Your lawn questions answered

Lawnseed 500X240

Nothing beats a traditional lawn, although our changing climate, wear and tear and tricky growing environments can all make perfect grass a challenge. Well don’t worry – we’ve answered the most common grass-related questions to arm you with the knowledge to create a perfect lawn. From moss, weeds and watering to cutting, sowing and feeding – we’ve covered it all.

Q. How do I get rid of moss from my lawn? It seems to be killing the grass.

A. The most effective way to remove moss from a lawn is by using a spring-tine rake. It pulls the moss from the ground, opening up the soil and giving the grass more of a chance to grow. It’s quite hard work, but definitely worth the effort. Once you’ve done this, treat the cause of the moss to prevent it returning – this is usually poorly drained soil or a shady position, sometimes both. Improve drainage by aerating the soil  – do this by pushing a fork into the ground all over the lawn. Improve low light levels by raising the canopy of surrounding trees. Alternatively consider sowing a new lawn with shade-tolerant grass seed – this will have more chance of competing with the moss. Moss killers will have some effect, although their results are likely to be short-term.

Q. Should I water my lawn?

A. No. Established lawns don’t need any water to survive and, even in a very dry summer, can cope without it. Admittedly a lawn might go a little brown during long dry periods, but it’s not sustainable to keep watering and grass quickly recovers with a little rain. If you want a consistently green lawn, turn a blind eye to clover and weeds – these stay green in most conditions and still look neat when cut. New lawns are the exception and need watering to help them establish – especially during their first summer.

Q. How do I rid my lawn of annoying weeds?

A. Using a hand trowel or specially designed lawn weeder is the most effective way of removing weeds from grass. It can be a time-consuming job, although if done little and often it’s not much of a chore. Alternatively you can use a chemical treatment to kill the weeds – these are sometimes combined with a moss killer and grass feed. Regular application is necessary to make sure weeds don’t return, and take care not to over-treat the lawn or apply the chemicals in very dry weather – this can scorch the lawn and cause lasting damage.

Q. What lawn seed should I use?

A. It all depends what you’re using the seed for. If you want to repair a bare or damaged patch of grass, choose a seed that matches the surrounding turf. If you’re sowing a new lawn from scratch consider the growing environment and what the lawn will be used for. If the site is shady, choose a shade-tolerant mix. If the lawn is going to get a lot of foot traffic or be used for playing, choose a hard-wearing mix. New lawns are best sown in the spring or autumn when there’s plenty of moisture in the soil. Tread carefully during the initial weeks and keep new grass well watered through the first summer.