Weeds can bring a serious threat to any British garden, especially when homeowners fail to manage, and eventually overlook their backyard. They can grow as seed heads or flowers, with a wide range of types that are common in lawns.
To identify the weeds lurking in your lawn, it’d be your great advantage if you’re familiar with the three major types of weeds, and these are:
- Annual – lasts for only a year or merely during the growing season, but they produce a lot of seeds for the following year, and years afterwards.
- Lawn – the type of weeds that grows so vigorously that they are able to ‘suffocate’ the grass. Plantains, dandelions, and daisies fall under this category.
- Perennial or woody weeds – they have larger or deeper roots and they keep on coming back year after year. These weeds can re-grow from even the smallest left-over segment, so digging them up can often worsen the problem.
The easiest way to remove them is to pull them out, roots included, either by your hand or using a tool.
2. Scarify to Remove Thatch
If your lawn isn’t paid enough attention, a build up of autumn leaves can smother new growth. Hence raking up the leaves as they fall is a great way to encourage healthy growth.
Moreover, raking can help in removing dead leaves and grass as well as loosening matted grass clumps caused by snow mould.
4. Keep an Eye on Moss
Soil compaction, including clay in the soil, layers of roots and thick areas of thatch can prevent water absorption. To reduce the surface build up, aeration can solve the problem; it can improve the flow of water and air.
You can also change your soil with organic materials to improve the drainage levels.
7. Think About Your Garden Topography
As we’ve mentioned earlier, aeration allows better penetration of air and water from soil to the grass’s root zone. Create small holes in soil using a garden fork or tools/machines that are specifically designed for aeration.
This process is crucial for encouraging growth by letting the right nutrients in, and mending the areas that are affected by drought or water logging.
Moreover, aeration can be done once every few years for most gardens while small patches can be treated individually if necessary.
9. Over-Seeding for Rejuvenation
Over-seeding is the process of covering the entire space of your lawn with large quantities of seed mixed with fertiliser. Not only this rejuvenates tired and worn out lawns but also fills in damaged and thinning areas as well as improving the colour and lessening the high risk of weed and moss invasions, giving your outdoor space a healthy looking turf.
10. Mow Your Grass Regularly
In addition to feeding, just like any plants and greens, watering is essential to lawns. If your lawn starts changing colour and loosening its spring, which causes the grass to stay flat when walked on—this is a sign of lack of water.
The amount of water, including the frequency, also depends on the type of soil your garden has and the weather conditions in your location. You’ll also want to make sure not to over water.
To get better results when watering, it’s best to do it in the early morning when the temperature is cooler.
14. Top Dressing
Another way to take care of your lawn is through the process of creating top dressing. This practice is used to build up and improve the quality of your soil while providing additional drought resistance and drainage.
When creating your top dressing, ensure to check the type of your garden soil first to get the right materials and consistency. If you want to keep your lawn looking lush and healthy, then add this tip on your list.
15. Fill Bare Lawn Patches
One of the keys of having a much easier and convenient way of taking care of the lawn is to have and use the perfect lawn mower. When shopping for the right model for your yard, consider the size of your property.
When you have acres of grass to cut, opting for a walk-behind mower will make the mowing task feel daunting, and it won’t be as effective as a riding mower.
In addition, you also have to be familiar with the type of grass you have. The thicker the grass, the higher the horsepower you’ll need for your lawn mower.
Grasscycling happens when you let grass clippings lie on your lawn after mowing. If you’re thinking whether or not this method is a good thing, in fact, not only it can save you time (bagging clippings won’t be necessary) but also it helps you save money as you don’t have to use waste bags anymore.
Furthermore, this can provide up to 25 per cent of fertiliser, suiting your lawn’s needs. Our gardening experts suggest using a mulching blade as a cheap alternative for cutting grass into smaller pieces. The smaller the grass pieces are, the quicker they decompose.
19. Compost Clippings
To get the best results when mowing, make sure to keep your mower blade sharp. With a sharp blade, it can cut grass clean compared to a dull blade that tears glass while creating a jagged, uneven edge.
Cutting your lawn with a dull blade also develops a whitish or brown hue due to the poor tips while the tears create openings for pests to enter grass blades. Tip: Sharpen your blade at least a few times during the mowing season.
22. Test the Soil
Feed your lawn with essential nutrients by adding a layer of compost. This natural substitute adds up extra organic matter back into the soil, making the grass healthier.
Do this task at the end of fall so it can have the entire winter season to break down and integrate into the soil. When the spring arrives, you can expect a healthy and beautiful lawn.
25. Pay Attention the Weather
One of the excellent ways to maintain your home is by having a weekly routine for household chores. But when it comes to your lawn, you can’t always be so rigid.
