CARE FOR ROLL OUT LAWNS
To obtain durable and compact turf and beautiful greenery from early spring to late autumn, it is necessary to systematically fertilize lawns especially using mineral fertilizers. Maintain the proper proportion of macroelements N:P:K which is 6:2:4 optimally. To achieve a uniform lawn color and appropriate growth of plants, fertilizers should be used very evenly. To fertilize lawns – not only roll out grass – numerous types of fertilizers are used. Nitrogen fertilization has a positive effect on grass regrowth and development. It also affects its color as it increases the content of chlorophyll in the leaves. The first spring nitrogen fertilization is applied when temperatures of the top layers of soil is approx. 5°C, and the lawn is well-raked. The last application of nitrogen in autumn cannot be delayed so that grass at the beginning of the winter rest is not too abundant. The annual nitrogen dose is 3.0-4.0 kg N/100m² on grass areas which are intensively exploited and watered. Fertilization with phosphorus has a positive influence on the proper development of the turf root system. It easily transforms into compounds difficult to absorb for plants, especially in acidic soils, but through microorganisms it can be reactivated. Doses depend on the type of soil and per 100 m² they range from 0.6 to 1.3 kg on average. Higher doses of phosphorus fertilizers are used on carpet and sports lawns. Phosphorus fertilization is used in the case of light, sandy and peaty soils which are low in potassium. Concise soils (loam, clay) are generally rich in potassium compounds that are available for plants. Potassium beneficially affects the regulation of plant water management and the course of photosynthesis; it also increases resistance of plants to diseases and frost. It is easily rinsed into deeper layers. Hence, the annual dose must be applied in two or three rounds. Liming is of particular importance on acidic soils with pH below 5.5. On this type of soil calcium improves soil reaction, helps in the use of phosphorus and activates potassium. Calcium also accelerates the decomposition of humus and thereby releases nitrogen.
Mowing constitutes the basic care treatment for all lawns. It allows an appropriate height and even turf to be achieved. Thanks to mowing we affect the growth and development of grass. It favors its health and resistance to diseases and pests. The mowing height is regulated depending on the needs and weather conditions. Mowers with sharp blades equipped with a basket for mowed grass are preferably used. If your mower does not have such a basket, rake the grass and remove the mowed grass from the lawn.
The top 5-8 cm lawn carrier layers thicken as a result of use. The size of pores decreases. Conditions of grass vegetation worsen, and hence water absorption and gas exchange arereduced. Therefore, grass thickness should be reduced sometimes. One of the basic method preventing grass from thickening is its aeration. Thanks to aeration the grass felt becomes riddled, hence gas exchange, nutrient management and water management significantly improve. There are many different opinions regarding punctures per m²; usually it is recommended to use 800 to 1,000 punctures per m². In practice, it turns out that the standard is 400-500 punctures per m² which allow satisfying results to be obtained. Works can be carried out from April to September.
SCARIFICATION OF LAWNS – VERTICAL CUTTING
Scarification of lawns aims at preventing turf from felting. It removes felt from dyeing sprouts of grass and debris after mowing and perennial weeds. Felt has similar features to peat. Under dry conditions, it is hydrophobic, absorbs water like a sponge and retains nutrients. If grass felt reaches a specific thickness, it prevents exchange of gases in the soil and reduces penetration of fertilizers. Thanks to scarification aeration of the root layer and the plant spreading zone is possible. The best period for scarification – due to an appropriate moisture of the substrate – is the beginning of the spring vegetation period. After scarification, remains of scarified dead parts of plants must be removed.
FIGHTING DISEASES AND WEEDS
Fighting diseases is a separate complex matter. Generally, the best prevention is regular and appropriate care for the lawn. Unfortunately, it is not always possible to avoid certain diseases, weeds or pests. If there is a threat that the lawn will suffer, call for a specialist who will recommend additional preventive measures. In special cases, use of chemicals cannot be avoided. Therefore, it is especially important to get professional advice. At the same time, remember to respect rules on plant protection.