Spring has sprung – make sure you lawn is ready!
Following the vernal equinox on March 20 and with the clocks going forward this weekend, it is safe to say that spring is upon us.
The wet winter was tough on all of us and your lawn will have felt its effects too – so it’s time to give it some much needed TLC.
Now is a key time for lawn care and help is on hand from Cobra with some handy tips to have your garden’s greatest feature at its best. Cobra believe that there are three main stages in spring lawn care; mowing, fertilisation and dealing with unsightly problems.
The first step to achieving a perfect lawn all season is investing in the right mower for you. The Cobra range has a model for every garden and every budget. We have both electric and petrol mowers, with the latter available in rear roller or four wheeled models.
The first mow of the season will depend on the condition of your lawn so it is vital to get it right. Be careful not to mow too short as this will weaken the grass and encourage weeds and moss (more on how to get rid of these in a second). Beware of damp, soggy areas and don’t attempt to mow until they have dried out.
Most importantly – be gentle! Particularly on the first few mows.
Use a high setting (Cobra mowers have a unique seven stage adjustment feature that will let you increase the cut height in 10mm intervals from 25mm to 75mm). Following the bad winter weather, the roots will be soft and delicate, so can easily be pulled out. After the first mow, give it a few days to recover then mow again on a slightly lower cut height setting.
To maintain a good lawn, regular mowing is essential. The frequency of mowing will increase as the weather warms up so set aside plenty of time, at regular intervals, to get out in the garden.
Dealing with unsightly problems
Weeds and moss not only look awful but they will use up valuable nutrients which could be put to much better use helping your lawn to grow strong and healthy. A thicker, healthier and stronger lawn will help fend off weeds and the threats of damaging weather.
The biggest factor in conquering weeds is to ensure that you remove the entire root as this is the heart of the problem. Most weeds can be removed using gardening tools to uproot them, however if you have a more serious and persistent weed problem use a specialist weed killing product, of which there are plenty of the market. Make sure you buy the right killer and apply it at the correct time as indicated on the product. Always read the label carefully.
If your lawn has experienced prolonged periods of wetness and damp, moss could well be a problem. Apply a lawn treatment that contains a moss killer and regularly spike the area to improve aeration and drainage, again always read the label.
Bare patches can appear where the grass is undernourished or simply worn. To overcome this spread lawn seed across the area. To get an even covering and good growth, spread half the grass seeds in one direction and the rest in other, then lightly rake the area. You may need to protect the area from birds who will also be interested in the seed! To speed up germination, cover the seed with a small sheet of polythene.
Fertilisation and nutrition
Fertilisation is an absolute must. A good fertiliser will help replenish your lawn and will speed up growth. Make sure you use a spring mix as this will contain the right balance of nutrients for your lawn at this time of year.
Be careful that you aren’t too heavy handed; chemical fertilisers can cause disease and weed problems further down the line. Remember to always read the label carefully before using!
If you’d prefer a more organic approach use compost and mow with a mulcher (like the Cobra MX46B for £289.99). The MX46B lawnmower from Cobra comes equipped with a mulch plug to enable you to mulch your grass clippings back into the lawn. Mulching lawnmowers recycle the grass by finely cutting and re-cutting the clippings. As the clippings decompose, nutrients and fertilisers will return to the soil meaning you can cut the grass and fertilise at the same time.
A few other pointers to getting an attractive lawn
Trim edges – After mowing, trim overhanging grass with edging shears. Make sure they are share and don’t use them wearing open toed shoes!
Scarify to remove dead grass and other debris that could prevent healthy grass growth. (We recommend the Cobra Electric Scarifiers!)
Aerate the lawn, particularly if you have heavy clay soil. This will improve drainage – particularly if you have been badly hit by flooding. Aeration can rapidly help a lawn recover from flood damage as it gets air to the roots and helps drain away excess water. Simply push a garden fork it in to the turf about 15cm deep, move the handle around and move on. Repeat this every 30 cm across the entire lawn. This will get vital oxygen to the roots and also helps dry out the top-surface of the lawn.
Most importantly, enjoy your lawn and garden!