Lawns have spurts of growth in late spring, early summer and in mild autumn when they will probably need cutting at least once a week. In the height of summer, if the weather is very hot and dry, the lawn should be left reasonably long and cutting should be avoided. However, if an irrigation system is used, the grass will continue to grow throughout and will need cutting accordingly. Avoid excessive wear on the lawn especially when wet and while the turves knit.
If using a cylinder mower please ensure that the blades are sharp and correctly set. Hover mowers are lighter and easier to use and can now be purchased with grass collection boxes if desired. Although they will never achieve a show lawn finish, they carry less risk of mowing unevenly and therefore damaging the lawn.
In order to maintain a successful general purpose lawn, grass should never be allowed to grow longer than 6-8cm or cut shorter than 2cm. Cutting should therefore be as frequent as required to maintain this.
Ideally the lawn should be cut when the grass is dry, but it is more important not to let the grass become overgrown especially in the spring, so it may need to be cut even if it is quite wet. Grass cuttings may be composted.
Rake fallen leaves off lawn as soon as possible using springbok or rubber fingered rake.
Leaves left lying on the lawn will adversely affect the quality of the lawn in future years.
If the appearance and durability of the lawn is poor in future years it may be necessary to carry out the following:
Spiking, Top Dressing and Feeding
Improvement of the organic content of the soil beneath a lawn is obviously much more difficult than in planted areas. Soil improvement to help increase aeration and drainage is very important.
The lawn should be spiked all over to a depth of 15cm using a garden fork or a mechanical spiker. Ideally this be done after scarifying has removed any thatch.