If your lawn is way past its best, the existing lawns’ surface may need stripping off and starting over again. More often than not, the lawn can be renovated without major levelling and soil input by following a Lawn Renovation Process.
You may not currently have a lawn and wish to construct a new one, utilising either turf or grass seed. Whether you are opting for a new lawn via turf or seed, the process of construction is pretty much the same but turf will provide more instant results.
Do not be fooled into thinking that once you have a nice new lawn that you can forget about it! The minimum requirement is always fertilising the lawn every three months and reacting to control and weeds, moss and disease and to encourage healthy and dense grasses throughout the year. You should allow a project budget of at least 25% for growing in and after-care for the next 12 months. New lawns can often get an attack of Fusarium Disease and an outbreak is not the fault of the turf grower nor landscaper or installer – welcome to real grass and real grass problems! Newly laid lawns, whether turf or seed, can quickly become thin with constant use and it is easier to over seed an existing but thinning lawn than to construct it again. London or City lawns will always struggle for an ideal balance of light, shade, water and wear which when in equilibrium, provide ideal lawn growing conditions.
We have project managed really small lawn construction jobs up to and including country estates so whatever the size of your lawn, we should be able to assist you so long as we are realistically able to service your geographical location. It may be that you start the process of a booking a Lawn Consultancy visit as this can save you budget, time and growing a lawn pains on the project.
Please email email@example.com with as much detail as possible including size in square metres and some bullet points as to the problem/request and we can provide some sample costings for your consideration based upon past experiences.
Scarification assists in the removal of the dead grass leaves that will turn into thatch. The older turf grass leaves will naturally fall off the turf grass plant with new ones emerging and these old leaves will drop down into the turf sward and build up as leaf litter debris if not collected by the suction action of the mowing process.
The scarifying process should be performed in the Autumn and Spring periods and as part of a complete renovation programme and in the normal lawn growing season, not outside it. For routine scarifying, little and often in different directions is the best method to adopt for a domestic lawn.
Most Scarifying machines have solid / rigid metal blades and these can be quite rough on the lawn’s surface if not used correctly and at the incorrect time of the year. There are also wire comb reels that are great for a light clean up following the winter on better quality lawns and croquet lawns and tennis courts for example.
It’s always best to mow the lawn in multi directions ahead of scarifying as this will reduce the vegetative volume of grass and make it much easier for the Scarifier to do it’s best on the day.
Clear the Scarifier debris with a rake or blower, working in the direction the machine last travelled and then mow the lawn afterwards to tidy it up and collect any debris that was missed during the clear up operation.
Aerate after Scarifying. The lawn should be fertilised and then over-sown with grass seed following ahead of any top dressing to restore the micro levels.
Renovation is a bit different to Construction. If you have more weeds and moss than grass in your lawn, then you will need to be cruel to be kind and go for a complete Lawn Renovation.
A good lawn should only have healthy desirable turf grasses in it and nothing else! This can be performed at any time throughout the growing season and if you decide to renovate the lawn in the Spring and Early Summer period, consideration should be given to watering and the use of wetting agents so as to allow the new lawn to develop as nothing will grow without adequate water.
You renovate an existing lawn surface by modifying the existing lawn by making Treatments, perform some mechanical operation like Scarification and Aeration and then apply Fertiliser and new Grass Seed (and sometimes new turf too) and Top Dressing.
You twiddle your thumbs, Water when required and wait for the newly renovated lawn to establish. Hey presto! A new lawn.
Aeration aids root development, air percolation, drainage and allows the roots to breathe. It should be performed in the Spring and Autumn periods and also as part of a complete renovation programme.
Whether you use a pair of aerating shoes, a garden fork or a mechanical aerator, the important aspect is to aerate with what you have available or can hire in as doing nothing will not help the lawn one bit.
The majority of lawns require deep solid tine aeration, and then hollow tining every 3 to 4 years to assist in thatch reduction. You can also use over seeding tines and chisel tines.
All lawn owners with dogs have been there. Their green lawns polka dotted with brown pee marks from their beloved pooch. There are the many old wives’s tales of adding tomato juice into their dogs’ food or water bowl to reduce the impact of their dog urine burn mark on the lawn.
