The Benefits of Top Dressing

Top Dressing is a great way to improve your lawn’s condition. Top Dressing a lawn is the application of a high quality mixture of graded sand and loam/soil to the surface of a lawn to improve soil conditions and lawn health. This is done by using a drag mat over the lawn applying a thin layer of this mixture. Having Top Dressing applied on a regular basis will greatly improve the health and appearance of a lawn and much improve your soil’s condition.

Another great reason to apply Top Dressing is to smooth out undulations in your lawn’s surface. The type of material used depends upon the depth of the undulations. Where there are small undulations a quality mixture of graded sand and loam/soil can be applied. This allows the current grass to be able to grow through the Top Dressing. When the undulations are more substantial a soil Top Dressing would be much more suitable with new seed being applied after the Top Dressing.

All lawns are different and a lawn is only as good as the soil that it is growing in.

 

If you want to have your lawn’s condition inspected why not take advantage of the Lawnscience FREE Lawn Review Service. One of our local lawn care professionals can advise you on the correct solution for your lawn.

If you see a lawn with beautiful, healthy and lush green grass it most likely has had some great quality Top Dressing applied.

 

Top Dressing is a proven way to improve the quality of your lawn’s root zone resulting in:

 

Increasing Microbial Activity – Microorganisms will exist in great soils and they will help with the uptake of essential nutrients, making nutrients available for the grass plants that make up your lawn. These microorganisms can also help break down the Thatch layers that have developed by decomposing it.

Soil Conditioning Improve Soil Condition – A great healthy lawn will no doubt have quality soil beneath it. Ideally it will have between 7″-12″ of top soil, which is rich in organic matter. The soil structure won’t have too much sand or clay in it. This ideal condition will develop fibrous grass roots that will grow at least 7″-12″ down, this helps them find the much needed moisture when there are drought conditions. Because the soil will be well-drained it will deter the grass roots from decomposing in a water-logged environment.

Intensify Seed Germination – When Top Dressing follows a core Aeration and an application of Over-seeding, the germination of the seed will be intensified. This process covers the new grass seeds, retaining moisture and providing great contact between the soil and seeds helping them to root.

When is the best time to Top Dress a Lawn?

 

Basically lawns can have an application of Top Dressing nearly any time during periods of grass growth, which is usually between April – October. Traditionally a great Lawn Care company will apply Top Dressing during late Spring and early Autumn, as part of a great lawn care programme.

After a Top Dressing has been applied your lawn may appear to look slightly off colour and dirty. Don’t worry……this is down to the thin layer of mixture applied but it will settle into your lawn’s grass, especially after rainfall or manual irrigation.

If you are looking to improve your lawn by applying Top Dressing, why not take advantage of the Lawnscience FREE lawn review service? One of our fully trained, lawn care professionals will be happy to arrange a FREE lawn review service for you and your lawn. Take advantage of this opportunity just contact us at Lawnscience today.

 

Why Should My Lawn Be Scarified?

If your lawn is not Scarified on a regular basis it can develop an unwanted amount of Thatch, which is a layer of decaying organic matter that lies on top of your lawn’s root zone. This will be an issue for your lawn as it will reduce the available moisture and nutrients to your lawn’s root zone, resulting in weak growth and poor looking lawn as it will become thin and patchy and eventually die off. However, a moderate level of thatch (approx ½ inch or less) can be beneficial to your lawn as it will provide a home for the beneficial microorganisms that your lawn needs.

Every lawn is different and many factors will depend on how often your lawn should be scarified. For example if your lawn is made up of fine fescue grass plants it is likely to develop a build up thatch much quicker than a coarse rye grass lawn and will require a more regular scarification to keep it in great condition. Another factor is the activity of bacteria in your lawn’s soil and how your lawn is mowed will contribute to how quickly thatch builds up. Scarification is an important part of a lawn care programme and we would advise Scarification at least once every other year.

So what is Lawn Scarification?why should my lawn be scarified

 

Scarifying is a process best described as a powerful mechanical raking of the lawn. The Scarifier is a machine that drives a series of very sharp blades into the Thatch layer of the lawn and removes it.

Scarification is also beneficial in that it will provide an element of Aeration, which will improve the drainage of lawns and make lawns more disease tolerant, as well as reducing the sponginess of lawns if that is already an issue.

As with all of our Services Lawnscience will only use the very best professional lawn care machines. You can feel confident that your lawn will be in great hands.

