Monthly Archives: May 2017

Patches and Thatches

Grass is one the most resilient plants on the planet. Natural grasslands are found across the globe and can survive the harshest of conditions including wildfires, drought, flooding and frost.

Your lawn is no different; moss, compaction, pets and children can all put extra strain on your grass but somehow, with a little help from us, it always finds a way to recover.

Patchy lawns2428875105_436bc73d1a_b

To tackle bare patches on your lawn, the easiest method is to first clear the grass of any debris, such as leaves. You can do this by raking the grass, which will also help to aerate the ground, allowing essential light, air and moisture to reach the soil beneath.

Then, scatter a layer of top soil over the patchy areas. Next, sprinkle some grass seed evenly over the patches. Take care not to overload the ground with seeds, there should be a nice even spread without the seeds being too close to each other.

It is a good idea to scatter a little more top soil over the seeds at this point, but be careful not to cover them completely as this will block out too much light. Covering the seeds in this way means they are better protected from birds, although you might want to consider taking other precautions against birds, too, such as hanging empty tin cans that will rattle in the breeze or making your own scarecrow!

Finally, water your newly sown seeds regularly using a watering can with a fine rose head – a hose or watering can without a rose head will be too strong and wash away the seeds.

Thatchy Lawnsthatch

Thatch is a common problem in many lawns. It can go unnoticed because it is usually underneath the top blades of grass, but can become worse if left untreated.

Thatch is a build-up of dead and living debris, shoots and roots that occurs in-between the layers of soil and grass. A little thatch in a lawn can be beneficial, but too much and the grass on top will start to root into the thatch and not into the soil beneath. This causes the soil underneath to become extremely dry and compact.

Scarifying is the term given to the process of getting rid of this thatch. By hand or with a rake it is a daunting, exhausting task, but there are machines available for this very task.

The steel blades of a scarifier de-thatch your grass using a cutting action, resulting in a firmer lawn that allows a better passage of air and nutrients into the ground. Use the blades of a scarifier to also cut into the soil, opening up the surface, making it ideal to then scatter new grass seed.

This cutting action also helps to ‘prune’ your lawn – unlike mowing which cuts the grass across, scarifiers cut downwards – and just like pruning a shrub, this process causes new shoots to grow from the base, thickening your lawn and encouraging that firm, lush green finish that we all strive for.