Spring is a very important season for looking after your lawn. After the rigours of winter it needs careful attention as soon as the days start to lengthen and the grass starts to grow. Giving the lawn the care it needs now will ensure the best possible results throughout the year.
As the grass starts to grow you will need to start to mow your lawn. It is very important in early spring that you set the mowing height quite high taking no more than one third of the length of the plant off at a time, otherwise the lawn will become stressed. A little and often approach is better in spring. As the grass grows faster as we move further into spring increase the mowing frequency and gradually reduce the height of cut to give the desired finish.
It is essential that you feed your lawn during spring. The grass plants are growing rapidly at this time and, like any living thing, need the correct nutrients in the correct quantities in order to grow strong and healthy. Healthy plants mean a thicker, denser, greener sward.
Broadleaf weed treatment
Broadleaf weeds can be treated using a suitable selective herbicide or an all-in-one treatment. Alternatively weed them out by hand or using a knife/mechanical weeder remembering to get the root of the weed out.
Depending upon the wear and tear that the lawn has received over the previous months you may want to overseed the lawn in early spring. Rolawn recommends a mix of our Medallion® Lawn Seed with our Lawn Topdressing brushed into the surface of the lawn. The seed will germinate and fill in any sparse or thinner areas. Using Medallion Lawn Seed will add the highest rated cultivars to any lawn giving a thicker, denser sward.
Alternatively, our Minster Pro® seed mix is available which will introduce a higher percentage of fine fescue grass types.
If your lawn has become uneven then top dressing will even out any low areas. A rate of 1 – 3 kg per square metre will be sufficient when brushed into the lawn surface especially in lower areas. It is a good idea to add our Rolawn Lawn seed to a topdressing to help fill in any thin areas. It is always best to carry out topdressing when the lawn is dry. Topdressing also helps breakdown thatch and aids drainage.
Dealing with moss
If moss is a problem on your lawn you will need to scarify it out. You may also consider applying moss-killer product before scarifying. This will help to kill and remove more of the moss, allow the moss to turn brown/black before scarifying. After this it may be appropriate to overseed using Rolawn Lawn Seed if taking the moss out leaves the lawn thin in some areas.
Scarification reduces the build up of dead grass matter, roots and moss which can cause increased stress to the grass plants. Scarification can be done using a spring-tine rake by vigorously pulling the rake through the grass sward. Electric or petrol scarifiers are also available for hire from local garden centres or DIY stores.
Aerate consolidated areas of the lawn with a fork or with a spiking machine. These are available for hire from local garden centres or DIY stores for larger lawns. This will relieve compaction, improve drainage and allow more air into the root system leading to a healthier lawn.
Treatment of weed grasses
Undesirable weed grasses can appear in a lawn. They will be obvious as they will appear to be different to the rest of the grass sward. Grasses such as Annual Meadow Grass (AMG or Poa annua) are endemic in the northern hemisphere; if you notice seed heads forming from pale 'stalky' plants then these are likely to be Annual Meadow Grass. If required these can be removed by cutting the plant out and removing the roots. Fill in the area with a mix of Rolawn Topdressing and lawn seed as any bare patches are likely to encourage the growth of more AMG plants as it is very common in the UK and the seeds will invade any bare ground.
The key to preventing weed grasses is a good maintenance regime. A vigorous, dense and healthy growing lawn will out compete many of the weed grasses. This can be achieved with regular feeding with a quality lawn food, regular mowing with a sharp mower and overseeding any thinner patches if necessary. During spring if Annual Meadow Grass seed heads are forming it can also help to use a mower which collects the clippings and therefore removes some of the seed heads.
Cut back vegetation
Turf, being a green plant organism, relies on light as well as the correct balance of heat, water, air and food. It is important where possible, that foliage and surrounding shrubs and trees around the lawn are cut back to reduce competition for water or essential nutrients, and to avoid leaving parts of the turf in constant shade.
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Further information on lawn aftercare procedures and pests and diseases can be found in our Information Centre. You may also like our spring lawn care video and seasonal lawn care guide.