Care for roll out lawns
To obtain durable and compact turf as well as beautiful greenery from early spring to late autumn, it is necessary to systematically fertilize lawns especially with mineral fertilizers. The appropriate proportion of N:P:K macroelements should be kept, which is optimally at the level of 6:2:4. To obtain a uniform color of the lawn and proper plant growth, fertilizers should be applied evenly. Various types of fertilizers are used to fertilize the lawn, not only roll out grass.
Nitrogen fertilization has a positive effect on the regrowth and development of grasses. It also affects its color, as it increases the chlorophyll content in the leaves. The first spring nitrogen fertilization is applied when the temperature of the top soil layers is approx. 5°C and the lawn is well raked. The last application of nitrogen in autumn cannot be delayed so that the grass is not too lush at the beginning of the winter dormancy period. On intensively used and irrigated grassy surfaces, the annual nitrogen dose is 3.0-4.0 kg N/100m².
Phosphorus fertilization, in turn, has a positive effect on the proper development of the turf root system. Phosphorus easily transforms into compounds that are difficult for plants to absorb, especially in acidic soil, but it can be reactivated by microorganisms. The doses depend on the type of soil and range on average from 0.6 to 1.3 kg per 100 m². Higher doses of phosphorus fertilizer are used for carpet and sports lawns.
Potassium fertilization is applied for light, sandy and peaty soils that are low in potassium. Compact (clay, loam) soils are generally rich in potassium compounds well-assimilable by plants. Potassium has a positive effect on the regulation of plant water management and the course of photosynthesis, increasing plant resistance to diseases and frost. It is easily washed into the deeper layers. For this reason, the annual dose should be applied in two or even three rounds.
Liming is of particular importance on acidic soils with pH below 5.5. In this type of soil, calcium improves the soil pH, helps to absorb phosphorus and activates potassium. It also accelerates the decomposition of humus and thus releases nitrogen.
Mowing is the basic care treatment for all lawns. It allows to obtain even turf of appropriate height. Thanks to mowing, we affect the growth and development of grass. It also has a beneficial effect on its health and resistance to diseases and pests. The mowing height is adjusted depending on the needs and weather conditions. It is best to use mowers with sharp blades, which are equipped with a grass catcher. If the mower has no catcher, the mowed grass should be raked and removed from the lawn.
The top 5 - 8 cm of the carrier layer of the lawn thickens with use. The pore size is reduced there. The conditions of grass vegetation are worse, which results in weaker water absorption and gas exchange. For this reason, the grass density should be reduced from time to time. One of the basic methods of preventing dense grass is its aeration. Due to the aeration, the grass felt becomes riddled, which significantly improves gas exchange, nutrient and water management. There are various opinions on the subject of holes per m², it is usually recommended to apply 800 to 1000 holes per m². In practice, the standard turns out to be about 400 - 500 holes per m² which allows to obtain satisfactory results. Works can be carried out from April to September.
Lawn scarification - vertical cutting
Lawn scarification is designed to prevent turf from felting. Felt formed from dying grass shoots and mowing debris, as well as perennial weeds are removed. Felt is similar to peat. When dry, it is hydrophobic, absorbs water like a sponge and retains nutrients. If the grass felt reaches a certain thickness, it prevents the 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 beginning of the spring vegetation period is the best time for scarification, due to the appropriate substrate moisture. After the scarification, the remnants of scarified, dead parts of plants should be removed.
Disease and weed control
Fighting diseases is a separate comprehensive issue. Generally, the best prevention is regular and proper lawn care. Unfortunately, it is not always possible to avoid certain diseases, weeds or pests. If there is a risk that the lawn will suffer, it is necessary to call a specialist who will recommend additional preventive measures. In special cases, the use of chemicals cannot be avoided. Therefore, it is especially important to seek professional advice. At the same time, remember to respect the regulations on plant protection.