 

Once the Scarifier has completed it’s work, the Thatch will be moved to the surface of the lawn and can then be raked out and disposed or composted. Lawn Scarification

It is very important to choose the correct time to Scarify your lawn

 

Scarification should be carried out when the grass is actively growing in the Spring time or Autumn. This will allow the lawn time to recover from what can be a stressful process for your lawn. If your lawn is too dry, wet, frozen or covered in snow it is the wrong time to carry out a Scarification. If your lawn is scarified at the wrong time it will look very poor for weeks afterwards and you could be damaging healthy grass.

Preparation and good planning is an important part of great lawn care. Before you carry out a Scarification of your lawn it will need to be short and so you should mow the height down gradually about a week or two before. This will reduce any shock to the grass and allow air to get into the grass plants helping dry the grass.

It is a good idea to remove any weeds from your lawn about a week before Scarification is carried out. Although scarifying can help control some creeping weeds, it is an ideal opportunity to apply weed killer at this time to get on top of weed control.

The day before your lawn gets scarified it should be mowed as close as possible without scalping (approx 1 inch).  Long grass will just create resistance to the Scarifier.

A great lawn care company will only carry out lawn Scarification at the RIGHT time.

 

Scarification can also provide a great opportunity to invigorate your lawn. New grass seed can then be over-seeded, which will promote quicker recovery and will thicken your lawn. You can read more about Seeding your lawn here.

Scarification if done incorrectly can ruin your lawn. We have seen lawns butchered by incorrect Scarification and it can take up to a year for lawns to fully recover with a lot of time and effort not forgetting cost to put it right again. We would recommend Scarification is left to a great lawn care professional.

If you would like to discuss how Scarification can improve your lawn, why not take advantage of the Lawnscience lawn review service? One of our fully trained, lawn care professionals will be happy to arrange a free lawn review with you, during which they will identify any issues it may have and provide you with a fully costed solution for you to consider. Contact us for your FREE lawn care review service.

 

 

Thatch In Lawns

All lawns will have a Thatch layer just as long as it is kept under control, (approx ½ inch) it can have beneficial effects such as providing a cushion to your lawn’s surface and also as a breeding ground for beneficial macro and micro organisms.

So what is Thatch and why is it a problem for your lawn?

 

Lawn Thatch is a layer of decaying organic matter that lies on the surface of your soil. It consists of grass cuttings, stems, crowns and other parts of the grass plant that are no longer usable.

The build up of Thatch starts when turf produces organic debris much faster than it can actually be broken down. You may see some leaf clippings in layers of thatch, but they don’t actually contribute to Thatch build up because the microorganisms in the soil will easily break them down.

It’s when the Thatch layer gets out of control that problems for your lawn will start. This mat of organic matter covering the soil’s surface will restrict the flow of water and much needed nutrients down into the root zone. It will become a fertile breeding ground for potentially dangerous grass pathogens (biological agent that causes disease) and insects that will attack the grass plant. The layer of Thatch will hold onto water which results in the development of Moss.

Soil compaction, lack of organic materials and nutrients will contribute to Thatch in your lawn. If you leave grass clippings on your lawn and you don’t mow frequently enough it will prevent your grass from getting the good photosynthesis it needs to be healthy.

What can you do if you have Thatch?Thatch in lawns

 

We visit thousands of lawns and we see all types of lawn conditions. We often get asked by lawn owners what they can do to remove the Thatch that is spoiling the look of their lawn.

Thatch can be removed from your lawn’s surface by a process called Scarification. This process is carried out by using a powerful mechanical Scarifier, which will drive a series of sharp blades into the Thatch layer to remove it from your lawn. As well as removing the Thatch, Scarification will provide good Aeration, improving the drainage and tolerance.

A great lawn care professional understands Thatch and other lawn conditions and will know how and when to correctly Scarify your lawn and provide after care. If you have any questions on Scarification why not contact us, we can advise on Preventative Lawn Care Programmes that will keep Thatch at bay. Why not take advantage of our FREE lawn care review service, where we will thoroughly inspect your lawn for Thatch or any other lawn care issues and provide you with a solution.

Choosing the correct time to scarify your lawn is very important. This process should only be carried out when grass is actively growing in the Spring or Autumn. This allows the lawn time to recover from what can be a stressful process.

The depth of the Thatch, whether you plan to over-seed and the turf’s condition will have an impact on how much you remove in a single operation. If the turf is heavy with Thatch (approx 2 inches or more) it will be difficult to reduce it to a desirable level without thinning the turf. In these circumstances, most of the root system is growing in the thatch layer, so as you remove the thatch you will also be removing the good turfgrass plants. Over-seeding will be needed on these areas.

Once the Scarification has been carried out, the Thatch will be removed by raking out and bagged up for disposal or composting.

 

If you have any questions about Thatch or other lawn care issues just contact us and take advantage of our FREE Lawn Review Service.