Updated/Fact-Chacked on August 14, 2021 by John
Nothing is better than how lush grass feels beneath your bare feet or looks in daylight. However, it always feels like a healthy lawn is a lot of work. If you’re sick of your lawn looking lifeless and brown, consider these tips to help make it look as good as new.
- 2 Water Your Lawn Deeply and Infrequently
- 3 Aerate Your Lawn
- 4 Fertilise Your Lawn
- 5 Control the Weeds
- 6 Cut your lawn well
- 7 Rake Your lawn to Scarify
- 8 Plant Grass Seed (Overseed)
- 9 Spend time Edging your lawn
- 10 Let your grass grow
- 11 Keep your mower blades sharp as possible
- 12 Mow your lawn more often
- 13 Perfect Lawn FAQ
- 14 Final Thoughts
Water Your Lawn Deeply and Infrequently
The correct way to water is to do it smartly, not abundantly. You need to reach the roots, not to oversaturate the grass. Doing so helps deepen the roots, which, in turn, keeps the grass green in tougher times like in droughts.
Contrary to popular belief, lawns don’t need that much watering. Technically, most lawns don’t need more than 1 and a half inches weekly. If you don’t live in a rainy area, you will do the irrigation yourself. However, if you feel that the lawn is moist, don’t do it.
Also, water your lawn very early in the morning so that it can have all the time to benefit from it.
Aerate Your Lawn
The fact that grass roots need their share of oxygen just like water isn’t discussed enough. So, we resort to aeration, which is basically punching holes in the soil.
Aerating the lawn prevents thatch or moss build-up and soil compaction. So, all the water, nutrients, and air can penetrate the surface and feed the roots. This process also gives roots more space to expand.
You can aerate the soil by walking over the lawn while wearing aerating shoes. Smaller lawns can do with manual hand-operated aerators or spading forks. What about larger lawns? You can aerate those with plug aerators.
It is essential to pick the correct time to do so because improperly timed aeration can cause grass stress, like when the lawn is still dormant. The best time is the growing season because the lawn is then able to heal. You can aerate cool-season grass early spring or autumn.
Fertilise Your Lawn
Fertilisers are essential for your lawn, but you never want to go overboard, or it will cause grass burn and discoloration.
Also, it’s important to pick the right type for your lawn. Slow-release fertilisers can be applied every 10 weeks, while fast-release ones need re-application every 6 weeks. Always read the instructions before applying to know when and how to apply them.
Control the Weeds
You must fight invasive creatures like weeds to have a healthy lawn, and you do so by applying a weed killer once or twice a year. There are two types of weed killers: pre-emergent ones that prevent weed germination and post-emergent ones that target existing weeds.
The best time to use weed killers is during the spring, autumn, or winter because using them in the summer may burn your lawn. You may need to repeat your application if the problem is still persistent.
Cut your lawn well
We recommend cutting your lawn in both directions to ensure a thorough job, especially for the first few cuts of the year. You should empty the grass collection bucket regularly to ensure it’s not spilling out onto the lawn; clumps of dead grass may stop new grass pushing through.
Rake Your lawn to Scarify
You need to get rid of any dead grass and moss, and raking will do just the trick if you have a small lawn. Anything on the larger side may require a scarifying machine to do the job properly.
Plant Grass Seed (Overseed)
If you have bald patches appearing, simply add some grass seed to these areas, they will take in no time. With a garden fork, make some holes in the soil and scatter your grass seeds into them, then top off with some compost. If you find birds and animals are eating the grass seed, cover with some netting – you should be fine with the compost alone.
Water your grass seed every couple of days and avoid cutting this new grass until at least 4cm tall.
Spend time Edging your lawn
A perfectly edged lawn will look ten times better; invest in a good pair of edging sheers. For best results, edge the lawn when it if dry, any moisture in the grass will make it difficult to cut and your will be left with unsightly strands.
Let your grass grow
If you cut your grass too short, it won’t be able to produce the nutrients required from sunlight. Raise your mower up a notch; cutting your grass as short as a bowling green is not helping it.
Keep your mower blades sharp as possible
Imagine shaving with a blunt blade. The same is true for grass, blunt mower blades with rip the grass out instead of actually cutting it. Torn grass leaves are also prone to parasites and fungal infections. You need to sharpen your mower blades every couple of months to get the perfect lawn.
Mow your lawn more often
Don’t cut your lawn every 2 weeks, a UK lawn should be cut a least once per week to stimulate growth through side shoots. During the summer, it’s possible to cut a lawn every couple of days without having to pick up the grass. Small grass cuttings will mulch back into the lawn and help feed it (assuming you don’t have small children playing on it and walking grass into your house).
If mowing your lawn every couple of days is too daunting, consider a robotic mower.
Perfect Lawn FAQ
When is the best time to give your lawn a makeover?
Early spring is the best time, when temperatures are around 10 degrees and the grass starts growing again.
What do you put on your lawn to make it green?
You will need to follow all the steps above to get a good green colour, fertilizer alone is not enough. There is no quick fix.
What type of fertilizer makes grass greener?
Look for a grass fertilizer high in phosphate. In spring use a fertilizer with high nitrogen levels. Nitrogen aids photosynthesis and the production of chlorophyll, producing a stronger root system which in turn create greener leaves.
What does Epsom salt do to lawns?
Epsom salts are high in magnesium and other minerals, beneficial to the production of chlorophyll – so yes, epsom salts will help a lawn.
Does grass like coffee grounds?
Yes, coffee grounds are full of minerals which can be used as a fertilizer.
Should I leave grass clippings on lawn?
Only if you are cutting your grass every 2-3 days and allowing them to mulch down into the soil.
How many minutes should you water your lawn?
This will be trial and error depending on your soil type and how dry it has been. You need water to penetrate down to the roots around 15cm-20cm deep, which you can test with your garden fork. I aerate my lawn with my garden fork and check moisture levels as I go along.
Keeping your lawn alive and healthy isn’t rocket science, but you need to follow the tips above to have a lawn that’s nice to look at.
Mary shares a passion for gardening with her husband John, though she is more focused on growing veg on their allotment at St. Margaret’s Allotments, Durham. Mary also works in the lawn care industry and manages the lawns for the Durham University campus.