May is one of the highlights of the gardening year, the days are longer which gives us the opportunity to spend more time in our gardens. Borders will soon be bursting with fresh growth and flowers, but your lawn may be in need of some attention before you can sit back and enjoy it and be rid of weeds and moss.

Frosts may have caused your lawn to look the worse for wear after the long cold winter. Heavy rain and snow may have created patches where the grass has died that need re-seeding. This is a good time to get your lawn back in shape and the time which paves the way for how it will look for the rest of the year.

Spiking the grass about 4 inches apart with a digging fork will allow it to breathe, it will also allow the soil to absorb water. Scarifying will remove thatch and any moss or debris that has been building up over winter. It also reduces the risk of disease and generally helps to keep your lawn healthy and looking good. Scarifying can be hard work if you are using a rake, even with a small lawn. An electric one is a good investment, it will speed up the process and will make the job much easier.

Moss is a very common lawn problem and can be a real challenge to get rid of. It is caused by shade, compacted soil, excessive thatch and poor drainage. It thrives in wet conditions and moist clay soils with poor nutrient levels are the perfect breeding ground for moss.

There are a variety of chemical moss killers available which will help but if you want to tackle moss more seriously, these treatments should be used in conjunction with aeration and scarification.

If you have moss growing under a tree it may be possible to cut back or remove the lower branches, or even to thin out the tree which will improve the light levels.

Lifting the height of cut on your lawnmower may also help, especially if your lawn is uneven, as scalping and mowing too low can result in patches of moss.

Don't panic if your lawn looks even worse than it did before the maintenance. It takes a few weeks before you will see the results of your work, but soon, after some rain and a bit of sunshine, your lawn will be growing rapidly again and be stronger than ever.

A lawn feed, weed and moss killer will do three jobs in one go and can save you time and money. They usually come as granules that can be applied either by hand for small lawns, or a wheeled spreader for larger lawns. There are also soluble granules that can be applied with a watering can with a fine rose or sprinkle bar attached. These products will quickly turn your lawn visibly greener after one application. A further application may be needed for fully effective weed control. Always follow the directions on the label of any products you decide to use.

Carrying out spring lawn repair work is probably not the most enjoyable of gardening jobs it has to be said, but the results are very rewarding and can bring great pleasure throughout the rest of the year.


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