Looking after and maintaining your garden takes a lot of work and effort – and trying to achieve a lush looking lawn can seem like an uphill battle.
Given the recent hot weather, this can be particularly difficult, but fortunately even the most problematic uneven lawns can be repaired.
Here, The Grass People lawn expert Chris McIlory shares his top tips for tackling the most common problems, from dry patches to root-munching insects…
food for thought
The high temperatures of the summer heat can stress your lawn.
This can slow growth in the process, making it difficult for your grass to stay healthy – but this can be fixed with fertilizer.
Chris says, “To make sure your lawn is in the best possible position to withstand heat and stress, make sure you feed your lawn.
“To ensure you get the most out of your fertilizer, the best conditions await on days when rain is expected.
“Fertilizer doesn’t like the sun and it likes wet soil, which makes rainy, cloudy days perfect for the job.
“It’s important to start this work fairly early in the summer, because after August the high nitrogen levels are not suitable due to the upcoming fall weather.”
We all want to sit down and enjoy our gardens, but it’s important to consider the impact large, bulky items like furniture can have on the grass.
Chris says, “Remove as much large debris from your lawn as possible.
“In hot weather, it’s tempting to leave garden furniture, barbecues and even paddling pools on your lawn, but it can be damaging.
“Leaving heavy objects on the lawn prevents grass from accessing the vital air, light and water it needs to thrive at a time when it is already stretched to its limits.
“If you can’t store these items, try moving them around your lawn so each section has a chance to breathe.”
There are two options for removing weeds from your lawn.
Chris says: “The first is to manually dig up the weeds or the second is to apply a chemical weed killer.
“You can use both methods if your lawn is established (at least 6 months old) but do not use feeder, weedkiller or weedkiller on a newly seeded lawn as it may have a detrimental effect.
“To eliminate unwanted weeds, we can also use techniques such as aerating and scarifying the lawn or pulling out weeds with a spade and patching with grass seed.”
Leather jackets are a pest you can find in your weed – and they can cause annoying yellow spots.
Chris says: “They thrive in poorly drained lawns and hatch from eggs laid by Leggy Daddy.
“You may notice that you have a leather jacket problem if yellow patches appear on your lawn as they feed on the roots and stems of the blades, causing your lawn to become discolored and yellow or brown.
“As they thrive in poorly drained soil, a simple way to prevent leather jackets from inhabiting your lawn is regular aeration to improve your soil drainage.
“If you already have a leather jacket problem, you can treat it with nematodes which are bacterial worms that naturally kill leather jackets.
“There are different types of nematodes, so when buying them for your lawn, be sure to buy the Steinernema Feltiae nematode.”
Overcome problems with overseeding
Winter can be unpleasant for lawns, making them thin or patchy. Summer is therefore the ideal time to repair these damaged areas by overseeding.
Chris says, “If you want to try your hand at overseeding, there are a few steps to follow.
“First, make sure you take the time to prepare the lawn, this includes weeding the lawn and removing any debris such as rocks or stones.
“Next, it’s time to scarify and fertilize the lawn with a quick-release fertilizer. Finally, moisten the soil and sprinkle the seeds, water and then roll the lawn.
“The final step is to sit back and enjoy your lush green lawn!”