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Mow lawns when necessary - whenever the grass is growing - the aim is to maintain a constant height throughout the year.
Repair the lawn edges using a half-moon edging iron or spade to create a 7.5cm (3in) ‘gutter’ around the lawn. This will prevent grass creeping from the lawn into borders.
Repair bumps and hollows by peeling back the turf, removing or adding soil, and then replacing the turf.
Apply a high nitrogen spring lawn fertiliser at the beginning of the month to encourage good, strong growth. If moss is a problem choose a combined fertiliser and mosskiller. April is the best month to apply lawn weedkiller. Always follow instructions on the packaging very carefully as lawn chemicals (including fertilisers, weedkillers and mosskillers) can cause pollution of groundwater if used incorrectly.
Lightly rake lawns with a spring-tine rake to remove old plant debris. This can also be done to rake out dead moss a couple of weeks after applying a chemical moss killer.
Sowing new lawns, or over-seeding dead patches, can be carried out from mid-April to early May. If the soil is very wet or cold germination will be poor, so delay until the weather improves. Prepare the ground for sowing, by cultivating, levelling and lightly firming beforehand.
NB Do not walk over or mow newly sown grass until it has reached a height of 5-8cm (2-3in), and then only give it a light trim at the highest setting.
It is still a good time to sow a wildflower meadow, or plant wildflower plugs into existing swards.
Add the clippings to the compost heap in thin layers (too much grass all at once is likely to be very wet and poorly aerated, resulting in smelly slime rather than compost).
If a hosepipe ban is looking likely, consider keeping your lawn a little longer than usual. It might be worth investing in a mulching mower, which shreds grass clippings very finely and then blows them into the lower layers of the turf, where they act like mulch to help the lawn retain moisture. Because the clippings are fine, the end result is not unsightly, especially later in the season when the lawn gets very dry, and the mulch helps to keep it green rather than brown.
Things to do in the garden this month
Trees and shrubs
Greenhouse, conservatory and houseplants
The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.