Tips to keep natural grass in optimal condition

Once we have chosen the variety of natural grass that we want to put in our garden, it does not hurt to know the basic operations that we must do to maintain its quality at the highest level. If we want a thick mantle without the appearance of bald spots or chlorotic areas, the tasks not only involve irrigation and fertilization.

Yes, no one said that the installation of natural grass was simple, but the added comfort that it will give to a garden (or around a swimming pool, for example), more than covers the efforts. 

THE MOWING AND THE FOOTSTEPS. THE ORDEAL OF OUR  GRASS

When we see a garden, whether it is public or a house or farm, we see trees, flowers, flower beds and various elements that catch our attention and the lawn really plays in the background.

It seems that the grass is supposed to be there, without cost, without care, you can step on it and nothing happens to it. Sure?. For those who have to take care of it, they will well know that the lawn requires various tasks to keep it bald-free, of a uniform green, well cut and defined.

Repeated mowing and continuous trampling are the toughest test for a lawn and not all varieties can withstand this mechanical stress to which they are subjected.

In addition to mowing and treatments against diseases, here are some tips that will help keep it in perfect condition.

Some can be laborious or we just don’t have the necessary tools. You can find many options of professionals in habitissimo  who can help you with gardening issues.

WHAT NATURAL GRASS TO CHOOSE?

THE PERFECT LAWN

Practically, if you know which grass is best for your garden, and apart from the care it needs, you have all the components so that even Cristiano Ronaldo himself gives you the go-ahead to play a game there.

In our case we have made the classification mainly according to the climate (mild, cool, warm, arid, etc.), since it is very important in the development of the lawn, and will determine the frequency of irrigation and fertilization, and ultimately, the expense economical .

THE TYPE OF SOIL

The choice of the variety of grass according to the characteristics of the soil is also important, although in general, with a few exceptions, almost all lawns are adapted to most soils.

There are those that do not withstand very hot conditions and others that resist the winter cold well depending on the area where we are.

Also, associated with hot climates there are varieties that are more resistant to salinity than others (highly recommended for those “magnificent” golf courses in the southeast of Spain, in which we find ourselves).

THE LOCATION OF THE LAWN

Let’s see, we know the climate and the type of soil of our land, in principle we would have everything to go on to choose the variety of grass that interests us the most.

There is only one last question, to analyze if our lawn is going to be in a covered area (by the shade of trees) or in full sun, since depending on what type of lawn is better or worse adapted to this issue.

WHAT USE WILL YOU GIVE?

With this question we mean the following. Does it only have an aesthetic function? Are children going to play in it? Depending on this, you will have to choose as an important condition a type of grass that is more resistant, thicker and with greater recovery capacity.

If you are already asking what varieties are recommended to plant according to what characteristics, here we show them in the following table:

 

NameI usuallySituationCharacteristics
Arid climatesBouteloua gracilisThe majorityIn full sunSmall leaves, inactive in dry and very hot weather
Buchloë dactyloidesMost dryIn full sunStar leaves, creeping, slow growing, dormant in hot summers
Warm climatesAxonopus affinisThe majorityUncovered, half shadeThick, herbaceous leaves
Cynodon dactylonThe majorityUncovered, half shadeThin, dense leaves, tolerates salinity
Eremochloa ophiuroidesAcidUncovered, half shadeThick leaves, slow growth
Lolium multiflorumThe majorityUncovered, half shadeThick, fast growing
Stenotaphrum secundatumMost, neutralUncovered, shadowThick, herbaceous in cold weather, tolerates salinity
Zoysia japonicaThe majorityUncovered, shadowThick leaves, tolerates salinity
Cool climatesCynosorus cristatusPoor, messy, UncoveredWide leaves, slender flower stems, wear resistant
Deschampsia flexuosaAcidUncovered, shadowStar leaves, plume formation
Festuca ovina vulgarisPorous, acidDiscoveredHard blades, drought resistant
Festuca rubraPorous, acidDiscoveredHard blades, drought resistant
Festuca rubra fallaxPorous, acidDiscoveredHard blades, drought resistant
Festuca genuinaPorous, acidDiscoveredHard needle blades, drought resistant
ViabilityThe majorityDiscoveredBroad, erect, fast growing and ephemeral leaf
Phleum pratenseThe majorityDiscoveredWide and soft blades, wear resistant
For compressThe majorityUncovered, shadowThin, hard blades, resistant to low temperatures
Poa pratensisThe majorityDiscoveredBroad leaves, fine texture, drought resistant
Poa trivialisMost wetShadowWide blades, does not resist use, resists cold well
Mild and humid climatesAgrostis caninaMost wetDiscoveredStar leaves, dense, fine texture
Agrostis canina montanaMost wetLittle discoveryStar leaves, dense, fine texture
Agrostis stoloniferaMost wetUncovered, half shadeStar leaves, fine texture
Showing from 1 to 22 of 22 records

