Lawn Care

The Ultimate Lawn Care Guide for Spring, Summer, Autumn & Winter

All You Need to Know About Seasonal Lawn Care

Beautiful, healthy lawns are an essential part of any well-maintained garden. A neglected or undertreated lawn can be patchy, dry, or overgrown with weeds, giving an offputting look to your outdoor spaces. But with a little careful engagement, even the most mistreated lawn can be restored to a luscious, healthy state.

In this guide from Sims Garden Machinery, we’ll take a thorough look at the world of lawn care, giving expert advice and tips to help keep your lawn in perfect condition. We’ll also look at the essential lawn care tips for each season, and showcase some of the best products available for mowing, scarifying, aerating, and edging your lawn.


Contents:


What is Lawn Care?

Lawn care is the art of maintaining a beautiful, consistent look for your lawn. This is done through a series of actions, which in conjunction will allow a neat covering of grass to grow across your garden. In this guide we’ll be focusing on:

  • Lawnmowing
  • Watering
  • Fertilising
  • Scarifying
  • Weeding
  • Ensuring Adequate Drainage
  • Seeding
  • Edging

The regular maintenance of your lawn will ensure it remains verdant, attractive, and free from weeds, thatch, and moss. This will allow you to relax, picnic, or entertain within your lush garden space.


The Essentials of Personal Lawn Care in the UK

Lawn care is split into multiple actions, which can help to ensure that your lawn is clear of weeds and other obstructions, that your grass is consistent and well-fed, and that it is of a neat length. In order to maintain a beautiful lawn, you’ll need to pay attention to each aspect of lawn care.

Lawnmowing

One of the essentials of lawn care is regular mowing, both to maintain the aesthetic beauty of your garden, and to stimulate the roots of your grass to spread, which will fill gaps and discourage weed growth. Deeper roots will also increase the strength of your grass. It’s vital to keep your lawnmower maintained, ensuring the sharpness of the blades before use. Keeping your lawnmower in good working order will cleanly cut your grass and protect your safety.

The height that you should cut your grass to will vary on a few factors. For an open lawn with good sunlight, 2.5cm-4cm will be appropriate. For heavier worn patches, such as areas that will be used for lawn furniture or by children playing it can be a good idea to leave another cm or two. In shaded areas, you should leave the grass longer, roughly 7cm-8cm.

You should only mow on a dry day, and if looking to mow newly planted grass you should wait until it is at least 4cm in height. You will need to mow your lawn weekly during the height of summer, and fortnightly during the rest of the year. You should never remove more than one-third of your grass at a time, so if looking to mow an overgrown lawn, you will have to remove its height in stages. 

Watering and Fertilising

Watering your lawn is an essential component of lawn care, especially during the summer. You can use a hose or sprinkler running from mains, or alternatively, collect rainwater in a water butt. Having a water butt installed can be a good idea, as hosepipe bans have been implemented in recent years throughout the country. Overwatering is a threat to lawns, so you should be careful. The amount of watering needed and the regularity of watering will vary based on several factors, such as weather, location, and soil type. A good way to judge when to water is to look at the colour of your grass, watering when you see duller colours. You should water in the mornings, as leaving a wet lawn overnight can promote diseases like red thread fungus and fusarium, which will discolour your lawn.

You can treat your lawn with fertiliser twice yearly, with nitrogen-rich fertiliser in the spring, and with a phosphate and potash heavy fertiliser in the autumn. This will help to encourage growth. If you have worries about using chemicals within your garden, there are organic options available.

Scarifying Thatch and Moss

Thatch is a buildup of dead leaves, grass, and roots that forms between the leaves of your lawn grass and the soil. This can cause major issues, preventing water and nutrients from passing to the roots of your lawn, inhibiting root growth. Signs of thatch include spongy or dying patches of grass. Scarifying involves using a tool to remove thatch from your lawn, either a rake as a manual scarifier, or a mechanical scarifier, which is used much like a lawnmower. Depending on the level of thatch present, you may not need to scarify your lawn.

