Achieving the Perfect Lawn: Step-by-Step Guide

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Written & presented by Adam Woolcott

Transform Your Lawn: Essential Tips

This time of year your green-fingered efforts should be making people green with envy when it comes to your lawn, however, certain summer lawn problems can leave you feeling green around the gills instead!

What are the common summer problems that can effect your lawn and how can you: first identify them and then secondly deal with them?

I’m going to run through five issues you may encounter with your lawn this summer…

1. Weeds in Your Lawn

Weeds can be a major issue on lawns during the summer months. Warm, long days and high light levels give weeds the chance to take over and out-compete your lawn grasses.

Not everyone is bothered by weeds, some people enjoy dandelions, clover and yarrow growing and the benefits these can bring to wildlife. I would even suggest that if you have a large area of lawn then leave some to do just this. However, there’s no sin in treating yourself to that pristine lawn, so there’s some for you and some for nature.

How to Get Rid of Lawn Weeds

If you prefer, then you can physically remove lawn weeds yourself using a weeding tool. I even use an old knife or screwdriver to dig and tease out the weeds. These methods are perfect for organic gardeners but there are also chemical lawn treatments that will also do the job very well.

The chemical treatments – be they liquid or granular have what’s known as a selective action. This means that they will only kill broad-leaved weeds and not your lawn grasses. However, it’s critical to check the weedkiller is suitable for lawns otherwise you may destroy everything!

2. Thatch in Your Lawn

Thatch can be a problem during the summer months. This is a spongy layer of dead grass, moss and debris that builds up at the base of your lawn. It deprives the grass of air and light and prevents fresh grass stalks from emerging lower down.

How to De-thatch Your Lawn

Usually, thatch is dealt with in the spring as it’s quite a disruptive process and leaves the lawn looking worse before it finally improves. If you do want to rid of any thatch in the summer, then choose a cooler, cloudier and damp period to do it. This will reduce the shock caused to the lawn.

Removal of thatch is very straightforward, it can be done manually using a lawn rake. This is done by raking the grass vigorously one way and then doing the same perpendicular. Or, there are petrol or electric-powered Scarifiers that are great for large lawn areas.

Click the below for more information about Scarifiers…

3. Moss in Your Lawn

Moss can be a problem in summer, especially during wet summers or on shaded lawns. It has a very similar effect as thatch and once treated can be removed in the same way.

How to Get Rid of Moss

It’s best to kill moss before removing it so that you’re not just spreading it around. My preferred treatment is iron sulphate mixed with water and then watered over the moss. Choose a damp, cool day to do this and avoid spilling or treading the product onto patios etc as it can create rust stains!

The moss will blacken very quickly and once dead can be removed in the same way as thatch

4. Nutrient Deficiency Lawns

Feeding or lack of feeding can have a very detrimental effect on your lawn. It amazes me how a lawn that has been pale, yellow, thin and lacklustre for years responds so well to feeding. I fed a lawn like this just recently and the transformation has been dramatic.

Improve your lawn - add a chemical feed

Adding Chemicals to Your Lawn

Nitrogen is the main element plants require to keep them green and vibrant and lawn feed is high in nitrogen. Lawn feed can be granular or liquid. I prefer the liquid ones as they get to work faster and don’t need to be watered in during dry weather. Also, they don’t scorch the lawn if accidentally over-applied.

If you prefer to use a granular feed, then some amazing lawn feed spreaders will do the job quickly and efficiently.

5. Fungal Disease: Red Thread

Red Thread is the final lawn problem I’m discussing today. This is a fungal disease that affects lawns in wet summers and in particular very undernourished lawns.

Dealing with Red Thread

Red thread won’t kill your grass but it will spoil its appearance. Worry not though as it’s easy to treat. Feed your lawn as previously mentioned and your grass will quickly outgrow the red thread problem and once again look lush and healthy.

Whatever type of lawn you have don’t let these problems be a pain in the grass this summer, just follow these simple remedies for a lawn that’s green and proud to be seen.

Happy gardening!  


Adam Woolcott has over 30 years of experience as a professional gardener and has many accolades, but is probably best known for his four Gold Medals at The Royal Horticultural Society’s Chelsea Flower Show and his three BBC/RHS People’s Choice Awards at the show (of which he is particularly proud) which he won as one half of Woolcott & Smith.

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