Whether you’re caring for newly laid turf or your lawn is already established, there are some important times of year on the typical lawn care calendar.
Here we look at some of those landmark moments both for new turf aftercare and for general lawn maintenance in order to keep your grass looking lush and green with healthy roots.
Beware of frost and look after your garden over winter. You can’t lay frozen turf but once turf is laid, frost should not kill it – just avoid walking on frozen grass as you’ll crush the delicate blades.
Apart from that, January is usually a fairly low-maintenance month, so just keep your grass free from leaves and any debris blown on to it by storms.
If temperatures are above freezing, the wetter conditions in February are a good time to check on drainage. Fork your lawn to improve drainage and make a note of any hollows.
Dry Februaries give you time to make a head start on scarifying your lawn, to remove dead growth and accumulated moss from the bed of the lawn and encourage new spring growth.
The start of spring is your chance to give your lawn an MOT. Rake out any remaining dead growth and brush off worm casts and other surface detritus.
Feed well and watch for weeds that may start to appear in the warmer weather. This is one of the last recommended times of year to lay new turf, before the hot, dry summer days set in.
New turf lawns that have not yet fully rooted into the subsoil should be watered well to get them bedded in before the summer months.
You can start to mow mature lawns more regularly – just avoid any daffodils growing in the grass – and sprinkle a little extra soil into any hollows in the grass, so new shoots will grow and naturally fill them in.
By now any weeds should be apparent and can be tackled with a suitable weedkiller or by pulling them up by the root.
Continue to infill any depressions in the lawn surface with light applications of fine soil brushed gently into the grass – don’t smother the healthy grass though!
If you must lay new turf in summer, make sure the soil is well prepared with plenty of water, and water the new turf well to prevent it from drying out and encourage rooting.
You can protect existing lawns in dry weather by reducing mowing and cutting the grass to a longer length, as well as leaving the clippings on the lawn as a protective and moist mulch.
Hot weather is the enemy in the peak of summer. If the ground feels baked, spike it to allow moisture to penetrate, and water well to help tackle compacted and dry soil around your lawn’s roots.
Weeds such as clover are rampant at this time of year too, and prompt action is best to keep them at bay. Also look out for creepy crawlies such as ants, which should not threaten your lawn but can be a nuisance in the garden.
In dry summers, you can continue to mow to a longer grass length and leave the clippings on your lawn to retain some of their moisture.
In wet summers, you should have a lot more new grass growth to deal with, so mow the grass shorter and put the clippings in your garden waste or compost bin.
We are now entering the best time of year to lay new turf – temperatures are dropping, rainfall is increasing and there’s still a good few weeks for turf to put down roots before winter starts.
A gathering of starlings on the lawn could be an indicator of an infestation of leatherjackets, the grub of the daddy long-legs, so get your magnifying glass out and check if you need to dose your lawn with pest killer.
Again, a good time of year to lay turf. If the autumn weather is reasonably fair, it’s also a good time to prepare soil for laying turf, while giving it from a few days to a few weeks to settle before the turf itself goes on top.
You can give established lawns some last TLC for the growing season. Mow them to a longer length so they’re stronger over winter, spike them to improve drainage, and scarify to remove dead excess growth from summer.
Grass will be entering its dormant phase, depending on the temperature, so stop mowing and switch into low-maintenance mode.
If you haven’t done it yet, this is the last good time to tackle moss growth in your lawn using specialised moss killer and then scarifying to lift out the dead moss – just don’t damage the grass itself by scarifying too deeply in wet weather.
Finally, remember to avoid walking on lawns unnecessarily when the blades of grass are frozen by frost. December is a good time of year for visual inspections from a distance.
Again if you see birds congregating on your grass, you might have harmful grubs and other insects infesting it. Meanwhile standing water is a sign of hollows that can be gradually filled in with regular light sprinklings of soil in the new year.
If you are thinking about having a brand new lawn, talk to the team at Carbutts Turf, we will be able to advise you on the best way to proceed depending on what time of the year you plan to lay turf.