Hartley Magazine

All the latest news, hints, tips and advice from our experts

Ensure you care for a healthy lawn

With so many tasks to undertake in the garden – particularly if you are cultivating high maintenance plants in a greenhouse – it would be perfectly understandable if green-fingered individuals were to overlook some of the more commonplace features.

For instance, it is easy to take the grass on the lawn for granted, but taking good care of it can really pay off.

Maintaining dense grass can crowd out weeds and makes it very difficult for them to sprout up – to say nothing of the beautiful rich green it will create.

Those who are plagued with weeds could find that resolving the issue is not necessarily a particularly arduous one. A post-emergent weed killer is generally very effective, but you will have to wait for the weeds to have fully sprouted prior to use.

News Olio asserts that mowing is one of the most important considerations, as is the quality of the mower.

This is because dull blades will simply rip the grass up, rather than cleanly cutting it, resulting in an untidy look.

Although many people trim their lawns on a regular basis, it is advisable not to cut more off than will be left.

Watering should also be kept up consistently and ideally to a depth of at least six inches. Light sprinkling can actually be very bad for the grass – just like any other plant – as it will encourage shallow root development.

This could eventually lead to the lawn thinning out – although there are plenty of warning signs that are easy to watch out for.

If footprints are visible in the ground for a long time after it has been walked across, or the grass is growing much slower than usual, or when it starts to discolour, you'll know action needs to be taken.

Thin lawns can be easily repaired by overseeding. This involves spreading seeds over existing parts of the lawn that could benefit from sprucing up. Light spreading is advised, as this increases the chances of more even distribution.

Any instances of bare spots can also be addressed fairly easily. First, turn the soil and break up any compacted areas, before working in high quality fertiliser. Once this is done, you can effectively repeat the overseeding process.

Fertilizing is also highly recommended for those who really want to make their green space stand out as one of the finest examples of a lawn.

News Olio suggests doing this twice a year – once in spring and once in autumn to encourage healthy root growth throughout the difficult winter season.

It also pays to consider the timing of garden maintenance – particularly in the US. Lawn repair can be more effective in autumn for northerners, while spring or summer is better suited to those who reside in the south.

Editor of the lawn advice website Grass Clippings Mike Seaton told BBC News that more and more people are coming to appreciate the importance of grass maintenance.

"There is a huge passion for lawns and everyone loves a stripe," the expert explained, adding that people should still not get too worried about keeping an eye on the colour.

"If your grass looks dried and brown, it's more than likely that the base will still be ok," he remarked.

He suggested that people's passion for lawn maintenance comes from being exposed to gardens from when they are very young.

"I grew up with a large back garden and I was weaned into lawn mowing from a very early age. It was the first useful job I could do for my parents and I took a real pride in it," Mr Seaton commented.