1. In Derbyshire (UK) compaction is a big problem, the ground is full of clay so aeration is a vital process to help the health of your lawn. This can be done twice a year if necessary, to radically reduce compaction. March/ April time and October/November, are the best times to carry this out if the ground conditions are suitable.
You can hire the equipment from a local shop, hollow tine is the best, which actually takes out little plugs of soil at regular intervals as you move it across your lawn. The plugs will need clearing up afterwards or just swept into the borders. This is a great way to get air down to the roots of the grass which allows them to spread and penetrate deeper which makes them more resilient to drought.
2. Scarification is also a good Way to improve the health of your lawn. This consists of blades that cut through the roots of the grass clearing out the debris which harbours disease and prevents the grass from breathing correctly.
A deep scarification is carried out in spring when the lawn has plenty of time to recover, and if needed a lighter scarification in autumn to prepare the lawn for winter. A fertiliser is a good idea after carrying this out, to help boost the recovery process.Again the equipment can be hired from a local hire shop. Do not be confused by the scarifiers sold in DIY stores as most of these are just spring wired which only really act as lawn rakes and they don’t penetrate the soil surface.
3. One of the best tips to keep your grass looking good is to just leave it slightly longer. This does not mean leave a longer gap between cuts, it is vital that you still aim to cut off a maximum of ⅓ of the length, so every 4/5 days for mowing is ideal at peak growing time. Leaving them longer means there is more length on the blades of grass making them stronger and more resistant to traffic and wear and tear. The long grass also helps shade the soil below from drying out too much in the summer.
4. Feeding your lawn is a great way to balance its nutritional demands. A good feeding regime would be for feeds throughout the year aiming for spring summer autumn and winter treatments. These would vary due to the demands of the grass at different times of the year so make sure you’re picking the right treatment for the right period of time.
5. A sharp blade, this is so vital to keep your grass looking good. If you have a rotary mower this is relatively straightforward, I keep a spare blade to put on the mower so I can just swapping them and sharpen the used one when I have the opportunity. If you have a cylinder mower, these need to be sharpened by a professional machine shop and with normal domestic use will probably get through the year without to much trouble.