The ten commandments of lawn care – simple guidelines to help you to make the most of your garden’s greatest asset
Everybody’s lawn care regime is different depending on your local climate and what you want to achieve in your garden. However, as a lawn care professional, there are 10 commandments of lawn care that I stick to all year round. No matter whose lawn I’m working on.
- Choose the right grass species for YOUR lawn
- Change your mindset from lawn care to soil care – your grass will thank you for it
- Always keep your lawnmower blades sharp
- Mow little and often and remember the 1/3 rule
- Feed regularly all year round
- Boost plant health with seaweed tonic
- Treat weeds as soon as you see them – don’t let them get out of hand
- Work with Mother Nature not against her
- If you choose to water your lawn in summer – be waterwise
- Keep on learning and honing your skills
Finally: Don’t be disheartened if Mother Nature throws a curve ball and your lawn doesn’t look as you’d like. It happens to the best of us. Think of it as an opportunity for learning.
Choosing The Right Grass Variety For Your Lawn
A lawn can only ever be as good as the grass plants within it. But believe it or not, lawn grasses can be fussy about their growing conditions.
Whether you are starting a lawn from scratch, or overseeding to improve an existing lawn, your choice of grass species and variety will greatly influence how your lawn will look and how it will adapt to your lifestyle and your lawn care regime.
There are literally hundreds of varieties of grass seed available to gardeners and lawn care professionals around the world. And garden centres tend to stock a very limited choice. So please do your research before settling for what’s on the shelves of your local garden centre.
Read my blog on choosing grass seed to find out which varieties will best suit your lawn.
Put Soil Care At The Top Of Your Priority List
Living things thrive when they are in an environment that suits them and have the best possible nutrition. The grass plants in your lawn are no different. And what has the biggest influence on the health of your lawn? The soil beneath it. That’s why soil care is one of the most important of the ten commandments of lawn care.
Your grass needs water (but not so much of it that the roots drown), it needs nutrients, room for the roots to grow and it needs a healthy immune system. All of those things are directly influenced by the state of the soil.
If the soil is compacted, it won’t drain well and there will be too few pockets of air to supply oxygen to the plants’ roots. Have you ever tried sticking your fork into an overcooked pie? Impossible isn’t it? Likewise, it’s almost impossible for plant roots to penetrate a solid mass of compacted soil.
Good soil care involves regularly aerating the soil beneath your lawn to break up compaction. As well as natural boosters that will support the microscopic lifeforms that help govern soil structure and the availability of plant nutrients.
How To Mow Your Lawn
Mowing is mentioned in just two of the ten commandments of lawn care, but in reality, good mowing is something that should take high priority IF you want your lawn to thrive.
It’s a huge subject to cover in just one section of a blog, but the frequency of mowing, height of maintenance and mower type you use really will influence the results you see.
This video explains it all.
What To Feed Your Lawn and When
Regular fertiliser applications will keep your lawn in good heart and help it to cope with wear and tear. But, the nutritional needs of grass change with the seasons. Add to that the fact that some plant nutrients are water soluble and can be washed out of the soil by rainwater, and suddenly lawn feeding sounds awfully complicated. It’s not.
Watering Your Lawn
I’m writing this blog in July 2022 and parts of the UK have been warned they can expect record high temperatures in the next couple of weeks. Some reservoirs are low on water and some of my farmer friends are seriously worried about the dryness of the soil. Even here in Belfast, lawns that don’t get watered are starting to turn brown.
Water is a precious resource and whilst it’s great to have a lush green lawn in the middle of summer, you should ask yourself first whether watering the lawn is the responsible thing to do right now.
If you do decide to irrigate your lawn in hot weather, please be mindful not to waste water. Here are some tips on efficient lawn watering techniques.
You’re Never Too Old To Learn Something New
I like to think that I have quite a lot of experience in the field of lawn care but, I have to tell you, I’m still learning. And, I’ll freely admit that I enjoy learning about the subjects I’m passionate about. I visit trade shows, read articles, chat to suppliers and watch videos to discover what’s new in lawn care. It’s good to find out what works for other people and whether there are any new products or equipment that could improve my lawn and/or make my life easier. I delve into related industries too – turf growing, greenkeeping, horticulture, ecology, soil science….the list goes on.
Whatever I discover, usually finds its way onto my YouTube channel in one form or another. I don’t just rattle on about aerating and mowing, I like to run my own trials for lawn care products and techniques – just to see what works for me and what might work for you.
Why not subscribe to my YouTube channel to see how almost everything I mention eventually links back to the 10 commandments of lawn care?
And if you like learning about lawns, join the Premier Lawns Community on Facebook where gardeners of all levels of expertise can ask questions and share their knowledge.