In terms of places we go in the world to relax, there aren't many that can compete with our gardens. Over the years, they play host to a number of barbecues and various other gatherings while allowing us to forget about our worries for a day or two. In the summer, whatever summer we’re lucky enough to scrape in the UK, some days will see us sunbathe and just enjoy the lawn. If you have children, memories are even created in the garden so it’s an important part of any home.
With the extreme changes in weather we experience in the UK, this can make it hard to provide proper care and attention to our lawns. Once you add children and their football into the equation, it becomes very difficult indeed. After speaking with several people on this very topic, we were actually surprised to hear that most didn't know how to care for their lawn across the year. Although they could pick out certain lawn-mowing tips and when to feed the lawn, they didn't know how to provide care all-year round.
Today, we’ve got the ultimate guide for you and your lawn. As we split the calendar down month-by-month, you can see exactly what the experts advise and how you can ensure a healthy life for your lawn for many years to come!
Still in winter at this point, January is generally a very quiet month and we advise against walking across the lawn when there’s a frost. If you walk on it too often, you’ll open it up to lawn diseases and a variety of other issues. If the weather improves one day, feel free to brush the debris and fallen leaves away while also applying treatment if you have any issues with moss. By the time spring rolls around, this will leave your lawn looking fresh and ready for the summer months.
While removing pine cones, twigs, and other heavy debris can be helpful, it can also have the opposite impact if your lawn is waterlogged or frozen. Therefore, we always recommend assessing the situation every couple of days. If you really don’t have any opportunities to remove leaves, it’s better to leave it and wait.
In the second month of the year, we’re just starting to leave the bitter cold but most still have trouble doing much with their garden. Since frost is still likely, you can damage the lawn by jumping the gun and acting too early. If you have moss problems, use a sulphate treatment and this can prevent the issue from growing while also discouraging lawn disease. Since we’re just around the corner from spring, now would be the best time to check your push mower as well as your other supplies. If it needs a service, get this done now and then you’ll be ready for when the time comes.
Although we can’t always trust the UK weather, March is generally when things start to turn and this makes it an important month for lawn care. If you’ve already seen some growth, feel free to run a good electric mower over the lawn but only on a high cutting setting. At this time of year, cutting the lawn back too far will allow moss and weed to take hold and this is the last thing you need when trying to prepare for the year ahead. Sadly, many also experience the feared ‘yellow lawn’ when it’s cut back too far so a light trim will do perfectly.
Before mowing, we recommend running a light rake through the grass to remove leaves and help the grass to sit up for the trim. During this month, a maximum of two cuts should be enough and you can also use a lawn trimmer to tidy the lawn edges. If you have a lawn scarifier, this can be a great way to remove dead grass, moss, and even thatch.
Hopefully, the weather is getting warmer now but you still need to be wary of frost and cutting your grass too short. At this time, you’ll start to mow more often and you can also apply the first fertiliser treatment of the year; this will encourage growth. If you’ve been using moss treatment especially, your lawn might need a little spruce up while looking bare. For most, spring is the most important time of year because your hard work here will be rewarded later.
As we reach May, you can start to lower the height of the mower cutting setting because the risk of moss and weed settling now is reduced. Once again, mowing will become more frequent as the weather warms as well as a result of the fertiliser laid in April. Using some shears or a grass trimmer, keep the edges short and the whole lawn looking tidy. If there are small patches of weed, apply the treatment carefully and your lawn will start to take shape.
During this first glimpse of summer, mowing can increase to twice a week and it’s all about maintenance as we head into the warmer months. If there isn't much rainfall, you can water lightly but never too much because this can encourage deep root growth early in the season. Every so often, apply weed killer to all the affected areas while also using a rake and this should keep the problem under control.
As before, mowing will be required more than once a week as the summer will be in full swing now. Because this is the UK and the weather can be random and unexpected, there might be the odd day of gloom and even rain so adjust your watering needs appropriately. Whenever the sun comes out, the grass will grow rapidly so the best tip we could suggest is to watch your lawn closely and maintain it whenever necessary.
By using a rake or a lawn aerator, you can also aerate your lawn before watering. If the weather is extremely hot during the day, water your lawn early in the morning or in the evening as this prevents dehydration; the evening option may be better to keep your lawn hydrated overnight. At this stage, you might also consider applying fertiliser for the second time or you may choose to wait depending on how healthy your lawn looks.
After two months of cutting as normal, August may be the time to start pulling back on the cutting setting once again because the heat can dry your lawn when cut too short. If you haven't already, late summer is the time to feed your lawn because the nutrients are quickly depleted in the heat; a good fertiliser will replenish the lost nutrients and you can be confident in a healthy lawn.
If necessary, keep watering the lawn and let the weather be your judge. As mentioned previously, we recommend watering in the evening so it can soak right into the roots as opposed to evaporating within minutes (which is what normally happens when you water at the height of the day’s heat).
The kids are back at school, but the weather is normally strange in September. With the temperatures fluctuating, it can be confusing when looking for advice. However, you know the temperature is going to decrease into October so keep mowing but slow the frequency as the temperature cools. Over the summer, thatch will have built up so get the scarifier out along with the aerator because the lawn can compact during the summer with people and pets walking all over it.
If you spot bare patches in the lawn, it could be a good time to introduce some lawn seed because the weather should still be warm enough to bed the seeds in without dehydrating. If you take these steps during the early autumn months, you can help protect your lawn through the colder months. If you haven't yet applied fertiliser since spring, you’re approaching your last chance to do so.
As we start to get colder and colder, you’ll need to increase the height of the lawn mower blades while also mowing the lawn less frequently. During autumn, leaves will fall from the trees so keep the lawn free from debris for as long as you can because the last couple of months might see frost. Use a heavy duty garden shredder to get of all branched and debris. If your lawn gets hit with a fungal disease now, it could spell disaster for the winter months so keep a close eye on what’s happening. If you want the rain to get right into the roots, spend some time aerating the lawn too.
Now, we reach the final two months of the year and, despite popular belief, there might still be a need for mowing. Ensuring it’s on the highest cutting setting. November is the time for the final cut before then putting the mower away until spring. However, we recommend cleaning the blade and even having the equipment serviced before putting it into hibernation. Even the best petrol mowers need servicing as they use oil and have more moving parts.
Assuming the ground isn't frosted, keep the lawn clear from leaves for as long as possible. With a simple rake or a leaf blower, you can clear all debris and ensure the grass is free until the frost comes.
As we come full circle to the season full of Christmas joy and cold winter evenings, the calendar comes to a slow finish. With frosts common in December, you should keep off the lawn to prevent damage. If we have a warm winter, which can happen with frosts being delayed until the new year, feel free to keep the lawn clear from debris as this reduces the risk of lawn disease at a time of year where it’s hard to slow down.
There we have it, your lawn care calendar; you should now know exactly what to do in every single month if you’re to keep your lawn healthy. If you have some unique requirements that don’t quite fit into the specifications here, feel free to call a professional and hear their advice.
As you may have noticed when reading through, the advice is actually very simple. Despite the many people not looking after their lawns because it’s ‘too much effort’, we didn't actually address anything today that we can’t all do. As long as you have a lawn mower, a rake, and some fertiliser, you have the basics covered already. From here, you can then delve into the world of lawn care as much or as little as you wish.
Check out our detailed lawn care guide to get advice and tips on lawn care treatment.