Regular fertilization is crucial for obtaining thick, lush lawn of a high quality appearance from early spring to late autumn. It is necessary because the grass is frequently mowed and lawn’s root system quickly absorbs nutrients which need to be provided systematically. Mineral fertilizers are the best choice. It is important to balance the proportions of macro elements N:P:K. The perfect proportion is 6:2:4. In order to obtain the same color and height of grass leaves, fertilizers must be applied evenly.
Nitrogen influences lawn’s growth and its development, but it also determines its color. This is because this element increases the amount of chlorophyll in grass leaves. First spring nitrogen fertilization of the lawn should be carried out when temperature of topsoil goes up to 5°C degrees and the grass is well raked. The last nitrogen fertilization in autumn is extremely important and it must be done in time. This is because the grass cannot be too lush before winter rest. Annual dose of nitrogen fertilizers in case of frequently irrigated and intensively used lawns is 3,0 – 4,0 kg N/100 m2.
Phosphorus is used to improve development of turf’s root system. This element is easily transformed into compounds which are difficult to assimilate by plants, especially in acidic soil, however, it can be reactivated with a help of microorganisms. Doses of fertilizer depend on soil’s type and they vary between 0,6 – 1,3 kg for 100 m2. In case of sports lawns and carpet grass the dose is usually higher.
Packed soil (clay, loam) are usually rich in compounds which are easily assimilated by plants. Shortage of these compounds may however occur in case of light soils, sandy soils and peaty soils. Potassium has a great influence on regulation of water balance and process of photosynthesis in plants. It also strengthens grass resistance to diseases and causes that it becomes more resistant to ground frost. Potassium can be easily washed out of deeper layers of soil, therefore its annual amount should be applied in two or three separate doses.
Liming is necessary especially in case of acidic soils (pH below 5,5). In such situation, liming can substantially improve soil’s pH . Moreover, it enhances assimilation of phosphorus and it activates potassium. Liming speeds up erosion of humus and therefore causes nitrogen release.
This is a basic activity in case of any lawn’s maintenance. It helps to obtain even surface by cutting grass leaves to a proper height. This activity enhances growth and tillering of grass because it improves its health and resistance to pests. Regulation of mowing height should be regulated according to personal preference and weather conditions. To maintain roll-out lawn in its best possible condition, lawn-mowers with baskets should be used. In case your lawn-mower is not equipped with a basket, the mowed grass should be immediately raked and removed from the lawn. Mowing must be performed while the lawn is dry to avoid clumping of the mowed grass.
Scarifying grass – vertical cut
Main purpose of scarifying is managing thatch in lawns. During this activity the main aim is to remove thatch (i.e. rake out old grass stems, dead moss and debris). Thatch has similar properties to peat – when it is dry it is highly hydrophobic and has a negative influence on the lawn. It absorbs not only water but also all the nutrients that should be delivered to grass. Once the layer of thatch on the lawn is very thick, it prevents gas circulation in soil, it also hinders transfer of fertilizers into soil. Therefore, scarifying is essential in every lawn’s maintenance. It helps to supply right amount of air circulation to the roots layer and tillering layer. The best moment to carry out scarifying is the beginning of spring because of an optimal humidity of the ground. After vertical cut, it is crucial to remove the remains of dead plants.
Because of intense use, 5 to 8 cm of the bearing layer of turf-grass is subject to compacting. It has a negative influence on vegetation because pores in the ground become smaller and water has difficulty penetrating through the soil surface and gas circulation becomes worse. To prevent such situation, it is important to aerate the lawn from time to time.Thanks to aeration, thatch is perforated which improves circulation of gases and nutrients as well as water management. Professional publications give different opinions on the amount of perforations per m2 for aeration to be effective. (from 800 to 1000). From our own experience we can see that 400-500 perforations per m2 is an optimal amount. Aeration should be carried out between April and September.
Sand spreading improves water penetration to the soil, this in turn results in development of new roots, adventitious roots and shoots. It should be carried out once a year, after scarifying or aeration. Grind size of lawn sand should be of 0,6-2,0 mm.
Weed and disease control
Disease prevention is a big topic of its own. But the general rule is that proper maintenance is the best preventive measure. Our turf-grass because of the careful selection of grass types is extremely immune to diseases. Unfortunately, some of them are impossible to avoid. The same story is with weeds and pests. In case of the any risks to your lawn, it is the best solution to call for professional help. An expert will give you advice on the most effective measures. In more serious cases, it might be necessary to use chemicals. Professional advice is crucial in order to avoid making the situation worse. It is, at the same time, important to remember about regulations on plant protection products.