Refrain from placing heavy items on the lawn for at least 28 days after it has been laid. This includes walking on the turf or allowing pets and children to play on the fresh grass. This will allow the lawn to settle evenly. The Royal Horticultural Society recommends that heavy use should be avoided in the lawns first season.
Mow your lawn regularly between March and October and maintain the grass length at 25-50mm long. During spring and autumn you should mow your lawn twice weekly, dropping to once a week in periods of drought, generally in the winter months mowing is not necessary. Adjust the mowing height as required, avoid scalping the ground and leave the grass height slightly longer on the last cut of the year – to give better protection from wear in the winter months. Never mow wet or frosty grass as this can cause damage to the turf.
Aerate the lawn by spiking the whole garden area with a garden fork to the full depth of the fork or with a powered aerator. This improves the drainage and aerates the surface topsoil to encourage root and rhizome growth and a healthy sward.
Protect the lawn from traffic of feet, pets etc, as much as possible in very wet weather, particularly during the dormant season and when the ground is frozen or snow covered. This will damage the grass.
Weed your lawn by applying a selective lawn weed killer which will not harm the grass in April/May and again in September. Further applications may be required. A combined product will kill the moss as well, although repeat applications will be required. Hand weeding of difficult weeds may be required (e.g dandelions). Dig out the entire plant including the root with a trowel and replace the dislodged turf afterwards. Treat the lawn for pests and diseases as required.
Rake out dead moss and thatch (dead grass lying on the ground) to encourage healthy growth and prevent your turf from dying. This can be done with a powered lawn scarifier but a hand grass rake with fine spring tines is just as good.
Water your lawn every 5-10 days during dry periods in mid to late summer. The RHS recommends that you should be careful not to over water, as this could lead to shallow rooting. If lawns turn brown and dry during the summer period, it usually recovers well when the rain returns. Newly laid turf should be watered daily until well rooted, please do not rely on natural rainfall water to water the entire area of your lawn.
Feed your lawn in mid-spring (late March-April) with a spring or summer fertiliser and again in late spring/summer (May-August) if the grass has lost its freshness. Fertilisers should be applied when the soil is moist, or when rain is expected. These are available in all garden centres and large supermarkets and often include treatment for moss and weed killer too, for example ‘EverGreen Complete 4 in 1’. The RHS recommends not to use spring or summer fertilisers on your lawn after August, they encourage growth at the wrong time of the year when damage could be caused by winter cold or pests and disease.