week through the growing season, and watering in dry weather, are minimum requirements. Our expert Tim Rumball shows you some spring lawn care tips to get a great looking lawn.
When it comes to spring lawn care there are three key jobs need doing. These are scarifying, spiking, and top-dressing.
SCARIFYING removes moss and ‘thatch’ – small pieces of dead grass and other debris.
SPIKING improves drainage and gets air down to the roots of the grass.
TOP-DRESSING holds open the spiked holes, improves soil quality and adds some fertiliser.
These jobs are best done one after the other, in close sequence, to get the best effect for your efforts. But you’ll need to prepare the lawn first.
Here’s how to go about it:
STEP 1 – PREPARE THE LAWN
The first job is to mow the lawn so you can get closer to the soil beneath. Next, before we scarify the lawn you need to kill the moss, if you don’t kill the moss you will just spread living moss spores around the lawn. We recommend you use lawn Sand, which is widely available from garden centres.
Scatter the Lawn Sand lightly and evenly over the lawn surface – you can use a spreader but it is not essential.
STEP 2 – SCARIFYING
After two weeks moss will have been killed. You can now rake it up by hand, using a spring tined rake pulled firmly across the lawn surface – but be warned, it is hard work!
It is of course much easier to use an electric scarifier or aerator, with either sprung tines or blades. This might be a good idea if you have a large lawn area, you can usually hire the equipment locally.
The amount of debris these machines remove is astonishing – and they’re easy to operate.
STEP 3 – SPIKING
The next job is to get some air into the soil. Drive a garden fork into the lawn every 6in (15cm), going at least 4in (10cm) deep. This needs to be done across the lawn – a long, hard and boring job, but well worth the effort.
If you want to watch Tim Rumball Spiking watch this video
STEP 4 – TOP DRESSING
The final job is top-dressing. I use a 50:50 mix of sharp sand and John Innes No 3 potting compost. My small 12ft x 12ft (3.6m x 3.6m) lawn needed one-and-a-half bags of each.
Mix the ingredients thoroughly, and put them through a medium grade sieve to remove any large lumps or stones.
Spread the compost mix roughly evenly across the surface by flicking it off a hand shovel.
Now brush the dressing into the holes you pricked with the fork – a beesome broom is ideal for this. Don’t walk on the lawn, work from a plank to avoid squishing holes shut.
STEP 5 – STAND BACK AND CONGRATULATE YOURSELF
Job done. The end result looks pretty awful at this stage, but the lawn will love you for your efforts in the long run.
Just a week later, strong green growth is pushing through, and as spring advances into summer the turf will look better and better
Good luck with your lawn this spring and please share any of your spring lawn care tips with us.