If you have moss, you should use moss killers on it before scarification, leaving a week for the moss to die and raking it away. To manually scarify, you’ll need to gently rake your way across your lawn, pulling up thatch from within your grass. This is a physically intensive and time-consuming process, which may be too much for some gardeners. To use a mechanical scarifier, you’ll have to cover the full area of your lawn much as you would with a lawnmower, before covering your lawn again at a 45-degree angle. Light scarification can be done in spring, with heavier jobs better suited for august. Heavy scarification is likely to cause substantial disruption to your lawn, requiring some replanting. Once you have finished scarifying your lawn, you can remove the excess thatch with a rake or a leaf blower.

Weeding

Weed control is a key component of lawn care. When weeding, it’s vital that you remove all of the plant, including its roots. This will ensure that it does not regrow within your lawn. Weeds can either be removed by hand or by using a tool such as a weed extractor. Poor grass health enables weeds to thrive, so improving the quality of your lawn will also help to reduce the number of weeds within it. There are also commercial weed killers available, which can be sprayed directly onto the weeds if you have a large concentration.

Drainage

It’s important that your lawn has adequate drainage, to ensure that it doesn’t develop pools of water. This can be caused by issues with your soil, or by the curvature of your garden. If the soil on your lawn is clay-rich, this may also inhibit thorough drainage. You can aerate your lawn to try and improve this, or alternately you can use organic materials like compost, manure, and grass clippings to try and improve the quality of your soil. If the curvature of your garden is causing issues, you can install a french drain under your lawn, a trench and a pipe that can help direct water away from your property and avoid surface water.

Aeration

Aeration is the process of making small holes within your soil at set intervals. This can be done with an aerator, or just with a garden fork. Aeration allows both air and water to penetrate the roots of your lawn, encouraging healthy growth and drainage. This can be especially important for dense soils, and as part of the seeding process. Lawns can be aerated alongside scarification in Spring and Autumn.

Seeding

Re-seeing your lawn is essential to rejuvenate patches of thinning or dying grass, and can also fill out your lawn reducing the risks of weed growth. This is a process that can be performed annually. Your lawn will need to be scarified and aerated before you can seed. To get an even coverage of your seeds there are spreaders available. You should keep your lawn moist and add a layer of top dressing to help your new grass grow. Top dressing is a mixture of materials like soil, sand, and peat, that can blend with the existing soil to help to stimulate the growth of a lawn.

Lawn Edging

Untidy edges can spoil the look of an otherwise spotless lawn. Particularly when your lawn is bordered by plants, using a lawnmower will not allow you to tidily trim the edges. There are several options available, such as edging shears, which are designed to give a neat cut along the edge. Another option is to use a spade or a lawn edging tool to cut sharper edges into your lawn.


Lawn Care Tips Throughout the Year

Lawn care is a year-round occupation, with different tasks that should be prioritised throughout. To ensure a neat, beautiful, and healthy lawn, here are the activities that should be conducted during each season of the year.

Lawn Care in Winter

In the winter you should avoid overcutting your grass, leaving it at a greater height than the summer. You should also avoid cutting if your lawn is wet or frosty. Avoid walking on your lawn as much as possible, as this can cause lasting damage. You should dig out weeds, and rake away any leaves or debris, but don’t scarify your lawn in the winter.

Lawn Care in Spring

You should mow your lawn more frequently in the spring, never taking off more than a third of the height. Spring can also be a great time to scarify your lawn and aerate it. This will ensure that your grass is getting all available nutrients, and also that you can plant seeds across your lawn. Once you have seeded, apply a layer of top dressing. Spring is also the time to apply a nitrogen-rich fertiliser to your lawn. Regular maintenance, with weeding and edging, should continue.

Lawn Care in Summer

In the summer months it is crucial to ensure that your lawn is adequately watered, particularly if you are in a prolonged period without rainfall. In a warm season grasses will naturally grow much faster, requiring regular mowing, at least once a week, though you can reduce this in times of prolonged heat. You should continue to weed your lawn and neatly cut the edges. Finally, remember to enjoy your lawn in the summer, and to make the most of your immaculate outdoor space.

