What should I do with my lawn after the ravages of last summer?

In summary: Don’t panic!! Replacing your entire lawn is almost certainly not necessary; the vast majority of lawns will completely recover with some standard lawn care. Read on for more detail.

Last year’s drought and heat wave was tough on our gardens, especially our lawns. But grass is pretty tough, and as the weather turned cooler and damper, most lawns recovered well.

It has however taken all winter for many lawns to really pick up, and this delay has meant that many gardeners are finding they have sections of what was once lawn, now inhabited by moss and weeds – with weeds in particular being very quick to infill any bare patches.

As a result, here at ALDA we have had a lot of enquiries from people contemplating removing their entire lawn, and replacing it with new turf.

But is this draconian action – and its associated cost – really necessary? In most cases, almost certainly not. Our advice is “Don’t Panic”! The vast majority of lawns will completely recover with some standard lawn care – mowing, scarifying, overseeding etc:

  • Start by mowing the lawn
  • Remove any weeds growing in bare patches
  • Scarify the lawn to rake out moss and any debris (ok, this may be an arduous task), and also to loosen and level the top of the soil surface
  • If the soil is heavily compacted, perhaps think about aerating the areas affected
  • Overseed the areas with a mix of grass seed, sharp sand and a decent compost (very approximately equal proportions of each)
  • Keep the area moist

Within a few weeks, you should begin to see a big improvement.

Also bear in mind that all lawns tend to look their worst at the end of the winter when they haven’t been cut for a while, and the lawns have had snow lying on them, or been frosted etc.  It’s amazing what a few cuts, and a bit of Spring growth will do all on its own – and if you wish to also feed the lawn, the transformation by May / June will be amazing.

So, even if your lawn is look like a moss-fest – there is still hope!

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