The easiest ways to improve your lawn this summer

By | 24/02/2022
A lush, green lawn in Exeter.

As a lawn care professional I see the same lawn problems over and over. Many of these lawns can be improved with simple fixes. Here are my easiest ways to improve your lawn this summer.

Improve your lawn by mowing high

Most people I talk to are mowing their lawn too short. Mowing your lawn short harms your grass in several ways. Reducing the length of the leaves diminishes the grass plant’s ability to make its own food through photosynthesis. If the grass plants can’t produce enough food, they bring in reserves from its roots. This weakens and thins the lawn, and the grass will gradually disappear. A sorry looking lawn with lots of weeds will be the result. Not great. Also, having longer grass leaves makes the lawn look better. It will be thick and lush and look healthy. You will also be able to stripe it with a roller mower leaving that extra professional finish. Mow high and the overall look of your lawn will be transformed.

The lawn mans lawn
I mow my lawn on the very top setting of my lawn mower, and it looks great all year round.

Mow often to improve your lawn this summer

Mowing your lawn very regularly is an easy way to improve the look of your lawn this summer. If grass is left to grow long, mowing it back down will produce mowing scars. This happens because all the grass leaves go to the top of the plant and are all cut off when mown. This leaves just stalks and a sorry looking brown lawn.

This method of letting it grow long, then cutting it back down will also thin out your lawn. The most aggressive grasses will thrive (i.e., the broader leaf rye grasses) and the finer “filler” grasses will thin off and die. When the lawn is back under control, it will look thin and sparse.

Prevent this by mowing regularly. I recommend weekly or even more if you can, but every ten days is usually enough. Get into a weekly routine and mowing your lawn will be easier and look much better.

A mowing scar caused by letting the grass grow too long and cutting it right down.

Feed your grass for a lovely lawn

The act of mowing reduces the fertility in the soil. The grass draws out nutrients from the soil and with it grow leaves. In nature, these leaves are eaten by animals and the nutrients are returned to the soil through animal droppings and urine. That is the nitrogen cycle.

Unless animals graze your lawn, this natural cycle is broken. Regularly mowing your lawn and removing the grass clippings will reduce the fertility of the land over time. Lost nutrients will be be replaced by feeding your lawn. The grass will thrive, and you won’t need to bring a herd of cows into your garden!

A well-fed lawn will look greener, keep the weeds away and resist pests and diseases.

I recommend regular feeding throughout the growing season. Little and often is best when putting together a lawn care feeding programme. Feeding your lawn properly is one of the best ways to improve your lawn this summer.

And you don’t need expensive lawn-specific fertilisers to see results. Basic garden feeds suitable for all plants will bring benefits to grass. Yes, a professional fertilisation programme will be the best option and get the best results. But if that is not available, basic all-purpose garden feeds such as growmore are much better than nothing.

When feeding your lawn though, be careful. You don’t want to burn your lawn.

Spreading fertiliser for treatment 4
Spreading fertiliser over a lawn will easily improve it.

Aerate your soil and your grass will thank you

Aerating your lawn is the single best thing you can do to improve your lawn this summer. Healthy grass needs healthy soil to grow in. The quality of your grass starts right down at the roots.

Aerating your lawn is the process of driving holes into the soil. This process allows water, air and nutrients down into the soil. This allows the soil bacteria to thrive and the grass roots to stay healthy. Over time soil becomes compacted and the grass suffers. It grows slowly and gradually thins. The solution to this is aeration to improve the root system. A healthy root system is the key to a great lawn and the benefits of aerating a lawn appear quickly.

You can aerate your lawn using a garden fork. Push it in a gently lift the soil to break it up. If you have a large area of grass using an aeration machine is best. Aerators use metal tines to drive holes into the lawn. Professional groundsmen regularly used them on all the best sports pitches and golf courses. You can hire aeration machines machines from most tool hire shops or contact your local independent lawn care service. They will be happy to aerate your lawn for you.

If you only do one thing to your lawn this summer, aerate it. Your grass will love it.

The Lawn Man aerating a lawn to open out the soil and improve the grass for the summer.
Aerating a lawn in the spring.

Kris Lord
The Lawn Man

Mow high, mow often, feed and aerate.

The Lawn Man
A beautiful lawn in Exeter. Mowing high and regularly is the easiest way improve your lawn this summer.
This test lawn has has ZERO lawn treatments. It has just been mown high and regularly and it is thick and lush.

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