If your lawn tends to turn brown and look like it’s suffering over summer; don’t panic, this is a fairly common problem. If it’s compacted or patchy; don’t worry, you can take steps to improve it and fix it for next year.
Grass is one of the strongest and most versatile plants on the planet, able to grow in almost all climates, from the snow-covered mountains to the scorching African plains. So, generally, grass is very capable of healing itself and with time it will recover of its own accord. We’ve collated some tips that will help to speed this process up.
At this time of year, the grass will grow quickly and will require, at the very least, fortnightly or even weekly mowing. You can use a cylinder mower to do this, which is best for small to medium domestic gardens and small areas of communal or public green spaces.
This type of mower will cut the grass very finely, giving you a precise finish. It also leaves the glass clippings behind, which will help the lawn to retain vital moisture and nutrients.
If you’re looking after a bigger patch you may want to consider a large ride-on mower.
You can aerate lawns twice a year, and it is best to do it in spring and summer, or at least when the soil is not too wet or water-logged. Aerating now will help to make the grass healthier, thicker and greener for next year. For large areas of grass, choosing a motorized aerator takes most of the effort and hard work out of the job and takes significantly less time than using manual aerator tools.
If the lawn has been aerated once already in the last 12 months, or it is only lightly compacted, you only need to make one pass with the aerator. If the soil is heavily compacted or you haven’t done it for a while (or ever!), then make two passes over the area.
If the weather is very hot and sunny, avoid watering your lawn during the daytime, especially during the afternoon when the sun is likely to be at its hottest.
Water in the grass will evaporate quickly in these conditions, scorching the lawn as it dries and causing it to turn brown. Instead, water as late as possible when the sun is cooler and beginning to set. Sometimes daytime watering cannot be avoided, and the grass will still benefit more than it would without any moisture at all.
Weekly watering should be enough for most lawns, especially if it rains in between, too.
- Repair patches
The best time to repair patchy lawns is in spring, although it is still possible at this time of year, but any new grass shoots that sprout now may still be vulnerable to autumn frosts.
First, cast seeds over the turf by evenly sprinkling them. Then spread about half an inch of compost or topsoil onto the lawn. This will help the seeds to ‘bed in’ and will prevent birds from reaching them. Next, water the seeds very lightly with a fine rose or mist setting on a hose or sprinkler. Take care not to simply wash the seeds away with too much force.
Do this early in the morning and evening until the seeds germinate. Once sprouted, water on alternate days, or every day in dry conditions. Avoid mowing the area at this stage until the sprouts have spread, become thicker and more established.