What causes lawn burns and how may they be treated? Ammonia is released in urine as a part of normal digestion. In strong concentrations ammonia can burn the grass leaving brown patches. There are effectively two problems to address: 1) How to safely lower the ammonia concentrations in the urine to stop further damage to the lawn. 2) Repairing the existing damage.
Bitches and pups usually squat to urinate, so the ammonia is concentrated in a small area that can cause quite a brown discolouration. In the winter, dog lawn burns are less of a problem, because rainwater dilutes the ammonia. It is in the summer months that brown lawn patches are seen more frequently, because the ammonia finds it easier to penetrate the dryer soil and get drawn into the grass.Get yourself some of your chosen lawn top dressing material in a large garden trug, mix in a few big handfuls of grass seed and mix throughly. Use a big handful of seed/soil mixture on each urine patch and use the back of a soil rake to work the mix into the hole, finishing off with a level patch. Repeat weekly or monthly as new uring burn patches appear. You may fill up to 100 patches in this way on a regular basis.
You could also restrict the free movement of the dog in the garden so that some of your lawn area is protected from the late evening or morning doggy pee session.
Fairy Rings are not easy to control, especially as there are three main types, which vary in their visual appearance and effect on the turf.
Do not consider digging them out!! The fruiting bodies are not bad for your lawn as the Fungi are naturally occurring in health soils. Apply a Wetting Agent to the area at frequent intervals and make the soil conditions unfavorable for the Fungi to survive. Improving your turf culture practices may prevent an outbreak, to include: light surface aeration, applying a Wetting Agent, remove the fruiting bodies (mushrooms) rather than squashing them before you mow and applying fertiliser if you only have Type 2 which is a dark ring only to colour the lawn to match the darkness of the ring.
See the Technical Leaflet in the Download section of this site to discover more about Fairy Rings
Fusarium Disease is commonly found on new and old lawns and generally appears during the Late Summer to Spring periods. It can commonly be seen on newly laid lawns and is not the fault of the turf grower or landscaper. Welcome to new lawn problems!
Left uncontrolled, it will totally kill a lawn and although a change in cultural practices can prevent an outbreak, it can only be effectively controlled using a Turf Fungicide.
Improving your turf culture practices may prevent an outbreak, to include: Aeration, reducing thatch, dew removal, correct fertiliser applications and frequency of fertiliser to name a few.
See the Technical Leaflet in the Download section of this site to discover more about Fusarium Disease
Rust Disease looks exactly as it sounds. Initial symptoms show as yellow flecks on the leaves and plant stems. These flecks enlarge and the fungal spores develop on the leaf surface.
During cool weather in summer and autumn. Initial symptoms show as yellow flecks on the leaves and plant stems. Mostly seen when the night time temperatures reduce late September when you feel that you need to wear another layer when outside in the early evening.
It can spread to affect a large area, especially un-mown lawns. Adopting a regular fertiliser programme will assist in the prevention of an outbreak of this disease as will a regular mowing regime. Pass an infected leaf through your fingers – you will get a rusty deposit and it may stain light coloured shoes. Mowing the lawns and applying a late summer lawn fertiliser will help eradicate the disease.
See the Technical Leaflet in the Download section of this site to discover more about Rust Disease
Red Thread Disease
Red Thread Disease is seen on lawns during the Late Summer to Autumn during still, warm and moist conditions making a poor visual.
You will notice pink needles that protrude from the leaf of the grass plants and also a pinkish mycelium on the surface of affected areas. It indicates low Nitrogen levels in the soil, thus an application of a lawn fertiliser will initially control it.
Improving your turf culture practices may prevent an outbreak, to include: Reduce Thatch, Apply Fertiliser at regular intervals, Grass Seed Cultivar selection and Dew removal.
See the Technical Leaflet in the Download section of this site to discover more about Red Thread Disease
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I thought that my lawn had had it! It did look a bit poorly for a while following your renovation process but 8 weeks on looks like a lawn again. I would be pleased to recommend you to my family and colleagues.
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Lawn Renovation – thank you Mike for all your helpful advice and hard work transforming my lawn from the mess it was! After the party in December last year, I thought that it would need to be dug up and returved. How wrong I was….
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