Lawn Care in Autumn

Autumn is the time for heavy-duty scarification, providing your lawn needs it. From there, you can aerate your lawn and seed it, followed by a layer of top dressing. The heavy use of the summer may have led to compacted or moved earth, and autumn is the best time to try and loosen up soil through aeration and forking. Autumn is also the time to apply fertiliser with the active ingredients potash and phosphate to your lawn. You should be cutting your grass less frequently in the autumn, raising the height of the cuts as winter approaches. Continue weeding and neatly cutting the edge of your lawn.


Winter Spring Summer Autumn
Let your grass grow longer Regular mowing Weekly mowing Let your grass grow longer
Avoid walking on grass Light scarification and aeration Ensure water levels are adequate Heavy scarification and aeration
Remove weeds Plant grass seeds and apply top dressing Remove weeds Plant grass seeds and apply top dressing
Rake away leaves Apply nitrogen-rich fertiliser Lawn edging Loosen up compacted soil
  Remove weeds   Apply potash and phosphate fertiliser
  Rake away leaves   Remove weeds
  Lawn edging   Lawn edging

The Best Home Lawn Care Equipment

When it comes to lawn care, you’ll need to get the right tools for the job, alongside a strong lawnmower. Here are some great choices for a residential garden.

Lawnmower Recommendations

For a normal-sized residential garden a riding mower will probably be unnecessary. In terms of walk-behind mowers, you will have options for corded electric, cordless electric, and petrol-powered mowers. These will be either self-propelled or hand-propelled, with self-propelled being the more heavy-duty option. The Mountfield Princess 34 Li 13” is an excellent cordless mower, which Gardeners World called one of the “Best Lawn Mowers to Buy in 2022”. For a more heavy-duty option, the Honda izy HRG 466 is a fantastic petrol-powered push lawnmower.

Scarifiers

For a scarifier and aerator in one, the Cobra SA40E has interchangeable options for scarifying and aerating your lawn. It is a corded push powered machine, that can be used in both spring and autumn to keep your lawn clean and healthy. For handheld scarifying, a process not for the faint of heart, there are a wide variety of rakes for sale, with specialist moss removal options available.

Lawn Tools

You’ll need a variety of everyday lawn tools, from edge trimmers to rakes to weed pullers. Having a range of solid hand tools is essential for any gardener. Edging shears are available, from brands like Wilkinson Sword and Darlac, which will allow you to carefully trim the edges of your lawn from a standing position. Another option is to use Wolf Garten multi-tools, which allow a series of attachment heads to be used with universal handles. Wolf Garten offer a variety of handles, with handheld and telescopic options available. Relevant heads for lawn care include lawn edge trimmers, longspan rakes, moss removal rakes, and lawn edge irons.


Frequently Asked Questions

How do you care for a lawn?

When newly laid, you will need to carefully water and treat your home turf lawn, ensuring it never dries out. Water your lawn twice daily for a week, then a couple of times a week for a month or so, then once a week afterwards. You should avoid walking on your turf for the first three weeks, watering either from the side or by using a laying board to equally distribute your weight. After those three weeks, you should avoid heavy use of your lawn for at least another two months. Once your grass is embedded you should start mowing regularly to encourage growth. Make sure to keep your turf lawn clear of leaves, especially in the autumn.

What are the safety essentials for lawn mowing?

There are some key safety tips for using a lawnmower, such as using hearing protection, goggles, gloves, and long trousers during operation. You should never put your hand near the blade, even if your mower is switched off. You should also remove any solid objects from the lawn before mowing. Keep your lawnmower in good working order, with regular checkups, for both the quality of your lawn and your own safety.

What should I do if there are moles on my lawn?

The appearance of molehills on your lawn is a telltale sign that you have a mole problem. Flatten molehills as you go, and regularly mow your lawn, which can help to scare them away. If this doesn’t work it may be time to engage pest control or other lawn care services, who will be able to locate and remove any moles disrupting your lawn.


Our Comprehensive Lawn Care Range

Sims Garden Machinery has been selling quality gardening equipment for over 100 years. Through our website, you’ll find our range of Lawn Mowers, scarifiers, hand tools, and much more. All of our lawn care products and equipment can be delivered across the UK, with a member of our team assembling, testing, and demonstrating your products to you. This ensures only the highest quality of products, and that you’ll be able to start work on your lawn straight away.

Browse our amazing range of gardening equipment today.

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