The Perfect Green Patch

A lush, green, well- maintained lawn is the perfect frame for any garden, no matter how large or small it may be. A good lawn needs regular care and attention all through the year. Early spring is the start of a whole new programme for maintaining a perfect lawn.


Healthy lawns require regular applications of fertiliser at 4 – 6 week intervals, starting in early spring and continuing through the growing season. Apply fertiliser during a cool part of the day and water thoroughly immediately afterwards. Always read the recommended application rate on the packaging and spread the fertiliser accordingly. It’s always a good idea to keep a garden diary and make a note of when the next date for fertiliser is due. Many a good gardener starts off in spring with great gusto but then reneges on later feeding. Lawn grass needs to be kept in tip-top condition on a continuous basis.


Weeds in lawns are a continuous problem for most gardeners. Early spring is the time to start with applications of selective broad-leaf weed killers to control and eradicate the problem. Information on identifying the weeds and selecting the appropriate herbicide is best sought from the experts at nurseries and garden centres, or from lawn specialists in the trade. Remember to take a sample of the weed along with you to enable them to offer the best advice. In areas where acidic soil conditions prevail, an annual dressing of agricultural lime early in the growing season improves the uptake of nutrients by the lawn grass. This improves the growth rate and vigour of the grass and allows it to compete more favourably with aggressive weed types.

Top dressing

This time of the year is ideal for putting a layer of top dressing on the lawn. This helps to level out uneven surfaces and helps to initiate healthy spring growth. Simply tip out the contents of the bag onto the lawn and use the back of a metal garden rake to spread the dressing evenly over the lawn. Fill up holes and depressions with a thicker layer. The grass will soon grow through the lawn dressing. Top soil is not recommended for top dressing lawns as it often contains unwanted weed seeds.

Handy hints:

Stick to a regular feeding or fertilising programme throughout the growing season.

Apply water during dry periods to alleviate stressful growing conditions.

Mow regularly, making sure that no more than 1⁄3 of the length of the grass leaf blade is cut off with each mowing.

Make sure that your lawn mower blades are always sharp.

Treat weed infestations as soon as they are identified.

Check for pests and diseases during the growing season, especially in the summer months.

The Gardener