• Mow lawns regularly if you want to keep them looking  neat,  healthy and dense – removing ‘little and often’ is the key to good maintenance. See our step-by-step mowing guide.  
  • Leave your lawn a little longer during dry spells, to help your grass cope better.    
  • Mow pathways through areas of long grass to allow easy access around your garden.
  • Add grass clippings to the   compost heap in thin layers. Too much all at once is likely to cause  wet, poorly aerated conditions, resulting in  smelly slime rather than compost. Alternatively, leave the clippings on the lawn to act as a mulch, helping to hold moisture in the soil, especially in drought-prone locations.
  • Resist the temptation to water established lawns, even in dry spells – grass should cope well with drought and although it may die back, it will soon recover once rain returns. See our advice on caring for lawns during drought.  
  • Remove any unwanted weeds using a trowel or grubbing tool, but bear in mind that many wildflowers and flowering weeds can attract wildlife and add valuable colour to gardens. 
  • Move lawn furniture and other items regularly to allow the grass to recover and prevent yellow patches.   
  • Apply a high-nitrogen summer lawn feed if your grass needs a boost and you didn’t do it last month. Follow the instructions on the packet, as over-use or run-off can cause water pollution. Use the minimum necessary, to reduce the environmental impact.
  • Cut lawn edges regularly  with a half-moon edging iron or flat-bladed spade to keep them well defined.  Also maintain a 7.5cm (3in) ‘gutter’ around the lawn edges to prevent grass spreading into your borders.
  • See our guide to spring/summer lawn care.


New lawns

  • Water areas that were newly sown or turfed in spring – these will need regular watering every few days, unless it rains, to keep them going through their first summer. Turf will shrink if allowed to dry out and fail to knit together. 
  • Cut new lawns every week or so,   as required, progressively lowering the height of the blades  until they’re back at the normal level. But in hot weather, keep the blades high or stop mowing for a while.  
  • Use new lawns as little as possible until autumn.  
  • Avoid sowing lawn seed or laying turf over the summer, as it will be tricky to get established in hot, dry weather. Wait until late summer or early autumn instead. 

Problem solving

  • To keep your lawn green during hot and dry summers, consider investing in a mulching mower. These shred the grass clippings very finely, then blow them into the lower layers of the turf, where they act like mulch to help retain moisture in the soil. Because the clippings are fine, they don’t affect the look of the lawn and it should keep it greener for longer in dry spells. 
  • If moss is a problem, good lawn maintenance will help to control it – see our advice on moss in lawns. It’s well worth leaving at least some moss though – it helps to keep a lawn looking green even in poor growing conditions and is a valuable habitat for small invertebrates. 
  • Worm casts are a sign of healthy soil, but if you don’t like them on your lawn, brush them off with a hard broom once they dry out.
  • Molehills can be a problem if you want a neat, flat lawn. Tolerate them if possible, but if you want to encourage them to move elsewhere, see our guide to moles.
  • See all our lawn care advice.

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Advice from the RHS

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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.