Year-round YEAR-ROUND CARE JANUARY: Never walk on the lawn JUNE: It may be necessary to Tools WHAT YOU’LL NEED surface when it is frosty as the mow at least once a week. Rake Spring & autumn New lawns: grass will be damaged or killed Further applications of a selective Leaf rake fertilisers Fork Lawn and when the surface is soft or weedkiller may be required to kill Lawn mower Liquid fertiliser Spade wet this can lead to compaction persistent weeds such as clover. Circuit breaker Lawn weedkiller Grass seed/turf Long-handled Moss killer •For more and thereby root damage. FEBRUARY: Have your mower JULY: Continue to mow but not too low in very dry conditions. edging shears Stiff brush/ information: THE EASY GUIDE TO serviced early to avoid the rush. Water in dry spells unless there Half-moon besom www.rhs.org.uk LAWN MARCH: Spike badly drained is a water shortage. For small edger Daisy grubber /advice Care lawns using a fork or aerator and weeds use a spot lawn weedkiller Hose/twirling www.plant sprinkler forlife.info H TA brush in a mixture of sand and or remove physically with a peat or peat substitute. Mossy daisy grubber. lawns can be treated with granular or liquid moss killer. Rake or scarify the lawn to remove the moss once it has died (it should turn black). APRIL: Feed with a lawn fertiliser AUGUST: Mow as required and do not allow to dry out. SEPTEMBER: Apply autumn lawn fertiliser. Re-sow worn patches and start to raise the mower blades when mowing. HORTICULTURAL TRADES ASSOCIATION THE HORTICULTURAL TRADES ASSOCIATION IS RUN BY THE GARDEN INDUSTRY FOR THE GARDEN INDUSTRY CARE It is dedicated to providing services, products, advice or a combined fertisliser/weed- Apply a selective weedkiller and information to help support and promote the killer. Do not apply a selective if necessary. Repeat moss business activities of garden retailers, growers, lawn weedkiller until two to three treatment; remove dead (black) landscapers, wholesalers, manufacturers and weeks after feeding. Mow estab- moss by raking or scarifying service providers in the UK. R HS lished lawns with blades of the and re-sow in April. ● Tel: 0118 930 3132 or visit www.the-hta.org.uk mower set not too low at first. On OCTOBER: In mild weather ● PlantforLife – visit www.plantforlife.info lawns where moss or weeds have the lawn may still required been removed, cut grass as low as regular mowing. possible, rake the soil surface and NOVEMBER: Sweep up any leaves then sow a good quality grass as they fall as they may kill the ROYAL HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY seed at 50g per sq m and rake in. grass if left. Make final mowing THE ROYAL HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY The new grass will fill in the gaps, early in the month if required. IS THE UK’S LEADING GARDENING CHARITY preventing further weed or moss DECEMBER: Clean your mower, Membership benefits include: growth and generally improving lubricate moving parts and ● free entry with a guest to RHS Gardens Wisley, the appearance of the lawn. lightly cover with oil any parts Rosemoor, Hyde Hall and Harlow Carr; ● free entry to more than 120 recommended gardens; MAY: Mow at least once a week. that may rust. Mark the mower Continue to spike and feed if with your post code and lock privileged entry and reduced-rate tickets not already done in April. it away in a shed or garage. for RHS flower shows; ● free gardening advice service; ● and free monthly edition of The Garden magazine. ● Call 0845 130 4646 or visit www.rhs.org.uk Photography: Tim Sandall/The Garden, Hozelock Made from at least 50% recycled paper; the remainder is from certified forests Lawns LAWNS Sowing SOWING A LAWN FROM SEED A large expanse of lawn can create a wonderful feeling of space in any ● For best results, sow late March garden. It blends perfectly with your colourful beds and provides space to May. Sowing is also possible for your family and friends to play and relax. Once sown or laid properly, in late September or October if lawns need only watering and mowing during the summer. autumn rains have started. If you already have a lawn in your garden, go to the section ● Seeds are a cheap option for a ion Preparat on Looking after your lawn. If you need to lay a new lawn, new lawn, but you will have to follow our advice below. wait at least three months to use it and nine months before it is tough enough to withstand enance Maint PREPARING FOR A NEW LAWN heavy