Prepare a lawn your neighbours will envy

Prepare a lawn your neighbours will envy

by Daniel Woodhouse

What a summer we've had! I myself made the most of the warmer temperatures this year by getting out in my garden whenever possible. There was a lot of work to be done having only recently moved in. I also have a tendency to drag out the BBQ at every given opportunity, which usually involves a number of guests joining me.

One thing I hadn't considered was whilst my beds were flourishing, my lawn was suffering from the increased use. To be honest it wasn't in great shape to begin with, so I'm now getting it ready for the winter and for growth again in the spring.

This got me thinking. We are often quick to neglect our lawn in favour of the flowers and hedges, but there are some simple tips that can help produce a healthy lawn. If your lawn is prone to a little wear and tear, then it is important to give it the TLC it deserves. Even the hardiest of lawns can benefit from a little maintenance. On my own lawn there are patches that don't grow as well as the rest, so before you spoil yourself with some expensive lawn feed, try these simple (and surprisingly effective) steps to help your lawn grow more organically.

The first thing you should do is improve airflow to the lawn using an aerator or a garden fork.

This will help air and moisture get through the soil to the grass roots, and also help to prevent water logging should we get some heavy snow. Evenly press holes into the lawn around 15-20cm apart over the entirety of the lawn surface. If you are using an aerator, be sure to rake up the plugs of soil left behind.

Once you have finished aerating, now is a good time to treat the lawn with an autumn lawn feed that is high in phosphates. This will help roots develop and will result in a healthier grass.

The next step is to cover your lawn with a layer of top-dressing that can be made up of sand, compost or leaf mould. Cover your lawn evenly and use a rake to work it into the lawn. This will thicken the grass growth and improve the quality of the soil.

There are many other techniques out there, but these are by far the simplest and cheapest and will generate positive results. Now is also a good time to attend to infections in the grass and any damage from pests - more on this another time.

One last tip: avoid walking on the grass when there is frost or snow lying, as the blades can be brittle and break. Come the spring your lawn will look better than ever!
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