Turfonline’s tips on getting your lawn to the same standard as Britains’ Best Lawn

This month, the winner of Britains’ Best Lawn was announced. 74 year old Stuart Grindle from Doncaster spends up to 30 hours a week tending his garden and describes his lawn as his “Pride and Joy”.

best lawn winner
Stuart Grindle, winner of Britains Best Lawn 2017 shows off his beautiful garden

So how do you get your lawn looking as good as Stuart’s?

Here are some tips.

For the best lawn, start with the best quality turf or grass seed

There’s something eminently satisfying about renovating a weeding lawn and bringing it up to this sort of standard. But my goodness, it takes a very long time. And it’s backbreaking work.

Honestly, it’s cheaper to start from scratch with a new lawn using the best products you can afford.

Get the surface bowling green flat

A level lawn is easier to mow short. Where there are bumps in a lawn the grass tends to be scalped by the mower. That weakens the plants and allows weeds to invade. Where there are dips, the grass will be slightly longer than in surrounding areas and it will be a darker colour. So levels are important.

Topdressing in spring or autumn will help to keep the surface level.

Choose the right type of grass for your garden

If your garden is shaded by trees or buildings. Choose shade tolerant grass. If you and your family like to play or walk on the lawn, make sure the grass is hardwearing.

Don’t even attempt to grow a fine grass lawn unless you are prepared to mow daily, feed often and sacrifice holidays to spend time on lawn care.

Get familiar with lawn mower maintenance

mower maintenance
Keeping your lawnmower blades clean and sharp will make a big difference to your lawn

Your mower is the key to having a beautiful lawn. Make sure the blades are balanced and razor sharp at all times. Either learn how to service your mower yourself or get to know your local repair shop. It needs to be as finely tuned as my Ferrari.(Sorry, not Ferrari. Fiesta. I can dream can’t I?)

Don’t skimp on the harder jobs

Scarifying, aerating and topdressing only need to be done once a year but they are essential healthcare for lawns. Actually, they’re more important for the health of the soil beneath the lawn. But without good soil you won’t get good grass. It’s synergy.

There are machines that can help you do these jobs. Most hire shops have them. There are also landscapers and lawn care companies who can help out for a modest fee. You don’t need to exhaust yourself but you do need to include these things in your lawncare regime.

Mow regularly and without fail if you want the neighbourhood’s best lawn

Stuart spends mows his lawn twice a day, three times a week. That’s dedication. It’s also not possible for everyone. But it is mowing that keeps your lawn growing strongly (the plants want to replace what’s been taken away).

ride on cylinder mower
This ride-on cylinder mower is bigger than most gardeners would need but it’s doing a great job. It won’t cope with either long grass or an uneven surface so choose your mower wisely

Mowing also corrects uneven growth – for example where there’s a patch of super-fertile soil under the lawn. If you get worn patches, mowing a pattern in the lawn can lead the eye away from “faults”.

Have a feeding regime and stick to it

All that mowing steals nutrients from the soil. Make sure you replace them with regular feeding. Choose a brand of lawn feed that you like and follow the manufacturer’s instructions to the letter. Keep using that brand for the whole season – no swapping mid-spring for something that’s on offer in the garden centre. Dosage and frequency need to be consistent.

Mark in your diary when the lawn next needs feeding so you don’t forget to do it.

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