If your lawn is looking the worse for wear after a winter of neglect, now is the time to help it spring back to life. Photograph: Alamy
This blogpost is sponsored by Husqvarna
The other day I looked properly at my lawn for perhaps the first time in six months. I am often around it, I walk on it, I enjoy the greenness of it from the window, but I haven’t really looked at it for a long time. I certainly haven’t mowed, aerated and fed it. It was one of the first days that was warm enough to sit on the back steps with a cup of tea and I had a long and guilty look at it. Overlong, it hadn’t been touched since maybe October, and a mini trampoline, bird bath and snake of hosepipe were slowly vanishing beneath the green. Various weeds flowered: dandelions, winter aconites, a patch of speedwell. A mild winter has meant that it has most probably been growing all that time and certainly could have done with some attention a little earlier in the year than this.
But never mind. The most important thing to remember about lawns is that an established one is practically bulletproof. They are a thing that people have traditionally tended and fussed over, and so the impression is that they need lashings of love, but really they don’t. If all you are after is a flat green area, rather than a perfect bowling green, then treat it almost how you wish. Neglect it and it will start to look a bit ropey, but it will always come back, given a tiny bit of care.
It’s not our most exciting accolade, but the UK is known worldwide for its lawns, and for good reasons. Lawn grasses evolved here, and they like our moist, mild weather. They don’t want drama. Hot or frozen is not their favourite (though they cope pretty well with extremes as long as they don’t last too long) but weather that is medium, middling, mild and a bit drizzly is heaven for lawn grasses. Lucky us. Given this non-committal weather a lawn can be that best kind of glowing emerald green.
They also evolved beneath the teeth of our masticating mammals, and so the growing tip is tucked away below ground, out of teeth and mower blades’ way. When eaten or cut back to that point, the roots branch out and set off underground, creating a thicker, lusher lawn. So really the very best thing you can do for a lawn is to make like a ruminant and cut it regularly. I don’t particularly mind my weeds – they are mostly green and look like a bit of lawn until they flower, and then they’re pretty – but weeds are weakened by this treatment far more than grasses are, and a regular cutting will slowly see them off. And so this is where I have started. The lawn is now cut, instantly making the garden look several feet bigger, and I will attempt to cut it every week. Where it been too long for too long it is a little raggedy looking, a little bare and brown, but I’m hoping will spring back.
There are plenty of other things I can do, and will be doing over the next few weeks to get my lawn up to scratch again. I’m hoping for gleaming emerald within the month.
This blogpost is sponsored by Husqvarna.