It is often said that first impressions are never forgotten, and when it comes to your home, your front garden is the first thing that house guests will see before they even set foot inside your front door. With this in mind, a well-maintained yard space is essential, and a perfectly manicured lawn is the key to impressing from the word go. And, while many of us are dealing with unruly grass and unwelcome weeds as winter finally makes way for spring, this is the perfect time of year to get back to basics and begin laying the foundations for a lawn to be proud of this summer.
In spring and summer, we tend to spend more time outdoors enjoying the fruits of our gardening labour – but some hard work is required each year to get it back into shape before you can do so. And, as your lawn is often the largest and most obvious feature, it makes sense to start here first.
Achieving the luscious green lawn of your dreams isn’t easy, but the good news is that with a little TLC and plenty of patience, it’s certainly possible. Here’s all you need to know about how best to care for your lawn through the sunnier seasons.
After a long, cold winter, spring is often a challenging time when it comes to getting your lawn back to its best. You’re likely to be faced with overgrowth of weeds and unsightly muddy patches, so take the time to inspect its current condition before getting to work to make it easier to devise an effective plan of action.
Weeding is a time-consuming task, and keeping these unwelcome plants at bay once you’ve finished can be even more difficult. While many opt to invest in potent weed killers, this is ill-advised because they can poison bees – which as pollinators, are vital to the health of your garden as a whole. So instead, look for bee-friendly, environmentally-friendly alternatives that are devoid of the toxic chemicals that can harm wildlife.
Once you’ve treated any problem weeds and moss, the next step is to begin your lawn feeding programme. If your lawn is looking a little patchy, then now is the time to sow some new seeds in the sparser areas, so that by summer, you’ll have an even and healthy looking lawn to be proud of.
Before seeding your lawn, rake and spike the target areas to aerate the soil and eradicate compaction, as this will allow your new grass to sprout with greater ease. Once complete, keep the area moist and water regularly to aid germination, allowing it to grow to around 2cm in height before mowing.
The main lawn-care task during the summer months is mowing, as regularly trimming your grass will ensure it remains healthy and will keep it looking even throughout the season. If you have a particularly large garden and the upkeep is too much for you to handle alone with a standard mower, then you may want to consider hiring a gardener – or treating yourself to a riding lawn mower. If you choose the latter, make sure it’s equipped with a riding lawn mower canopy to keep you cool in the heat and make tending to your grass a more enjoyable process, rather than a chore.
Continue to mow your lawn on a weekly basis throughout the summer months, keeping to a cut height of 1.2 and 2.5cm. The former works well if your lawn is purely ornamental, but it’s wise to opt for the longer length if you expect your lawn to face footfall during garden parties, barbecues and other outdoor events. It’s also important to let it grow a little longer during particularly hot weather to avoid scorching, which can quickly undo all of your hard work.
To keep your new luscious green grass in optimum condition, continue to water it weekly, or turn your sprinklers on at dawn and dusk instead if you have them. Leaving them running for around an hour will enable the water to sufficiently penetrate the soil and keep it moist.
The bottom line
While achieving a perfectly manicured lawn requires some hard work and determination, if you start now, then you’ll be reaping the benefits just in time for summer. Once you’ve got the ball rolling, it’s relatively easy to maintain, and will ensure your home exudes an opulent feel from the very first glance.