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HOW TO KEEP YOUR LAWN HAPPY

RYOBI TEAM
18 OCT 2019
 
The best way to get a healthy, lush lawn all year-round starts in spring with dethatching, aerating, fertilising, re-seeding and, finally, mowing. But exactly what is the best way to do all these activities?
 
 

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DETHATCH

If your lawn is looking yellow after a long winter, chances are it needs dethatching. Thatch is a build-up of dead grass and runners that can clog your lawn and starve it of nutrients and sunlight. To dethatch, first blow off any leaves or loose material on your lawn. Then mow your lawn shorter than usual and catch all the grass. Grab a metal tine garden rake and vigorously remove all the dead stuff. Be prepared for a bit of a workout. If this isn’t for you, hiring a motorised dethatcher will do a great job. NB: Only dethatch if you have found the dead material in your lawn.

AERATE

Whether or not you’ve decided to dethatch your lawn, aerating is a great way to allow oxygen to penetrate the soil, especially in high traffic areas that can get compacted and stifle growth. Also, aerating allows fertilisers to easily reach the grass roots. There are a few ways to aerate your lawn. Most of the manual methods, like using a garden fork, are pretty slow but effective, so allow plenty of time for a bigger lawn. If your soil is hard, give it a deep water the day before to make the job easier.

PS: If your knees are a bit dodgy, or you don’t have much time, there are motorised options you can rent.

RE-SEED

If your lawn has thinned out over winter, or even has bald patches, Spring is the time to resow or oversow with grass seed. Again, read the grass seed pack’s instructions for the best results, and make sure you match the same grass that your existing lawn comprises of. A motorised seed spreader is great at distributing an even amount of seed. Add fertiliser and then water it in for the best results.

FERTILISE

Spring is a great time to fertilise your lawn as it’s the initial growing time. Gardening outlets have shelves full of fertilisers for different lawn types, soil types, sun or shade, spray-on or sprinkle-on, so read the instructions carefully to get the best results. If you’re using a dry or powdered fertiliser, don’t forget to water it in! A motorised spreader is ideal for evenly distributing granulated fertilisers. If you prefer a liquid fertiliser, a motorised sprayer will help you knock this off quickly; and if your lawn is subject to weeds, a ‘weed & feed’ spray can do wonders, too.

MOW

Once you’ve dethatched, aerated, seeded and fertilised, give your lawn a couple of weeks to recover (maybe longer if you’ve re-seeded) then give it a good mow. For a healthy lawn, don’t take more than the top one-third off the blades of grass. This way, harsh sun won’t burn any new growth. And try to mow every 2 weeks to keep the lawn healthy. Now might be a good time to change over or sharpen your mower’s blades. Sharp blades slice through your lawn and prevent brown tips caused by blunt blades ripping, rather than cutting through the grass.

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