The perfect garden lawn is practical to use, lovely to look at and an asset to your home. But we all have different requirements, and varying garden conditions. Whether your lawn is patchy from heavy use, growing sparsely due to shade or lacking the luxury touch there are some simple steps to achieving your ideal lawn all year round, advises Johnsons Lawn Seed expert Guy Jenkins.
- Assess your needs
The first step to lawn success is to decide what you need most from it. Does your lawn need to be hard-wearing for heavy family use, is it mainly a space to relax in, or must it be low maintenance if you have little time for gardening? Do you have shady areas with difficult dry ground, are you looking to create a showpiece lawn, or perhaps a country meadow effect? You might be seeding from scratch, repairing bare patches or want a thicker lawn fast. You then need to keep those main aims in mind when choosing lawn seed, and taking care of your lawn each season.
- Know your seed
Choosing the best grass seed to create or repair your lawn can be confusing because there are so many different mixes on the market. Look carefully at both the product’s description and the types of grass seeds listed on the pack, because some producers cut costs by bulking out their mixture with agricultural varieties that are unsuitable for domestic use, such as Lolium Multiflorum (apart from the amenity variety Axcella). The types of seed that do produce reliable, manageable results in domestic lawns include Perennial Ryegrass, Smooth Stalked Meadow Grass, Browntop Bent, Creeping Red Fescue, Chewings Fescue and Hard Fescue.
- Get the mix right
You can then confidently choose the lawn seed mix that suits your needs, and the time of year you plan to use it. Here are seven of the best, all available from Britain’s favourite lawn seed brand, Johnsons Lawn Seed:
- Good for fast results: ‘The 1’ – New for 2015, ‘The 1’ is the quickest establishing grass seed you can buy; containing two, new varieties of lawn perennial ryegrass that trials prove are the fastest to germinate and establish. Yet they then grow at a normal rate, so no extra mowing required!
- Good for replacing moss: ‘After Moss’ – This unique solution not only re-establishes grass where moss has been removed, it also keeps the moss at bay afterwards. The secret is in the ‘moss deterrent’ calcium carbonate that coats each amenity dwarf perennial ryegrass seed and gently raises the soil pH level to create an inhospitable environment for moss – allowing lush, new grass to grow unhindered.
- Good for early sowing: ‘Any Time’ – Containing the latest Amenity Ryegrass and Red Fescue, Any Time establishes faster than other mixtures and will germinate when the soil reaches +3°C, so you can sow it earlier in the year. The grass is also a deep green colour and hardwearing.
- Good for repairs: ‘Quick Fix’ – This blend of Growmore fertiliser and Amenity ryegrass is ideal for patching lawns damaged by wear and pets.
- Good for heavy use: ‘Tuffgrass’ – Quick to establish, Tuffgrass provides good green cover and weed control whilst withstanding substantial wear and tear.
- Good for ‘bowling green’ looks: ‘Luxury Lawn’ – This mix produces a neat and compact, low growing turf with uniformly fine leaves, making it easier to maintain an attractive appearance with minimal opportunity for weed establishment.
- Good for shade: ‘Shady Place’ – A top quality mixture specially formulated to produce a top quality lawn which will maintain its appearance and colour in dry, shady conditions
- Keep it neat
Keep this monthly check-list handy for a better lawn, all year round:
- January: Keep off the lawn at this time of year, except to brush away fallen leaves. Have the mower overhauled.
- February: Brush off any worm casts. Do not cut the lawn this month.
- March: Two light cuts just to ‘tip off’ the grass are sufficient this month. Before the first one, brush the lawn to remove surface rubbish, and rake so that the grass and weeds are set up to meet the mower blades. Trim and neaten lawn edges. If your mower does not have a roller, give the lawn a roll when the surface is dry. It’s also a good time for lawn restoration work.
- April: Give the lawn a spring feed and start weed control. Where moss is a problem, apply a moss killer. Mow the lawn weekly, reducing the height of the cut a little, although not below 2cm (1in). Cut out coarse grasses and keep the edges trimmed.
- May: Increase frequency of mowing as necessary, gradually reducing the height of the cut to summer levels. This is the best month for weed control, when the grass is dry but the soil moist.
- June: Mowing the lawn twice a week may be necessary if the soil is moist. But if there is a long, dry spell, raise the height of the cut and mow once a week. If weeds remain after initial treatment, repeat the process but not during a long dry spell. Keep edges trimmed and water well in long dry spells.
- July: Mow regularly at the summer cutting height and keep edges trimmed. A summer ‘tonic’ feed may be applied during any showery spell.
- August: Mow regularly at the summer cutting height. Raking the lawn before mowing will help to keep grass and clover ‘runners’ under control.
- September: Mow less frequently and start raising the cutting height. If any diseases are spotted, treat with fungicide. Think about spiking and top dressing, or applying an autumn feed. This is another good season for lawn restoration work such as levelling bumps and hollows, and reseeding bare patches.
- October: Mow less regularly, and raise the cutting height to a minimum 2cm (1in) for the last cut or two.
- November: If a light cut is necessary, set the blades high. Brush away leaves and worm casts.
- December: Apart from brushing away fallen leaves it is best to keep off the lawn.
For more information, interviews or images please contact:
Kimberley Hornby, DLF Trifolium PR Team, Whitefoot PR
Tel: 01858 681122 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org