Aerating the soil

How to give your lawn a spring boost

Check out four ways to give your lawn a new lease of life in time for summer.

A table displaying which months are best to sow, plant and harvest.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
To do
To do

Do not To do in January

Do not To do in February

Do To do in March

Do To do in April

Do To do in May

Do not To do in June

Do not To do in July

Do not To do in August

Do not To do in September

Do not To do in October

Do not To do in November

Do not To do in December

To help keep your lawn a healthy green all year round, you can provide it with a spring boost.

This involves aerating, scarifying, tidying and fertilising it, helping the grass to regenerate and to tidy up the overall appearance of the lawn.

If you don’t yet have a lawn or are looking to expand an existing patch, spring is also the perfect time to prepare ground for new grass. Once finished, you can then choose to lay turf or start the lawn from seed.

Follow these easy steps on how to give your lawn a spring boost.

You will need

  • Garden fork or hollow-tine aerator
  • Sharp river sand
  • Half-moon iron or spade
  • Wire-tooth rake or powered scarifier
  • Blood, bone and fishmeal
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Total time:

Step 1

Aerate: to prevent waterlogging. This is particularly important if your lawn has endured heavy rains over winter. If yours is still squelchy, spike it with a garden fork every 15cm. You could also buy or hire a hollow-tine aerator that will remove cores of soil. You can sweep sharp river sand into the holes to help the ground dry out and help prevent future waterlogging.

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Step 2

Recut edges: using a half-moon iron or spade. You can do this by eye, but you’ll get a better result by following the line of some taut twine, or a snaking hosepipe if you want smooth curves.

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Step 3

Scarify: using a wire-tooth rake (or a powered scarifier) is not just something that should be done in autumn. Go over the lawn in spring, pulling out dead grass and moss. The remaining lawn will soon grow away and you can then concentrate on pumping life back into it.

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Step 4

Apply fertiliser: such as blood, bone and fishmeal with a wheeled distributor. This will make the application more even than doing the job by hand, and will avoid over-application, which could scorch your lawn. Try to do this before rain is forecast so the fertiliser can be watered in. Otherwise, water in yourself within a couple of days.

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Creating lawn patch fillers

When reshaping the lawn, collect up the strips and place them 5cm apart in a compost-filled seed tray, then grow on outside or in a cold frame. To replace the bare patch, cut out a square or rectangle around the area and, using a hand trowel, dig up the soil in the rectangle to whatever depth of soil your new turf strip is. Gently lay the turf, cut to fit, over the patch. Firm it down so that there are no gaps and your new turf is no higher or lower than your existing lawn.