Restore lawns ‘overrun’ with weeds and fallen leaves in a few steps

David Domoney urges gardeners to clear leaves from their lawns

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It’s easy to fall behind with lawn care in the cold months when growth is slow and the weather conditions are unfavourable. But with spring just around the corner, you may be wondering how to restore your garden grass to its luscious green state. Whether it’s widespread weeds or a thick layer of fallen leaves that you need to get rid of, experts have shared the most effective remedies you can try right now.

Lawn care is a year-round commitment, so the effects of taking a few months off in winter can quickly show as spring arrives.

Bare patches, weeds, moss, and fallen leaves are all common problems faced by gardeners in February, so it can be hard to know where to start if you find all four in your garden.

However, according to lawn experts, it’s easier than you may think to get your grass in shape for the warm season – and you should start by removing leaves and weeds.

A green-fingered expert at Westland said: “Lawn weeds can be a major problem, taking over areas of bare soil. Nobody wants their lawn to be overrun with weeds so it is important to keep control of them.”

Leaves can be a healthy addition to your garden if used correctly as leaf mulch, but leaving a blanket of decaying leaves will bring unsightly damage and spread to wider lawn areas.

While leaf blowers are effective for lawns surrounded by pathways, a rake is the best tool for fast results.

Rake the leaves into one large pile and load them up into garden waste bags. Once decayed, you can reuse them as a free organic water-retaining soil improver.

When it comes to weeds, using your hands is the most-effective way to banish small clusters of unwanted growth, but large areas of weedy lawns are best treated with a feed, weed and moss killer.

Simply apply the granules using a spreader and allow the product to get to work. The weeds should grow vigorously at first and then die.

If however, you prefer non-chemical remedies, you can take a more slow and steady approach. Start by identifying heavily weeded areas in your garden and spend 10-minute or 15-minute intervals attacking and manually uprooting the weeds every day.

Discard the weeds into a paper bag, wheelbarrow, or lawn bag and throw them away to prevent new growth from cropping up when using compost.

You can also consider making a homemade herbicide using salt, vinegar, and natural liquid dish soap.

The salt and vinegar can help to deprive the weeds of water while the dish soap helps to make the salt and vinegar solution stick to your unwanted weeds.

Add the mixture to your favourite spray bottle and apply generously to unwanted weeds.

A gardening expert and blogger at Outdoor Happens explained: “Before long, you’ll notice that your lawn has far fewer weeds.

“As a result, you can give new grass a chance to grow and overcome the previously weed-infested soil.”

Once you have removed surface debris, weeds and moss, you may notice bare areas of the lawn with nothing but soil. These can be repaired by either sowing lawn seed or patching it with a piece of turf dug up from another part of the grass.

An expert at Lawn UK explained that while there is nothing to stop you from sprinkling fresh seed in February, you should “be prepared for failure if the weather conditions are wrong”, as the seed needs warmth, and moisture to germinate.

For this reason, it is best to wait until mid-March which is the “most favourable time of the year for sowing”. Not only will this give you a better chance of growing luscious fresh grass, but also allows the existing turf to recover after intense weeding.

For the best results, you should allow around four to six weeks from applying your weed and moss treatment before growing fresh blades.

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