It’s the season of strawberries and cream, lazy afternoons watching tennis and staring at the screen wishing your lawn looked like a Wimbledon tennis court.
Greenkeepers at Wimbledon work all year round to ensure the court is in pitch-perfect conditions, but you can achieve those iconic and meticulously mown stripes in your own garden by following these steps or sets shall we say!
Set 1: Use a quick release fertiliser
Our QUICK RELEASE: Spring / Summer fertiliser gives a quick burst of life to your lawn and can really kickstart the growth of new seedlings as it is high in strength- building phosphate. Also rich in nitrogen, it makes your existing grass an envy-inducing emerald green, whilst also protecting your lawn against drought.
Set 2: Sow a Wimbledon-worthy grass seed mix
We have multiple mixes that will give you that world class Wimbledon look! If you want the real thing, it is said that the grass seed used on the Wimbledon courts is 100% perennial ryegrass – and it just so happens that we have a 100% perennial ryegrass mix, made up of 3 different cultivars to provide an ornamental lawn that is also hardwearing in the form of our Perform: Sports mix. Neil Stubley, Head of Courts and Horticulture at Wimbledon has said that for domestic use a blend of chewings fescue, strong and slender creeping red fescue and browntop will also work well. Funnily enough, we have those mixes too! Our PERFORM: Tees mix contains exactly that and our STATEMENT: Front Lawn mix is 100% fescue with 3 different cultivars. If you want those iconic Wimbledon stripes but not the high maintenance, our SUPERSTAR: Back Lawn is a great alternative - just look at these results!
Set 3: Mow meticulously and stripe for success!
Players at Wimbledon may be well used to an 8mm lawn, but for us at home it may be a little bit too short! For an ornamental lawn, the ideal mowing height is 25-40mm, this helps to protect the lawn from drought during the warmer months, as the longer blades retain the water. The courts at Wimbledon are mown three times a week, but we suggest that you mow the grass when it reaches around 30mm, to maintain the 25mm and give it adequate time to grow again. As a general rule, new seedlings should be mown when they reach around 5-7cm – this means they have grown well enough and are established to get their first cut without being damaged. To get those statement stripes, make sure to use a rotary mower that has a rear roller. Stripes are actually made by how far you bend the grass, and show up as different colours due to the reflection of the light. Use a fence as your guide for starting your stripes, heading in one direction and turning back in the opposite direction to create that stunning stripe effect.
One of our happy customers, Matthew Orme, decided to treat us with some before and after pictures of his lawn. The before image shows a patchy lawn that wasn't exactly pitch perfect!
Case Study: Before & After sowing SUPERSTAR: Back Lawn Grass Seed
After sowing SUPERSTAR: Back Lawn, Matthew's garden is ready for a few rounds of tennis, or a few summer drinks! You can just imagine Steffi Graf and Martina Navratilova hitting backhands and drop shots out there.
Set 4: Give it the Wimbledon water!
Ornamental lawns need a lot more care and attention than your typical general use lawn, so watering is essential. If we are to suffer the same drought we did last year, a sprinkler may be the best way to keep your lawn efficiently watered. Water new seedlings once a day to keep them moist and avoid when it is raining – a quick test to see if your lawn needs to be watered more often is to drive a screwdriver into the soil – if it can reach up to 6-7 inches it is sufficiently watered, so continue your same routine – if it can’t, you need to increase your watering / frequency of watering, or perhaps ‘doubles up’! At Wimbledon, watering becomes more restricted to firm up the surface for the players – however, unless you plan on channeling your inner Serena Williams or Andy Murray on your lawn – you can maintain your watering schedule as normal.
After undertaking all of these steps, you should have achieved your Wimbledon-worthy lawn, so it’s time to sit back, relax and fill up your cup – even if its not a gold one!