No matter where you live, the cooler months can take a toll on your lawn. Whether the conditions are cold and wet, cold and dry, too sunny, too cloudy or too windy, they do damage.
But armed with the right advice and some simple tools and products, most problems can be fixed and your lawn rejuvenated.
The most common problem you’ll encounter in lawns during spring is dead patches. The first step is to identify the cause so you can take action to stop them recurring.
Bear in mind that the problem could be a combination of factors.
COMPACTED SOIL: When soil becomes compacted, which is not uncommon in areas where there is high foot traffic, grass is often damaged or worn away and struggles to regrow.
It is more likely to occur if the soil contains high levels of clay or organic matter. In the warmer months, when grass is naturally thicker, you may not have noticed the problem, but after winter, the spots are more obvious.
If the soil is hard underfoot and also draining poorly in bare areas, it needs to be aerated.
SPOT TREATMENT: It is not always necessary to replace an area of lawn. Instead, just repair it with a garden fork, a rake and washed course sand.
At 100mm intervals, drive the fork into the soil about 50mm deep. Rock it back and forth to open up the holes. Rake sand over the area. This helps improve aeration and drainage.
OVERSHADOWING: Another cause of dead patches is overshadowing. As gardens grow, the available light can decrease. To fix this, trim shrubs and prune trees to lift their canopies.
Help the lawn by fluffing up the bare soil with a steel rake or garden fork, remove weeds and spread lawn seed. Keep it moist as it germinates and establishes.
BINDII BLUES: Feeling the prickles of bindii? Then, sadly, it’s too late to treat your lawn for this problem weed. The prickles are the seeds and tell you that this annual plant has reached the end of its life cycle.
If it has been a problem, make a note in your diary that you should spray bindii in autumn and again in late winter.