How To Rescue An Overgrown Lawn

Maybe you've just moved into a new home, and the previous occupants weren't as interested in maintaining the garden as you are. Maybe you've been travelling for a few months, and now that you've got home you've discovered everything has kept on growing in your absence. Maybe it's rained every weekend for weeks on end and now there's finally a dry patch you're feeling a little overwhelmed. Maybe you've simply been busy enough that you haven't managed to get round to mowing your lawn for a while. Whatever the reason, one thing's for sure: your knee-high grass is intimidating, and you aren't sure what to do about it.

STEP ONE: Strim first, and don't be too particular.

Chances are, your overgrown lawn is also filled with plants you'd rather weren't there--bindweed and brambles are both common, as are various varieties of moss. Rather than trying to deal with any of them specifically right now, get your strimmer out and take a 'scorched earth' approach; attack the lot of it and break it all down. This can be quite lengthy work, but it will eventually result in something you'll be able to mow much more easily.

STEP TWO: Gather up everything you can and get it off the lawn sharpish.

For your next trick, you're going to need to rake all that foliage up and get it out of the way. Bag everything up, taking particular care to be thorough with those plants like bindweed that are able to grow in from small sections of foliage left behind.

STEP THREE: Mow your lawn on progressively lower settings.

Get your mower onto its highest setting and start mowing! Pick a corner to begin in and work up and down in lines that are as even as you can manage. If your preference is for shorter grass in general, you can set the mower to a lower setting and go over it again afterwards--but your job will be much easier and more effectively completed if you start high and work down than if you try to go straight in for shorter grass.

STEP FOUR: Wait it out before mounting a rescue mission.

It can be tempting to move into reseeding balding patches right away, particularly if your formerly overgrown lawn has taken on a strawlike appearance. This may be the right thing to do in the long term, but right now a little patience is key. You'll find over time--particularly with weekly or fortnightly mowings to keep everything under control--that a lot of your lawn grows back in naturally, and as the weeks pass you'll see ever more green and less brown waiting for you in your garden.