Grassy lawn in springtime

Keeping your lawn neat and tidy can sometimes feel like a bit of a chore, but it's a job worth doing if you want to make the most out of your outdoor space.

Now that spring has arrived, you'll likely be spending a lot more time in the garden - so now is the perfect time to brush up on your lawn maintenance knowledge!

If you want your lawn to look its best, here are 10 things to put on your springtime to-do list...

 

1. Get rid of weeds

Weeds can spoil your lawn's appearance and rob your grass of all-important moisture and nutrients. No matter how diligent you are with your lawn maintenance routine, it will all be for naught if you allow weeds to grow unchecked!

There are all sorts of anti-weed products available in shops, but very often, these commercial weedkillers only provide a short-term solution. The important thing is to address the conditions that allowed the weeds to appear in the first place; to that end, it may be best to hire a professional weed control specialist who uses broad-spectrum systemic herbicides that aren't available to the general public.

READ MORE: Our Weed Control Service

 

2. Clear your lawn of moss and thatch

Moss and thatch can seriously stymie your lawn's ability to grow. We recommend applying moss control products, followed by a round of scarification two or three weeks later.

Scarification involves pulling dead moss and thatch out of your lawn with a rake or a specially-designed scarification machine. It's important to apply moss killer first - if you don't, scarification may spread moss spores around and intensify your lawn's moss problem.

READ MORE: When to Scarify Your Lawn

 

3. Improve your lawn's drainage

'Drainage' means how quickly water disappears from your lawn, for example after a rain shower. Poor drainage can keep your lawn waterlogged for ages after the rain's stopped, and this is bad news for the health of your grass.

There are a number of ways to improve drainage, from aeration (see tip 5 below) to digging a series of trenches in your lawn. If you need help with this, we recommend reading our blog on how to prevent waterlogging.

READ MORE: Dealing with a Waterlogged Lawn

 

4. Mow your lawn regularly

Mowing is a crucial part of any lawn maintenance schedule. You should try to mow at least once a week (and twice in the summertime, since warm and sunny weather will make your grass grow faster).

Don't cut your grass shorter than an inch and a half. When mowing, remember the one-third rule: never cut off more than a third of your grass's height in a single mowing session.

READ MORE: Lawn Mowing Tips

 

5. Combat soil compaction by aerating

The more you walk on your lawn, the more the soil will become compacted (pushed together). Heavy rain can also accelerate compaction.

Heavily-compacted soil makes it harder for moisture and oxygen to reach the roots of your grass, so it's important to aerate your lawn every few years by 'spiking' holes into the soil. This can be done using a garden fork, but we use professional aeration machines to loosen your garden soil - it's far more efficient!

READ MORE: Our Soil Aeration Service

 

6. Consider top-dressing your lawn

Top-dressing is the practice of adding nutrients to your lawn to improve the quality of the soil over time. This can be particularly beneficial if you live in an area with clay-heavy soil or thin, sandy soil.

Top-dressing isn't a 'one and done' type of job; to achieve the best possible results, several layers must be applied over a period of time. If done properly, this will gradually change the properties of your soil and create better growing conditions for your grass.

READ MORE: Our Top-Dressing Service

 

7. Overseed sparse patches

If your lawn has several thinned-out patches of unhealthy-looking grass, overseeding may be the key to improving its appearance. This is the practice of adding new grass seeds to a lawn to replace dead grass and restore lost thickness.

We recommend overseeding your lawn every three years or so as part of a longer-term lawn maintenance programme. For optimum results, do this after scarifying, aerating and top-dressing your lawn as described above.

READ MORE: What is Overseeding?

 

8. Make sure your lawn gets plenty of water

It's not really necessary to water your lawn as long as the grass is getting plenty of moisture from frequent rain showers. However, since spring is here and another hot, dry summer is no doubt on its way, you may soon have to put a bit of work in yourself to compensate for the reduced rainfall.

We recommend a heavy watering once or twice a week. Don't water too often, as this will encourage the roots of your grass to stay near the surface of the soil, making your lawn weaker and diminishing its drought resistance.

READ MORE: Lawn Watering Tips

 

9. Keep your lawn well fed

You'll find lots of lawn fertiliser products in your local supermarket. A spring lawn feed needs to be rich in nutrients to give your lawn everything it needs for a period of vigorous, accelerated growth.

Again, it may a good idea to call a professional in to administer a specially-chosen spring lawn feed and make sure your lawn is well prepared for the months ahead.

READ MORE: Our Spring Lawn Treatment

 

10. Tidy up the edges

Finally, if you're keen to make your lawn look as neat as possible, you may want to use a pair of long-handled shears to cut around the perimeter of your lawn and make sure the grass isn't growing into your borders.