It’s important to pay attention to the weather so you can adjust your mowing, especially your mowing schedule accordingly. For instance, if it recently rained, watering your lawn wouldn’t be necessary. The same goes for mowing your lawn when the grass is wet.
If your area is experiencing drought, we suggest mowing your lawn less frequently since the grass grows more slowly.
26. Get Rid of Grubs
Lawn booster is an excellent way to ensure your lawn is on the fast track of their thicker growth. Not only this will help your lawn grow quicker but also thicker and greener than ordinary grass.
Your seeds will also germinate faster while your lawn’s overall texture and color will surely improve without putting any fertiliser. Our experts also recommend investing in some soil-enhancing gypsum and combining it with your chosen lawn booster product to improve the soil health and condition. This way, your seed will root better and flourish from the start.
30. Don’t Fertilise Shady Area More
If you wish to grow in shady areas, fertiliser is crucial. However, most homeowners or gardeners tend to overcompensate and throw more fertiliser. As a result, they end up killing the grass faster.
To encourage growth in shady areas of your garden, you’ll want to make sure to water and fertilise the area less.
31. Feed Your Lawn Well
Plants, flowers and vegetables need proper nutrition to grow—the same goes for lawn grasses. In order to keep your lawn lush, vibrant and rich in green colour, nitrogen is vital.
The number of pounds of nitrogen needed for your lawn annually will depend on your soil test results. It’s usually per 1,000 square feet, according to its organic matter and other considerations.
According to Pennington, the numbers on fertiliser labels show the percentage of actual nitrogen and other nutrients products contain. This will help you to match the product to suit your needs.
But be careful not to feed way too much or too often as it could cause more harm than good. You can set up a feeding schedule that meets the needs of your lawn’s fertiliser and stick to the routine.
32. Treat Pests
When the summer season starts kicking in, insects may come out in full force. Although not all pests will target your lawn, keep an eye to some bugs like Japanese beetles, European chafers and June bugs.
Otherwise, they could invade your lawn, munch your grass which will eventually cause wilting and bare patches. What’s worse, the Japanese beetles could lay their eggs on the grass, which will soon hatch into grubs and start feasting on your grass.
What you can do is to apply a preventative grub control product and use it according to directions.
33. Water Deeply and Infrequently in Mid-Summer
According to Frith, regular aeration (once every couple of years) can prevent soil from becoming compacted and covered with thatch. As we’ve mentioned earlier, thatch is a thick layer of roots, stems, and debris that blocks water, oxygen, and nutrients from reaching the soil.
For a healthy lawn, it’s something you need to look out for and avoid as much as possible. To loosen the soil, experts suggest punching holes through the thatch and pulling up plugs of soil. Those holes in the turf will let the fertiliser reach the roots.
36. Set a Timer When Watering
We all know how watering plays an important role in lawn maintenance, but it’s also something you need to remember to do. If you’re somehow forgetful about watering your lawn, including remembering to turn off the sprinkler if you use one, then we suggest setting a timer.
Sprinkler timers are very handy when it comes to this situation. They can be easily attached to your hose and you can schedule its turn on and off time.
Alternatively, you can use your alarm or timer on your phone. Not only having a timer will save you from your worries about forgetting to water your lawn, but this also rescues you from overwatering as well.
37. Clean up After Your Pooch
Overfertilising can lead to the need to mow more often while fertilising at the wrong time can permanently damage your lawn. Feeding your lawn in hot weather can do two detrimental things: it can encourage new growth of weeds, and it can burn your grass.
Hence, fertilising your lawn in the summer is not recommended. A summer lawn care maintenance should focus more on water and mowing.
40. Fertilize Warm-Season Grasses
As the name suggests, warm-season turf grows strong in the summertime, and with that, they demand more nutrients. If you’re not familiar with your region’s fertilising schedule, you can check with your local Cooperative Extension System office.
Don’t fertilise your cool-season lawn during the summer. Make sure to wait until fall or early spring.
41. Install Sod
Keep an eye to your lawn’s irrigation system and drain it completely before the cold, freezing weather arrives. Use drain valves or compressed air to clear out the system.
For best results, shutting off the water to the system and drain each zone separately will do the trick. You can also drain the main supply line from the house.
Note: Don’t exceed 50 psi of air pressure if you’re using an air compressor to drain the irrigation lines.
43. Mow When Grass Is Dry
If you live in a region with cold winters, it’s best to cut the lawn one last time before snow hits. During the colder months, the growth of your grass will likely be much slower than before, but that’s normal.
Lower your mower deck at least 1-inch range to cut the grass shorter. By doing this, the shorter height will prevent snow mould from forming.
