In early spring take a rake and rake vigorously breaking the matt of runners on the lawn surface (scarifying the lawn). A rotary lawnmower with its blades set very low cold be used for the scarifying, however with a petrol machine ensure that it is fitted with a snorkel, as this is normally a very dusty operation.
Brush the lawn with a hard garden broom to remove all the dead leaf growth, which could give rise to disease later.
Aerate the lawn surface using a Lawn Aerator, a heavy spike roller or an ordinary garden fork.
Topdressing with soil or sand serves no other purpose than to level the surface of the lawn. Better value for money is obtained using a fertiliser to feed the lawn. If top dressing is required, do not smother the lawn with a heavy layer. Rather apply thin coatings to those uneven areas, working it well into the lawn.
Regular feedings with fertiliser are essential. For the first Spring feed, use a balanced fertiliser such as 3:2:1 or 2:3:2. Ideally thereafter. feed at 6-weekly intervals using a balanced lawn fertiliser eg. 4:1:1 or alternatively with Limestone Ammonium Nitrate (LAN) at the rate of 30g per square metre. The minimum requirement of any lawn is an early spring feed, a mid-summer (Nov/Dec) feed and again in the Autumn (Feb/Mar) to sustain it. For even distribution the use of a Fertiliser spreader is recommended.
Regular irrigation of the lawn is essential, particularly, before and after feeding, and during any prolonged dry periods of 4-6 weeks. Again soak well with rather frequent light sprinklings.
Regular mowing, at intervals dependent on growth, is essential, and varying the direction of the cut if possible. Initially set your mower very low to encourage the runners to spread , thereafter set the cut at about 20mm above the surface and maintain it there throughout the summer season. Do not keep raising the cut as this is bad for the lawn. In Autumn the cut can be raised fractionally to allow a thicker cover for the roots during Winter.
Broadleaved weeds in the lawn can be effectively controlled using one of the many selective weedkillers available.
Planting a New Lawn
Dig the soil over to a depth of 15-25cnm, remove all large stones and break up the soil clods. Do not sieve the soil.
Add Superphosphate to the soil at the rate of 60g per square metre, dig well.
Rake the surface of the soil with a Soil Rake to level and obtain a fine silt for planting.
Pant the roots of the lawn grass selected in furrows, laying the roots along the length of the furrows, drawing the blades of foliage upwards to the surface as one covers the roots with soil.
Firm the soil well, rake the surface smooth and dress the surface of the soil with 2:3:2 fertiliser at the rate of 30g per square metre.
Irrigate the soil, leaving the sprinkler to saturate the soil before moving it. Rather one good soaking than frequent small amounts to encourage good root developments.
Initially use a Push-pull Weeder to keep weeds down, thereafter mow the down regularly with your lawnmower, blades set to about 50mm above the soil surface. This prevents the weeds from setting seed and swamping the young grass, while also encouraging the runners to spread.