Winter can be tough on your lawn. Growth slows down but unfortunately the kids and your dog are still running around wearing it down, so bare patches can quickly appear but be cumbersome to repair.
The enemies of grass are compaction, poor nutrition and bad mowing habits. Now is the time to remedy this or else you’ll find bindii and clover quickly take up residence, making bare foot frolics a nightmare of prickles and bee stings!
Aerate your lawn using a garden fork in the worst worn areas, or, if your area is large enough, hire a roller that removes plugs of soil, called a lawn corer, or has long spikes that penetrate your grass and allow water and air back in.
This stimulates growth and encourages deep roots that are more drought and heat resistant for the summer.
Scarifying your lawn can also encourage new growth. This is the term for removing old matted grass known as thatch. You can scarify by using a steel tyned rake or even giving your grass a one off “close shave” with the mower.
Generally, however, lawns are cut too close on a regular basis, and this puts grass under stress making it vulnerable to weeds and drought, so lift the mower notch up to 5 and you’ll be amazed how much healthier it will be.
Fertilising in spring will encourage your lawn to quickly grow over any bald patches.
Options include bagged top dressing (which includes slow release fertiliser) to level any sunken spots, slow release lawn fertiliser (for sustained growth throughout the warm weather) and hose on weed and feed type products if you’re trying to weed out clover, dandelions and bindii.
Lastly, give your lawn a sprinkle with a product like Saturaid to aid water penetration, then give it a deep soak.
And once the grass is greener on your side of the fence, enjoy mowing it yourself or at the very least, ask your contractor to hose down their mower before using it at your place, as they can easily reinfect your lawn with weed seeds from someone else’s place!