Lawn with your bag attachment in place as well, so that the bag can catch any debris on the lawn, e.g. leaves, sticks or even any lurking weed seeds. Once done, don’t forget to raise the mower deck to its normal height to avoid scalping the lawn accidentally in the springtime.
48. Winterise Your Lawn Mower
It’s not too late to winterise your lawn mower if you failed to do it in the fall. Keeping your lawn mower functioning properly paired with sharp mower blades will ensure that your lawn is evenly cut.
When your grass is cut justly, this can also help in preventing disease and improving the overall look of your yard.
49. Clean Your Tools for a Fresh Start Next Spring
When winter arrives, one of the big parts of winter lawn care involves keeping your lawn and overall yard clean. Start your task by raking the leaves from your lawn and remove any debris, tools, even toys.
Leaving a pile of leaves and letting it sit around all winter will only do harm, killing the grass underneath as well as hindering new growth. If you can do some spring cleaning, then you can do it in winter, too!
51. Get Rid of Salt
Rock salt and other ice melt products can damage your lawn as salts can pull the water away from the grass roots. The same goes for plants and trees.
Flush out your soil to get rid of salt. When shovelling, try to avoid piling salt-filled snow onto your lawn. Opt for deicers made with calcium chloride rather than the sodium chloride based ice melts as they’re less harmful.
52. Off Limit Your Lawn
During summer, setting foot on a nice and green lawn can be a pain for many people. But when winter comes, they tend to cut across the lawn than use the sidewalk, neglecting the consequence the lawn may face in the long run.
This is why it’s crucial to limit your lawn and cut down on people walking on your grass even in wintertime. Otherwise, your lawn will have a hard time recovering if you cut a path across it when spring comes.
What you can do is to keep your sidewalks or pathways clear so people can have access to it instead of walking on your grass. Try to keep your visitors from parking on your lawn as well.
53. Avoid Parking on Your Lawn
We’ve talked about controlling weeds earlier, but did you know that winter has its own grass weeds? Applying an herbicide during this season won’t be effective as lawn enters a dormant state in the late fall or early winter when temperatures are consistently below 60℉.
But the good thing is that you can still go out and handle weeds. Here are the common winter weeds to look out for:
- Annual bluegrass (Poa annua), and
- Prickly lettuce
You’ll have more chance of killing them before germination. During winter, the growth of your lawn won’t be as lush and thick as it is during the previous seasons, which allows weeds to penetrate easier.
What you can do is to keep a bit of extra length on your lawn and make sure the ground isn’t compacted, especially during and after periods of heavy rain.
56. Avoid Scalping Your Lawn
Scalping can harm your grass especially when the temperatures are high, causing the moisture inside to evaporate. But doing it in a cold weather, even if scalping the grass little, it should be able to recover.
But keep in mind that scalping your lawn makes it very hard for the grass to stay healthy, let alone to survive. As grass relies on blades when it comes to absorbing energy from the sun, with those blades scalped off, the turf has no way to obtain and undergo the process of photosynthesis as well as store energy for future growth.
Consequently, your lawn will likely wither and die, or it won’t be able to grow lusher and stronger the way you hoped for. If you don’t want this to happen, you know what to do!
57. Watch Out for the Critters
If you keep your lawn untrimmed during the cold months, mice and other little creatures will seek warm refuge and your lawn could be their main target. Not only can they ruin your lawn in no time with burrowing and their feces lying around, but the acidity in their urine can also cause some serious damage to your grass.
Lower the blade on your mower little by little so you can gradually cut your grass shorter. Do this during the last few weeks of fall. Make sure to do it bit by bit so you won’t end up distressing your grass, which can result in dying even before the winter hits.
If the grass is shorter, you don’t have to worry about the critters. A nice, buzzled lawn means your grass will thrive in the springtime.
58. Bunch Grasses
Cool-season grasses like fescues and ryegrass are considered as bunch grasses. A lawn of fescue is a host of individual grass plants that form into bunches as they grow, and these bunch grasses are often sown from seed.
Bunch grasses don’t hold together in the form of sod by nature. Unless you use a biodegradable net at planning time.
59. Maintain Your Machine
If you can’t keep up with your lawn maintenance anymore, you can always ask for a professional lawn service help. With a proper analysis, treatment, and timing, professionals can help you achieve your dream green, healthy lawn throughout the year.
Lawn care professionals are experts in all aspects of lawn care tips and maintenance, and use technologically advanced products for your lawn.
62. Apply Pre-Emergent Herbicides in Spring
To prevent crabgrass and other weeds from taking root in your lawn, maybe it’s time for you to apply a pre-emergent herbicide in your lawn. Investing in a soil thermometer is a smart move as it can be really handy when it comes to this task.
When your soil temperature reaches 58 degrees, it’s time to apply the herbicide. Keep in mind that 58 is the temperature at which crabgrass starts to germinate.