If you'd rather leave your lawn maintenance to the professionals, we at Lawn & Weed Expert can help! Give us a call on 0800 111 4958 or email sales@lawnweedexpert.co.uk today.

Book a FREE Lawn Survey >>

Photo from Pexels.com

We recently had the pleasure of laying a new lawn for a customer in Rhoose, Vale of Glamorgan.

Here's a photo of what the finished lawn looked like:

Turf laying is just one of the many professional services we offer here at Lawn & Weed Expert. This garden in Rhoose now looks as good as new, and its appearance will only improve as the new grass grows in.

If your lawn needs a new lease of life, we can help - get in touch with Lawn & Weed Expert today!

Request a FREE Lawn Survey >>

Gardening for better mental health

Between the global COVID-19 crisis and the fact that many of us are currently confined to our homes, 2020 has already been a pretty tough year. The certainty of a consistent routine - going to work, taking part in sports and other leisure activities, seeing friends and family - is important for mental health, but the current pandemic has thrown everything into chaos. This can lead to a range of issues, such as depression and anxiety.

One way to address these problems is to spend some time in your garden or partaking in gardening activities. Gardens can be full of wildlife and nature, and they're great for the environment - plus gardening has a long history that's closely tied to both science and medicine.

In this blog post, we're going to look at how gardens and gardening can be good for your mental health.

 

Bring gardening into your everyday life

Over the years, there have been several studies examining the benefits of being in the garden. These have shown positive correlations with improved social, physical and mental health. A particular study from Growing Health, a national scheme set up by the charity Garden Organic and the membership organisation Sustain, found that simply viewing a garden (or other green space) through a window can help you to relax and reduce stress levels. Other evidence also confirmed that the physical activity of gardening can improve your mental wellbeing, which leads us to our next point.

It's common knowledge that exercise is good for us, no matter what form it may take. The NHS considers exercise essential to living a healthy and fulfilling life, and it's been medically proven that individuals who participate in regular physical activity have up to 35% lower risk of coronary heart disease and stroke. However, less is known of the role that gardening can play in keeping us fit and healthy. Did you know that the number of calories burnt from 30 minutes of gardening can be compared to playing volleyball or practicing yoga?

 

Find health and happiness

The benefits of being in your garden, of course, run far deeper than just exercise. A report from King's Fund found that the health benefits of gardening were broad and diverse, with studies displaying significant decreases in both depression and anxiety and enhanced social functioning.

Evidence suggests that there are two main modes of attention; focused and fascination. Focused attention is what we use whilst we are at work, whereas fascination is what we use whilst we participate in hobbies. In this theory, an abundance of focused attention can result in stress, where fascination then plays a part in bringing our attention back and alleviating the anxious feeling we get when we are placed under pressure or feel like we can't cope.

Whilst all of this research is crucial to understanding why we are inclined to find gardening therapeutic, it's fairly straightforward to think of the reasons why gardening can improve mental health. Whether it's an opportunity to be social, to get out of the house or to simply learn a new skill.

 

Going out in your garden

Now, with all of the uncertainty that is going on around the world right now, you may be wondering if you're able to even go out in your garden whilst self-isolating. In short, yes. Just because you're advised to stay at home doesn't mean you can't venture out into your garden and start gardening. We recently published a blog on the various things you can get up to while self-isolating at home and spending time in your garden - read it here.

If you feel a little daunted or overwhelmed by gardening, why not start off with an indoor houseplant first? Having a houseplant can help to make you feel calm as well as adding a natural aesthetic to your home. Most houseplants are fairly low maintenance, making it easy to learn how to look after them. There are lots of guides and advice that you can find about gardening for the first time, so start with some small and manageable and before you know it, you'd have learned quite a bit!

There are a lot of ways that you can begin to incorporate gardening and plants into your daily routine. Whether you suffer from mental health issues, know someone else who does, or simply want to enhance your wellbeing, there is a garden out there for all.

To keep up-to-date with the latest garden and lawn care news from Lawn and Weed Expert, be sure to follow us on social media. You can find us on Twitter and Facebook.

Working outdoors

Working at a desk every day can get boring - especially if you've been doing it for your entire adult life.

If you're sick of your current job and you want to work outdoors, lawn care could be the ideal career for you.

In this blog, we take a look at lawn care and why it may be the best career for you if you find yourself saying "I want to work outdoors!"

 

What does a lawn care professional do?

Maintaining lawns for a living involves a range of different tasks, such as:

  • Applying fertiliser and lawn feed
  • Treating the lawn for moss and weeds
  • Looking for signs of common lawn pests
  • Re-seeding / laying fresh turf
  • Lawn scarification (what's that?)
  • Aeration and spiking (what's that?)

