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Caring for your Lawn – Watering, Weeds and Worms

16:26 Fri 09th Jul 2010 |

In our last article we covered a general guide on how to care for your lawn during two of the most difficult and important times of the year – autumn and spring. In this section, we will show you a few tricks that you can use that aren’t season-specific that will make your grass top of the class.


Because of the British weather, most lawn don’t need to be watered as the weather is usually damp enough, but some dry spells in spring or summer may warrant a watering of the grass to prevent it dying and weakening the lawn.

One great way to tell if the lawn needs water is by standing on it - if the blades don’t spring back up then it needs to be watered. You will only need a light and infrequent spraying of your lawn, as watering too frequently encourages shallow rooting, moss and diseases. Ideally use a hosepipe with an adjustable nozzle for smaller lawns, but if your garden is slightly bigger then use a sprinkler system to cover the area.


If you have a few troublesome weeds, simply pull them out by hand, using an old kitchen knife to dig out long roots. Or you can use a selective weed killer to spot-weed the odd unwanted flora.

A general weed killer applied in the spring will deal with a major infestation. Wheeled applicators are available, distributing the correct dosage. In extremely drastic situations, re-seeding or re-turfing may be necessary as soon as the weeds have been totally eradicated.

Worms and moles

A big worm population means a healthy soil. But worm casts, the coils of fine, digested soil left on the surface by earthworms, can be unsightly – especially when they are plentiful in warm, moist soil. Wait until they dry in the morning sun, and then use a brush to either gather them up to put on your borders, or spread them lightly across the lawn. A besom broom (one made of bunched twigs) is best for this job.

Worms may be the gardener’s friend, but moles are his enemy. Their hills are ugly and their tunnelling can damage turf and increase the rate at which it dries out. Moles are hard to eradicate, but a severe infestation of moles will require the use of lethal traps. Though there are other, more humane methods – most notably mole balls (like mothballs) and devices that can be placed in mole-holes to emit a sonic frequency that will scare away the creatures.


If a patch of lawn becomes worn, the thin patches should be scratched with a rake in autumn and re-sown. Lift the turf from hollows, fill with a little soil and replace the turf before rolling until flat.

To replace a damaged area, dig out a square of turf using a half-moon edging iron. Lightly fork over the soil, level it, firm lightly, and then add a touch of compost. Lay new turf or re-seed the area. Be sure the seed or turf matches the rest of the lawn, or else you could end up with a patch of a different colour or growth rate. If it isn’t possible to make a match, remove a piece of turf from a less prominent part of the lawn.

Finally, make sure the finished piece is level with the rest of the lawn. Work fertilizer into the joins and firm with the back of a rake.

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