mowing the lawn
Angela Slater
Daughter of a farmer and market gardener so have always had a connection with the outdoors, whether it was keeping animals or producing fruit, vegetables and cut flowers. Along with my work at Hayes Garden World I also have a smallholding, mainly breeding rare breed pigs. I gained an HND and BSc in Conservation and Environmental Land Management, as a result I am an ardent environmentalist and have a keen interest in environmentally friendly gardening. In my time at Hayes I worked for several years in the Outdoor Plant and Houseplant areas

How to look after your lawn in summer

Enjoy summer with a chill out expanse of lawn

There are differing views as to what constitutes a beautiful lawn in summer, there are those who love the formal structure of a classic striped lawn, those who love a daisy strewn stretch of grass and then there are those who just love a wild lawn teeming with insect life. Whatever your preference they all need varying degrees of attention from the labour intensive stripes to the less hands-on wildlife lawn.

If you want a lawn teeming with insect life then now is the time to stop mowing and just letting it do it’s thing over the summer. Keep an eye on the weather and be prepared to water if there is a long spell of hot weather. Don’t worry if you have a hosepipe ban the grass will be able to withstand a degree of drought. If you let the grass die down through lack of water it will recover but the availability of flowers for pollinators over the summer will be reduced. If you like the wild look why not turn the lawn into a wild flower meadow and introduce more annual and perennial floral species in spring. You can always compromise and embrace No Mow May to allow the grasses to flourish then resume mowing again in June.

flower meadow

If you want a pristine green sward then regular mowing is a must and in order to achieve those superb stripes you will need a mower with a roller. If you want a lawn full of daisies leave the grass to grow longer between cuts. When adding the clippings to the compost heap don’t add in one large lump otherwise it will just go slimy, scatter thinly over the whole surface and try and mix with other garden waste.

daisies in grass

If you have forgotten to feed and weed in spring then it’s still not too late. Bear in mind that lawn fertiliser is high in nitrates and needs a huge amount of energy to produce so if you are mindful of your environmental impact then maybe just fertilise every other year. If weeds do appear then take them out by hand, dandelions can be taken out using a dedicated dandelion weeder which is long and thin and takes out the long tap root. Apply the fertiliser just before rain is forecast so that it gets washed down into the soil. If it is left sitting on the surface in a drought it could lead to the grass becoming burned. 

If you are going to treat your lawn in summer Evergreen Complete 4 in 1 is the best product for keeping your lawn looking good as it gives your lawn a boost of fertiliser, treats the weeds and moss and also includes some seed to give you a thicker grass coverage. It also saves you time by giving you 4 applications at the same time and you have peace of mind knowing that you have done everything necessary to achieve your luscious green lawn.

If moss in the lawn is a problem this is better taken out in spring before the weather becomes too hot as removing the moss leaves a lot of bare soil which won’t recover if the grass becomes parched. If you have to seed the parched area it won’t germinate very successfully if the weather is too hot and dry so put up with the moss over summer and remember to take action next spring.

The secret to a pristine lawn is to keep the edge looking crisp so go along with an edging tool and some long handled shears to cut off any straggling blades of grass. If parts of the lawn are looking a bit threadbare through the family using it as a shortcut then consider making a path across or a track of stepping stones.

If you love barbecuing over the summer and don’t have hard standing please don’t use the grass as the surface is usually uneven and could lead to serious accidents. If you are a regular pitmaster consider making a permanent paved area to accommodate the grill, accessories table and seating. At the very minimum you could get away with four large paving slabs to ensure your safety and to stop the lawn becoming worn in one spot. Click here to go to the BBQ sales pages or pop into store and talk to the team in The Barbecue Shop if you are unsure what grill is the best one for you.