I often say a good lawn is like a lovely carpet. But how do you achieve that effect?
Well, before commencing any renovation work, mow the lawn and cut the edges as normal. Then we go to work using various methods which will make the surface look dreadful, but only for a few weeks.
First of all, the roots of the grass need to be pruned and this is done by using a slitting machine, which you may be able to hire.
On a small lawn, it is still essential but the corner of a sharp border spade thrust into the surface to a depth of about three inches will be a good alternative.
These insertions need to be done all over the surface at a distance of three inches apart – that’s about 12 incisions to each square foot to be sure it’s done properly.
Put down three lines a yard apart and, once one strip is completed, move the line over and do the next one.
As this is a bit tiring, do a few strips, then undertake a different job to avoid getting pains in places you never knew you had the following day.
The idea is to cut the roots so that new ones will grow from the old root system.
This operation also cuts the stems of those creeping grasses which are often missed when mowing.
Once this operation is complete, the whole lawn needs to be raked with a fan-shaped spring rake.
The results are amazing as all the old grass will be removed, together with moss and bits of twig and any stones which should not be near the surface.
This is hard work when done properly and is best undertaken with an electric lawn raker.
Sweep up the worst and compost it all, but if there are no stones, then pick it all up with a box mower. That’s what bowling green keepers do.
If the lawn doesn’t have great bare patches, we can now add an autumn fertiliser. Rather than buying one ready-made, we can mix one ourselves.
Calculate you will need 2-3 ozs per square yard of the following mix. Apply this by walking backwards.
n Four parts dry silver sand
n Two parts sulphate of iron
n One part sulphate of potash
Wear disposable gloves, because the iron stains permanently. Mix the ingredients together and apply this evenly over the grass. It will keep moss under control, help reduce rapid growth and make the grasses hardier for the winter.
Imminent rain will be very advantageous.
Don’t walk over treated areas as you will stain carpets, but there’s no risk to animals and birds.
The lawn may look a bit black for a while, but the grass will soon pick up.
If there are dips in the lawn, prick over the low spots and add seed compost, using a plank like builders do.