Caring for your Garden
Everyone loves a nice garden and by following the advice here, you can have your lawn looking perfect year round.
Help your soil breathe
It’s easy to provide air holes in your lawn by using a garden fork or aeration shoes from a garden centre. Just press the prongs into the turf. This process makes the lawn more tolerant to dryness and helps the turf become denser. We recommend doing this in spring (between March and May) and autumn (between August and November) or else the grass becomes too compact and it will die.
Planting shrubs enhances the look of your garden. We recommend that you do it in areas where your grass might not be as established, such as around the edges or near fencing and adjoining walls. These shrubs will help stop weeds and enrich the soil, but you should avoid planting trees because their roots can cause damage. Small-to-medium sized shrubs are fine though. Ask at your garden centre which kinds they’d suggest. Please be sure to check your lease before planting or removing anything in your garden as it may not be allowed.
Wait until turf is established before personalising your garden with ornaments or children’s toys. Move garden accessories regularly to allow the grass underneath to keep growing, prevent pooling and water-logging. Moving items will also prevent grass wearing away.
Your garden is the ideal place for pets to play, however only after the grass has established itself. If animals run on it before the turf has time to embed in the soil, they’ll add to any problems you might have when trying to grow your lawn. Damage to the lawn will also occur if animals run on the lawn when it’s wet. Dog urine can leave unsightly scorched patches of grass because of its nitrogen content. Apply water to these areas as soon as possible, or use a sprinkler to cover wide areas.
Caring for your lawn
Your new lawn will probably need its first cut about 2 weeks after your turf has been laid. To test if it’s ready, tug on the grass. If the turf lifts up – wait and try again in again in a few days time. If the turf feels secure, then its ok to bring out the mower.
All lawns require seasonal after-care to keep them looking at their best. For your newly-laid turf there are two key requirements to remember.
- Your lawn needs watering daily for eight weeks after it has been laid, either early morning or during the evening. Don’t water if raining, especially if you move into the property in the winter months
- Avoid walking on the grass for a minimum of three to four weeks, until the roots have taken hold.
Follow these two guidelines and your newly laid lawn will be off to a good start. Below is further advice to help maintain your lawn and keep it healthy for years.
Fill - fill in any gaps and undulations with stone free top soil or top dressing and sow grass seeds in these areas
Feed – Use lawn feed on your lawn in the spring months before or just after rain.
Mow - Begin your mowing regime, once a week at a height of 40mm.
Top dress – Brush in a thin layer of 50 per cent sharp sand and 50 per cent peat.
Moss prevention - Feeding will help but specific chemical treatments can be used.
Mowing – Gradually reduce the height of the grass to 13-25mm (medium to low setting). Cut once or twice a week.
Weeding – Using a weed killer or specialist tool to remove old vegetation.
Watering – Once a week (after first eight weeks). One metre square requires 20 litres of water a week. Water well in dry conditions.
Bare patches – patches in lawns can appear for a number of reasons, and when they do, it’s always advisable to repair them. You can do this by re-seeding or turfing bare patches which will help prevent weeds from germinating in the patches.
Aerate – Spike the lawn at a spacing and depth of 10-15cm.
Scarify – Vigorously rake using a spring tine rake to remove old vegetation and moss.
Mow – Reduce grass cuts to once a week and increase the cutting height to 40mm. Cut the grass on a high setting for the last cut of the year in September and feed the lawn with autumn lawn feed. Brush away leaves and rake until spring.
Avoid heavy use during the winter to ensure minimal damage to your lawn in the wettest months.
If you have just moved into your property in the winter and your lawn is newly-laid, the turf won’t be fully stable yet and it is vital to stay off it.
Heavy rain and poor lawn maintenance can make your lawn boggy with water collecting on the surface.
This waterlogging leads to the grass wilting, turning yellow and dying. If your lawn becomes waterlogged, try these remedies to help.
Avoid walking on the grass, as this will make it worse.
Try and gently brush excess water into a run off area or down a drain using a soft-bristle brush, then spike the lawn as deeply as possible with a garden fork.
If your lawn stays wet for long periods, add a thin layer of top soil or sharp sand to affected areas to help draw out moisture and recover quickly.
The ground under your lawn will take up to 12-18 months to find its own natural drainage, so when water levels are at their highest there will be standing water or pooling.
It is your responsibility to maintain the garden in all weather conditions. The building contractor will only attend to a waterlogged garden if there is pooling within three metres of your property.