63. Monitor Weather Conditions During Winter
When it comes to monitoring weather conditions, winter is no exception. Turf can be tough and can tolerate an extreme winter, but certain conditions can be harmful in the long term.
Chipping away a bit of little-exposed ice in a low spot might be worthwhile, especially if you know a winter storm or deep freeze is approaching.
64. Grass Seed Planting
Grass grows more rapidly in the month of September than in the hotter months. If you’re planning to establish a new lawn or wish to revive a poor lawn, mid-August to September is the perfect time for grass seed planting.
The key to a long-term, high-quality lawn is soil preparation—and this includes making sure that the ground is tilled about six inches deep. In addition, using organic substances such as peat or compost is also important.
Take advantage of this time to test your soil as well. If your soil test result shows a pH problem, use sulfur or lime while tilling. Use a smooth rake after tiling then apply your starter fertiliser.
After a good, till and a layer of fertiliser, you can start dressing your grade grass seed. They will germinate better and be more resistant to common lawn diseases. Once seeded, ensure that your lawns have enough moisture so keep it maintained and watered to encourage seedling growth.
65. Disease Control
Did you know that when a gas has been left to sit over the winter can accumulate moisture, which eventually can harm small engines? This is especially true for fuel that contains ethanol.
Experts recommend using regular grades of gasoline. You can ask your local town or city for disposal sites that take old fuel if you need to dump your old gasoline from your mower.
67. Treating Broadleaf Weeds When Dry
Some of the common broadleaf weeds you need to keep an eye out for are dandelions, clover and creeping Charlie, as they can invade your garden lawn quickly and spread relentlessly.
You can use a granular weed-and-feed product or spray an organic liquid broadleaf weed killer to keep them in check. The ideal time for treating actively growing seed is on a dewy morning (applying granular products) or on a warm, sunny day with an organic herbicide.
Broadleaf killers are highly effective when conditions are optimal. Consider the perfect timing when applying them for best results.
68. Garden, Trees, and Shrubs
Wearing proper clothing and safety gear while mowing your lawn is important. Safety goggles or glasses are a must, too. If you plan to work for endless hours with lawn tasks and vegetation, having a good pair of logger boots can be your greatest advantage.
Lawnmowers are loud pieces of machinery, so if you can’t stand the noise, ear protection is recommended. You don’t want to work with fertiliser or compost with bare hands, do you? Hence, gloves and other types of skin protection are essential. Wearing gardening gloves can also protect your skin from chemicals.
You better now skip out on safety gear if you want to continue with your lawn care for your garden throughout the year. Remember, your safety matters too!
71. Complete the Basic Tool to Grow a Healthy Lawn
Depending on the number of trees you have in your yard and where you live, fallen leaves could be a big problem every fall season.
This is where leaf blowers come into the picture, providing an excellent solution for tidying up debris-showered yards, including sidewalks, decks, and other parts of your outdoor space. What’s more, this innovative tool also comes in handy all year long—you can use it to sweep away grass clippings or even remove snow off your sidewalks.
You can now leave behind the sore arms and hips that using a rake creates and consider investing in a high-quality leaf blower to make your lawn maintenance more convenient than ever!
73. Know Your Lawn Care Calendar
Another thing you need to consider when it comes to keeping your lawn healthy and beautiful is to know your lawn care calendar. It’s crucial to follow through with the appropriate maintenance with proper scheduling.
Even if you’re taking several days or weeks off, it’s important to prepare your garden for time off so you can return to a healthy looking lawn after your vacation. As much as excited you get for some summer getaway, keep in mind that your lawn can’t shut down.
If you’ll be gone for a week, just simply mow your lawn at the regular height the day before you go. Lawn grows more slowly in the heat of summer, so make sure to water it deeply before you leave.
Now if you’ll be gone for two weeks, set your mower down a notch and mow your lawn the day before you go. When you get back home, raise your lawn mower 2 notches before you cut your lawn. But if you’ll be off for more than two weeks, you may want to consider hiring a mowing service or a neighbourhood kid to cut your grass while you’re away.
Normally, the lawn may go dormant in hot, dry weather while you’re not home, but there’s nothing to worry about as long as you water it deeply once you get back.
77. Improve Your Curb Appeal
If you see a strip of yellow grass in your lawn, that means you’ve probably applied your fertiliser wrongly. Grass that doesn’t receive enough fertiliser, or no fertiliser at all, can lead to some yellow spots in contrast to all of the lush, new, green grass growth next to it.
When you walk back and forth with your spreader, you’ll want to make sure to slightly overlap each pass to achieve full coverage. Also, consider tuning up your application technique to make sure all of your lawn is green and growing.