One of the most time-consuming garden maintenance tasks is undoubtedly looking after areas laid to lawn. Many larger gardens have extensive green areas, which look attractive and create a stunning visual impression, especially when combined with beautiful surrounding displays of plants and trees.
However, there’s no doubt that lawn maintenance takes a lot of work. It isn’t just a case of running a mower over it occasionally. Here, The Constant Gardener looks at some of the tasks involved in creating and maintaining a luxuriant lawn for your Chelmsford or Essex garden or estate.
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Creating and Building Up a Lawn
If a whole new lawn is being laid as turf, the ground will need preparation first, removing any old grass, plants, weeds, roots and large stones. The ground then needs to be levelled and raked to create a good surface for the new lawn, and the soil also needs to be prepared. The right type of fertiliser, mulch or dressing depends on the type of soil in your garden.
A favoured time of year to lay new turf is the autumn, as there will be rain to water it, but new lawns can also be laid in spring. These are also the best times of year for growing a lawn from seed. As well as laying whole lawns from scratch, seeding and turfing can also be used to build up and improve existing lawns, with spring again being a good time for this. The choice of a particular turf or seed depends on factors including the type of area and how heavily the grass will be used. Feeding the lawn can also help to make it grow and look better.
Scarifying and Aeration
An important part of garden maintenance is to scarify lawns, which is an effective way of removing dead moss and old grass stems, also known as “thatch”. How often a lawn needs scarification depends on the particular conditions, but this task is often carried out in early autumn.
Another task often carried out at this time of year is aeration, also known as spiking, which can be done with a garden fork or a specialist aerator depending on the conditions and on how large an area is being treated. Aeration helps to get more oxygen and nutrients deep into the soil and encourages root growth.
Cutting, Edging and Strimming
Grass cutting is one of the most essential tasks in lawn care, and it is possible to arrange for a lawn mowing service at the best frequency for your particular garden. As well as mowing, edging and strimming, the lawn will give a finish to the area and make it look well cared for.
Watering and Irrigation
How often a garden needs to be watered depends on the weather conditions, the type of grass and soil and various other conditions. It is best to water early in the day so that the grass can dry out before night. Newly-laid turf needs to be watered regularly, but it is important to avoid over-watering.
Pests which target lawns include Chafer grubs and Leatherjackets, the larvae of the Daddy Long Legs. Both of these eat the roots of grass and can cause damage to patches of grass which are left looking yellow. Ants are another pest targeting grass areas. An expert garden service can advise you on how best to tackle all of these creatures.
On top of all these tasks, a lawn needs constant care in general, with tasks such as removing fallen leaves in autumn, making any necessary improvements to drainage and generally giving the whole area a lot of TLC.
If you don’t have the time to carry out all your garden maintenance yourself, the Constant Gardener provides gardening services not only for lawns but for many larger gardens and estates in Essex, including Chelmsford, Leigh on Sea, Stanford Le Hope, Hullbridge, Abridge, Brentwood and Maldon. We have extensive experience and can give you a consultancy service and work out what needs doing for your lawn and your whole garden, all the year round.
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