Julie Dommett, UK Marketing Manager for Hayter and Toro, says: “For most people, the cycle of caring for their lawn begins in March when the turf is ready to be mowed for the first time in the year. But there is much to be done before and after this stage and it is often very beneficial to prepare your lawn before doing that first mow.”
Caring for your lawn during the cold snap
During the winter months it is best not to mow the lawn and, if possible, not to walk on the turf during periods of frost, as this can break the grass. It can be a good time to treat moss outbreaks and feed the lawn using a special winter fertiliser.
With petrol mowers, it’s important to store them correctly if you will not be using your mower over the winter months. Stale fuel can cause issues, so before putting into storage, make sure you empty the fuel tank by running the engine until it stops to clear through all petrol in the system. Alternatively, use an approved fuel treatment to avoid the fuel ‘going off’ over the winter.
Winter is also the best time to service your mower – visit our website for maintenance tips or speak with your local garden machinery specialist for full servicing of petrol mowers.
March is typically the time of year we begin to prepare the lawn for its first mow. Dethatching, or scarifying, is a method used to ensure your lawn remains in a great condition all summer long. Scarifiers clear a lawn by using metal blades or tines to cut through to the soil, removing any excess thatch, which allows air and other nutrients to reach the soil below.
Hayter offers a petrol scarifier that is simple to operate and features a Briggs & Stratton engine, which powers a 15-fixed, blade cutting system to make light work of the dethatching process. Be aware that after scarifying for the first time your lawn may initially look quite bare, but this is normal and the remaining grass will enjoy increased water, air and nutrient levels, meaning it will thrive in time for summer.
To enjoy mowing and create the best-looking lawn for your self-build it’s important to select the correct equipment. The size of your lawn will help determine the size of the mower as well as deciding whether you’d be best with a petrol or electric mower.
Electric mowers are simple to use and maintain and are great for smaller lawns but can be restricted by their power cord in larger areas. If you have a medium- to large-sized lawn, petrol-powered is the way to go – there’s more power and no cord to manage. And, to get the job done quicker with minimal effort, a self-propelled mower is a great choice as you don’t have to push as you mow.
If your desire is to achieve a lush, formal lawn complete with that classic striped British finish, then rear-roller mowers are for you. For a quality choice that will perform well for many years, consider the Hayter Harrier mower range. The latest edition to the range is the Harrier 41, which is ideally suited for small- to medium-sized gardens. A two-part rear-roller replaces the mower’s rear wheels, to produce classic stripes on the lawn and to aid easy turning.
On the other hand, if you’re primarily looking to keep a family space neat and tidy, it’s worth considering a four-wheeled mower for extra manoeuvrability. US manufacturer Toro has a wide range with a host of different features to choose from – and innovations such as Automatic Drive System (that automatically matches the mower’s speed to your walking pace) or wash-out ports that make cleaning your mower a breeze.
If during the hotter months your lawn becomes dry, a recycler mower will help to replenish the lawn. Traditionally, most UK mowers collect grass cuttings in a grass bag and for finer lawns, this may continue to be the best option. But Toro mowers have the ability to recycle (a refined form of mulching) where the grass clippings are repeatedly chopped into tiny pieces, then are forced back into the turf as you mow. Here they return nutrition and moisture to the soil. Many Toro models also feature ‘Recycle on Demand’, so you can switch between collection and recycling simply by pulling a lever, enabling you to change mowing style effortlessly, adapting to all conditions all year through.