If your neighbours grass is always greener than yours, perhaps it’s time to alter your lawn care routine and approach the most labour intensive area of your garden with a tactical plan, some well rotted manure and even a compost tea.
However you look at it your lawn is likely to be the most time absorbing area of your garden! Creating a lush green lawn that will be the envy of your neighbour may not be your only goal, but it sure will feel good as the compliments flood in from passers by, friends and family.
Everyone likes a healthy green lawn, yet lawn care is highly disregarded and often a neglected area of garden maintenance. Let’s be frank! Grass can be dull, boring and lifeless, especially when you compare it to lush herbaceous borders, trees, shrubs and well cared for vegetable patches! But that should not mean we should neglect our postage stamp of turf that can provide our family with an outdoor space to play, relax or simply enjoy your growing garden from.
Fortunately lawn care is not as complicated as it may first appear, in-fact by following a few basic principles, anyone can have a lush green well manicured lawn with the minimum of care and attention. Finding a balance is essential and your lawn and it’s growing medium is a great place to start.
You might be surprised to learn that unlike trees and shrubs that have extensive root system, the roots of your lawns grasses are both fine and very close to the surface of your lawn. Just beneath the soils surface a network of fibrous roots create a barrier that actively search for and absorb water, nutrients and oxygen, utilising this concoction to create the lush self generating blades of green grass that we all love.
Providing your lawn with the perfect growing conditions may be easy if your starting from scratch but what if you are presented with an established lawn that just is not up to par? Improving the soil conditions that your lawns roots are growing in may seem like an impossible task, but during an active growing season lawn grass can actually help you by growing through and breaking down materials that you apply to the lawns surface.
We call this type of application top dressing! Top dressing is the application of a three ingredients is varying combinations to help improve the tilth (top layer) of your soils surface. This tilth is where your grasses roots are firmly rooted and provide the basis for your lawns success.
Adding a layer of top dressing in mid spring or Autumn will dramatically improve the performance and ultimately your lawns overall appearance.
There are no hard a fast rules for the recipe you use for a top dressing but the following mixes will provide you some guidance.
You will need a quantity of either Loam (graded top soil), Horticultural grit sand and Leaf or Garden compost or shop purchased compost or peat if you must!
A cold wet heavy soil often consisting of a large quantity of clay will have a very thin layer of tilth for your precious grass roots to grow in and in the instance your top dressing should consist of 50% grit/sand and 50% sieved leaf mould, peat or compost.
Sandy soils have the opposite consistency and have difficulty in retaining valuable water due to the lack of moisture holing matter. In this instance you will need to add a different composition.
50% Loam and 50% compost finely sieved or graded to break up lumps and broadcast spread over your lawns surface, will help to improve the tilth and water retain ability of the soil beneath your feet.
Apply your chosen well mixed, top dressing recipe to a dry lawn and blend the mixture amongst the lawn grass blades with the help of a stiff broom or the back of a lawn rake. it is a good idea to water the top dressing if no rainfall is due within the next 48hrs.
Once your grass has a good medium to grow in you will see a vast improvement in it’s over all condition, top dressing will need to be done once or twice a year as leaching of organic matter will occur naturally as worm and bugs breakdown the rotted organic matter, releasing valuable nutrients for absorption by plant roots.
Liquid feeding or making compost teas for your lawns during the growing season will improve the lawn grasses performance, almost over night and can be applied regularly throughout the growing season, find out more…