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Each month, receive tips on the top jobs needed in your garden as well as a wealth of information on a range of gardening topics. From sowing seeds to picking fruit, each month get access to information on the care and maintenance of your flowerbeds, vegetable plot and lawn. As with your own gardening diary, the journal is split into separate sections, each covering a different area of garden care.

Tuesday 2 April 2019

The Lawn Care Guide - April

Cut and come again

It’s only natural to want the lawn looking its splendid self after the winter and so there is a tendency among us all to cut too close, too early.  We should mow as the growth dictates, remembering the higher the cut the healthier the plant will be. So we should expect to lower the cutting height gradually down to 3cm (1.25”) cutting height by the end of the month.

You don’t want to go lower for a normal lawn. Once mown now is a good time to consider aerating and scarifying the lawn. This can be done with your garden tractor attachments, hired machines or simple walk-behind spiker and scarifier. If it’s not too large an area you’re treating, a garden fork and a rake will do the job. The idea is to relieve the compaction from last year’s summer activities and get the rainwater draining down to the roots. Opening up the soil with aeration also lets in the oxygen to promote healthier growth.

Scarifying will rid the lawn of much of the thatch and moss to make way for fresh grass growth and a fine looking lawn. You may find though you still have some moss, particularly in shady areas and under trees or overhanging bushes. A good dose of ‘weed and feed’ mix of fertiliser, weed and moss killer applied now will kill the moss and help green up the lawn. Let the treatment take its course as instructed on the pack and then rake out the offending moss. It’s a good idea if possible to cut back those overhanging branches and bushes to let the light onto the lawn. There may be a need for overseeding any bare areas and this is best done with a mix of seed, sharp sand and compost.

Once the remedial work is done, choose a warm day and top dress the lawn, either with a ready-mixed bulk dressing or make your own with a mix of sieved soil, fine garden compost and sharp sand in a 3:2:3 ratio. You can use this to even up any dips and hollows and soon the grass will grow through and show its appreciation by rewarding you with a smooth, green sward.

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