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Taking care of your lawn during the spring

Date posted: 17 October 2013

During the springtime, your lawn will be actively growing - and as a result it will demand regular mowing, feeding, and treatments such as moss killer. It may start the season looking rather worn and unhealthy after the harsher winter months, but with regular maintenance you can restore it to its former glory in time for the summer months when you want to use it the most.

Lawn Feeding

All lawns should be fed if you want to enjoy them at their best – and while you're doing this, it's a good opportunity to look out for weeds, moss and other pests, then apply the necessary weed or moss killer. The best time to feed your lawn is usually late March to early April. Choose a spring lawn fertiliser and apply it as described in the manufacturer’s instructions, and when the soil is moist, or rain is forecast. This will help the lawn grow vigorously and help prevent moss and weeds from establishing themselves.


During the winter you probably won't need to mow your lawn very much except during sunny spells, but once the weather improves you will need to start mowing it regularly – probably about once a week.

Mowing is key in maintaining a healthy lawn. The first time you mow your lawn in spring, set your mower's cutting height to the highest setting. For subsequent mows leading into the summer, gradually reduce the height of cut until you're happy with the results. Fine lawns will need about 6-13mm, while ordinary ornamental lawns will need around 13-25mm by summer.

Some mowers provide a much better quality cut than others, and your local garden tool hire centre will have lawn mowers for hire if you want to try a couple of models before you buy. Mower blades need to be kept sharp - you can sharpen rotary blades yourself, but for a cylinder mower it's best to take it to a professional.

Scarification to remove moss and weeds

If your lawn is not in the best shape – for example if it is damp, with poor drainage – you may be plagued by moss, giving it an uneven appearance and surface.

Spring is the best time to tackle this, and simple scarification offers a non-chemical means of doing it. Scarification can be achieved by raking the grass fairly vigorously to remove moss and weeds without damaging the grass itself – easier still, particularly if you have a large lawn, you can hire an electric lawn scarifier or a petrol lawn scarifier from a local garden tool hire centre to do the hard work for you.

Chemical solutions can be used to control small patches of moss, and you can also find moss killers combined with a fertiliser if you want to give sparse grass a growth boost at the same time. Always apply lawn moss killers in good weather, and read the instructions carefully - some require watering after 48 hours if it hasn't rained, for example.

A good schedule might be to apply fertiliser and mosskiller to your lawn in mid- to late March, in fine weather, then in early April rake out any dead moss and over-seed any areas of lawn that are too sparse.

Seeding sparse areas

Spring is also a good time of year to over-seed patchy areas of grass where the growth is too sparse. First, use a fork to break up the surface and then rake it to create a fairly fine texture. Sow about half the recommended quantity of seed, and then rake again gently to integrate the seed into the surface. If you spot birds trying to eat the seed, you may need to protect the area with netting while it gets established.

If there is no rain for a couple of days after seeding, water the area lightly.


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