A soft, bouncy, green lawn is an asset to any home and the lifestyle of its occupants. However, turf is no different to a garden; it needs to be looked after in order to look its best. Just like trees and shrubs, there are a number of things that all lawns need as part of a regular maintenance schedule. If your lawn has seen better days, the solution is probably quite simple. Here is a look at some common lawn problems and what you can do about them.
Soil Compression and Aeration
The key problem for many lawns is the foot traffic they must endure. It’s not so much an issue for the grass itself, but the soil underneath it. Soil naturally has little pockets of air through it which allow for the circulation of air, water and vital nutrients for plant growth. When soil becomes compacted, these three important elements do not get distributed evenly or well enough and plants fail to thrive. With lawns, you’ll start to see bare patches, a general thinning of the grass, and possibly a yellowing of the leaves. If you think your lawn needs aeration, it might be best to get a turf specialist like Hancey’s Turf to come and have a look. They can advise on whether this is necessary or not, and if it is, they have aerating machines especially designed to remove small plugs of soil that will allow the vital air, water and nutrients to flow freely once again.
Even lawns that are well aerated need regular top soil or top dressing. Top soil is just as the name suggests; it’s the top layer of soil on the surface of the earth. This is a mixture of clay, silt, sand and sometimes compost. All lawns, irrespective of the grass variety, need at least six inches of good top soil to thrive. Adding top soil to your turf once a year is recommended in order to keep your lawn looking its very best.
Lack of Nutrients
Just like the other plants in your garden, grass needs to be regularly fertilised or ‘fed’ nutrients. All plants need nitrogen and a range of other trace elements like iron, copper and zinc. There are a number of lawn-specific fertilisers you can buy and it’s recommended you do this a couple of times throughout the growing season or warmer months of the year. It’s also good to use liquid seaweed about once a month as this is a root tonic for all plants and allows for better uptake of nutrients and water.
Weeds are basically the bane of all gardeners’ lives. Lawns are quite vulnerable and require regular weeding to maintain overall health and appearance. The great thing here is you can buy ‘weed and feed’ fertilisers, which allow you to do two jobs at once. If there are a lot of weeds spread throughout the grass, you may need to get specific formulations such as ‘bindi and broadleaf’ that target the worst and most common offenders in lawns. Another problem is lawn grub, but again, you can buy a special powder made just to target this nasty little guy.
With a bit of know-how, a few hours here and a few hours there, your lawn with look sensational and be the envy of your neighbours!