You might think that since we are well into September the tough work of the growing season is almost through.
Not exactly. The next month is an ideal time for turf renovation. If you have a lawn it may need it. Drought conditions, compacted soil, poor drainage, root competition and thatch are some reasons.
Why now? It's still warm,growing conditions are favorable and weed competition is much lower than in the spring.
Turf renovation is not as complex as it sounds. It's an approach that includes one or all of the following: de-thatching, aeration, overseeding and top dressing.
Why not hire a professional to take this chore off your hands? Better yet - call Gardeners' Guild. Then you could relax, put your feet up on the desk and think about how to enjoy the last few weeks of our gorgeous weather. It could even save you money and a headache.
Catch the details below.
All the best,
Gardeners' Guild Inc.
Does the grass feel spongy under your feet? Do you notice it has brown patches? Either of these symptoms can mean your lawn has thatch.
What is thatch? A dense layer of living and dead plant material lying between the soil surface and green grass leaves. Over time this accumulation of partly decomposed matter will become thicker and more resistant to moisture.
When it becomes thicker than 3/4" thatch restricts the intake of water and nutrients making the lawn more susceptible to insect and disease problems. The grass will then turn brown.
What thatch is not: Leaf blades and grass clippings don't contribute to thatch because they break down readily, returning nutrients to soil.
Reasons for thatch:
- Soil compaction
- Over Fertilization
- Improper moving
- Watering that is frequent but shallow
The cure for thatch:
If thatch is thick a professional will use a vertical mower with blades that are perpendicular to the turf surface. Gardeners' Guild recommends lawn dethatching during the spring and fall.
Soil compaction occurs to most lawns as a result of aging or heavy traffic. This reduces the space within the soil that would normally hold air. This limits its ability to take in nutrients and is a barrier to root growth.
Aeration involves removing soil plugs or cores from your lawn. Most aeration is done mechanically by a machine that extracts 1/2 to 3/4 inch cores of soil and deposits them on the lawn.
The result of aeration is increasing water, nutrient and oxygen movement into the soil. The activity of soil microorganisms is enhanced, stimulating root growth.
The reason for overseeding is if your lawn appears has bare spots created by summer stress. It may also show brown spots and an abundance of weeds.
Then, overseeding with a cool-season grass in the fall will ensure that you will have a green lawn during the winter months!
It's probably best to hire a professional. They will have the right seed blend as well as equipment.
We recommend top dressing as a last step in the turf renovation process. In particular we suggest that your top dressing is organic matter. This can be a thin layer compost, organic fertilizer or worm castings.
These products improve the health of your soil giving your new grass the best chance for vigorous growth.
Smog Eating Pavement?
I'm not kidding. Dutch scientists say it's true. They say they have developed an experimental pavement that can cut pollution as high as 45%!
Researchers say that this pavement (used in the Netherlands) was sprayed with titanium oxide which converts nitrogen oxide into less dangerous chemicals such as nitrates.
Evidently there was an American version used in bicycle and parking lanes in Chicago this April. See photo above.
Unfortunately this special pavement is more expensive than average cement.
For more information