Sounds a lot more varied than spending all week cooped up in an office, doesn't it? And working outdoors is a lot better for your health, too - not only will you get more exercise, but you'll also have a better chance of avoiding the postural problems that come from sitting down all day.

 

How to start your lawn care career

Sound good so far? Here at Lawn & Weed Expert - an established lawn maintenance company with many years of experience - we offer lawn care training courses for people like you who want to enter the lawn game.

We'll teach you all the skills that a lawn care professional needs, plus we'll assist you with the setup of your new business.

 

The benefits of training with Lawn & Weed Expert include:

  • We can get you ready in as little as 5 working days

  • In addition to teaching you the skills you'll need in your new job, we can give advice on how to manage a business

  • We're not a franchise - you don't have to pay us royalties once you're up and running

  • You will have full control of your new lawn care company

 

A testimonial from one of our career changers...

"To anybody who's looking to enter the lawn care business, I can absolutely recommend going down the less expensive route of training with Rob and Dave at Lawn & Weed Expert. They will give you hands-on experience on the practical side, and all the necessary knowledge of the academic and qualifying knowledge you need to start your own business. I decided to go with them after doing much research into the various franchises available and coming to the conclusion: 'Why am I paying all this money to become a franchisee when I can do this for myself with help and training from these guys?' I am still in the lawn care business nearly 10 years on, and they are still there for me if need any help and advice." - Richard Hobday, Pennine Lawn Care

Ready to change careers and start working outdoors? Eager to get some fresh air and exercise from your daily grind? If this sounds like you and you like what you've read in this blog, then get in touch with Lawn & Weed Expert to discuss our training options and start your new career working outdoors.

How to Start a Lawn Care Business >>

Dog in the back garden

SHORT ANSWER: Yes, you can still use your own garden while self-isolating. You should not have any visitors in your home or garden if you're displaying symptoms of COVID-19, or if you have received a positive test.

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has had an enormous impact on our way of life. In an effort to the slow the spread of the coronavirus, we have all spent this year doing our best to:

  • Minimise unnecessary face-to-face contact
  • Stay at home, only going out when essential
  • Avoid large gatherings
  • Practise 'social distancing' by staying at least 6 feet (approximately 2 metres) from others

Most importantly, those who display symptoms of COVID-19 (or receive a positive test result) must self-isolate for 10 days in order to avoid infecting other people.

 

What does 'self-isolate' mean?

If you are required to self-isolate, you must:

  • Stay at home
  • Keep away from school / work and all public places, including public transport
  • Order food and medicine online or by phone instead of going to the shops
  • Not have any visitors (except essential care providers) in your home
  • Exercise in your own home or garden instead of going out

For more information, read the NHS guide to self-isolation.

Of course, keeping yourself cooped up for days on end can be a lonely experience and a real drain on your mental health - especially if you're used to going out and socialising every day.

However, just because you're staying at home doesn't necessarily mean you need to stay indoors - if you have a garden, you can still make use of it even when self-isolating. If you are self-isolating right now, this could be the perfect opportunity for you to get more out of your outdoor space.

Here are some ideas...

 

Give your garden a little TLC

Is there a job that you've been putting off for months? Perhaps you've been meaning to prune that hydrangea bush or repaint the fence, but you haven't gotten around to it yet?

Well, it's springtime now - the weather is getting nicer, the days are getting longer, and thanks to the coronavirus, you may well have an unprecedented amount of free time on your hands at the moment.

So now's the time to work your way down that list of garden jobs that you've been avoiding for goodness knows how long. Not only will your garden look nicer by the time you're done, you'll also have had a lot of fresh air and exercise that you'd have missed out on had you spent the afternoon watching TV.

 

Try something new

If you've only ever used your back garden for sunbathing and the occasional barbecue, now might be a good time to branch out a bit. Planting flowers is a simple pleasure, and it's always very rewarding when those colourful blossoms begin to appear.

Better yet, why not take this opportunity to start growing your own food? Read our When to Plant Fruit & Veg blog for some top tips!

 

All work and no play...

But you don't have to use every waking minute of your self-imposed isolation productively. If planting tomatoes and pulling up weeds sounds too much like hard work, why not use your back garden to add a bit of variety to your leisure time?

Playing or exercising in the garden is a great way to break up the day - plus it's important to go outside every so often in order to keep your vitamin D levels up. It's important to stay healthy even when you're stuck at home!

If the grass in your garden has seen better days, our lawn care services may be just the thing to revive your outdoor space and make your time at home a little easier to enjoy. Give us a call on 0800 111 4958 to book your FREE lawn care survey - we have continued to work throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and we can work on your lawn while observing the latest safety guidelines.

Contact us to request a FREE lawn survey

Originally published in March 2020. Updated 5th November 2020.

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