wear and tear. ● Your garden centre or nursery ● The best time to create a new will sell packets already pre- help you sow evenly. lawn is in spring or early autumn. pared for a family lawn, a shady ● Rake a thin layer of soil over Measure the area before buying seeds or turf and remember site or a fine lawn. ● Start at the furthest point of the the seed and keep well watered. ● To deter birds and cats, place LOOKING AFTER YOUR LAWN to subtract borders and paths. lawn and sow evenly at 50g per canes around the area strung WATERING: Newly-planted lawns in spring and autumn. Turfing ● Correct soil preparation is sq m. A hand-held spreader will with black cotton. need plenty of water. A garden ● Use a liquid lawn fertiliser important for long-term success. hose is essential but a spinning to minimise grass scorching Prepare a few weeks in advance sprinkler that spreads water over in very dry weather. of sowing or turfing by eliminat- ing any weeds, rubbish and large LAYING A LAWN WITH TURF a rectangular area makes life easy. Lawn irrigation will cost more if ● In autumn, use a garden fork to create a series of holes to stones. Dig or rotovate and level ● If you want an immediate lawn, buy good quality turves. your water is metered. aerate the lawn. Then sprinkle the top 15–25cm, trying not to Cheaper options may contain weeds, pests and diseases. ● It’s better to water thoroughly in sand to create lasting bring the subsoil to the top. If the ● Turves are best laid in late summer or early spring. from time to time rather than drainage channels. soil is wet, clay or liable to water Avoid very wet or dry days or when the ground is frozen. little and often. WEEDING: Keep weeds at bay by logging, drainage may be needed. ● Make sure they are delivered ● Avoid watering in the heat of either hand weeding or applying ● Decide precisely the area you on the day you intend to lay the day or during a drought. a selective weedkiller that kills want and mark it out. It is better them although they will keep MOWING: When your lawn is 8cm the weeds but not the grass. Moss to prepare an area 15–25cm larg- for three to five days. long, start mowing regularly. can be killed with a moss killer, er than required to enable the ● Lay the first row along a straight ● For the first mow of spring and then raked out. Always follow grass or turf to be cut to a firm edge. Then place a plank on for new grass, keep the blades the instructions carefully. edge when fully established. them to spread your weight as high as possible. Then ● Repair bare patches either with ● Dig the area over. Remove all while you lay the second row. gradually lower the blades. turves or by re-seeding. weeds, including any with deep ● Stagger the squares to make ● Do not mow when grass is wet IN WINTER: Never walk on frozen roots, and all large stones. the lawn look even. or during a drought. or frost-covered grass. It causes ● Kill off any old grass and weeds ● Water well or the edge of each ● For electric mowers, use a cir- damage and can make the grass using a general weedkiller. turf will curl up. cuit breaker for your own safety susceptible to disease. ● Sprinkle a balanced fertiliser ● Avoid walking on your new lawn should you mow over the lead. ● To avoid introducing diseases, over the area such as bonemeal. for about six weeks. ● Use a half moon tool for cutting keep the grass clear of leaves ● If possible, dig in compost or the edges of newly laid turf and and debris with a springy rake. well-rotted manure and leave the existing lawns. Hold it vertically TIME-SAVING TIPS: ground to settle for a fortnight. against the side of a flat board ● To distribute grass seeds evenly, ● Rake over the ground to make it or against a garden line. Mark fill a plastic flowerpot with as level as possible. curves with a hosepipe. Long- seed and shake seeds out of ● Tread the ground flat by moving handled edging shears can also the holes in the base. across the area in a waddling be used to neaten borders. ● Use a mask when sowing to motion keeping your heels ● Raise the blades when mowing avoid breathing in the dust together. Get everyone to join in very hot weather. that comes out of the seed. in and the job’s done in no time! ● Stop mowing once frosts start. ● Don’t collect your clippings Alternatively use a roller on FEEDING: Make your lawn dense during dry spells to help large areas if the ground is dry. and lush by feeding it twice a year conserve moisture.