SOME TIPS ADDED …

  • The Phleum pratense variety  is creeping and is often used in sports fields because it recovers well.
  • Lolium species are thick-leaved and ephemeral, but they are inexpensive and grow fairly quickly.
  • The grass of the genus Poa  have horizontal rhizomes that form a vigorous lawn.
  • Agrostis  species grow upright and outward, but with separation between leaves. Controlling watering, fertilizing and cutting the lawn stimulates the density of the lawn.
  • The genus Festuca forms an elastic grass (it recovers well) but has the disadvantage that it does not spread very quickly .

SCARIFICATION AND AIRY

Aeration and scarification are operations whose purpose is to avoid caking or compaction of the same and to avoid the growth of mosses, for example. To aerate it, simply pierce the lawn regularly with a pitchfork in two perpendicular passes. We will be loosening the grass a bit and avoid the dreaded compaction. In spring it is essential to make an airy and in autumn you can also do another.

Scarification also makes it possible to lift what is called felt. 

Felt is a compendium of flattened grass, roots and caked earth that is becoming more and more waterproof . Scratching with the gallows, we will lift the felt and also we will take away a few shallow rooted weeds.

WHEN TO AERATE NATURAL GRASS?

The best time is when spring has entered in all its splendor, in April . The grass begins to grow vertiginously and it is when it demands the most good conditions of humidity and aeration in the soil.

[alert style = »yellow»] If you have some practically unrecoverable areas, you can also opt for replanting or repopulating plantings. [/ alert]

NATURAL GRASS FERTILIZATION

Fertilization is another important point, which depending on the type of lawn , you will need more or less. Fertilization helps the lawn to grow stronger and more vigorous, preventing or at least hindering the growth of some weeds.

Others will grow as strong or more than the grass itself, but for this we are here to eliminate them. The base of this fertilization must be nitrogen, although a balanced fertilization in nutrients does not hurt.

In the market you can find many different types of fertilizers especially suitable for natural grass.

One of the most common ways to fertilize is with granules with a 3-1-2 NPK ratio. For example, a 20-5-10, but it is important that it has calcium, magnesium and micronutrients (especially iron).

The dose to apply of this type of fertilizers is between 30 and 35 grams per square meter of surface. Important to moisten the fertilizer with a watering later so that it is released slowly.

If the area in which we have natural grass planted usually has irrigation water with a lot of accumulation of salts (hard water), it is better to always look for those nutrients that do not have chlorine in their composition

NATURAL GRASS FERTILIZER PLAN

DateApplication month
Subscriber start:February March
Seasonal subscriber:from April to September
Autumn fertilizer:October – December when soil temperature stays below 10 ° C
New lawns:After preparing the ground and before planting

THE ROLLING

It seems that this operation contradicts the aerated in terms of its mechanical action since after all, the rolling is for compacting . It is evident that depending on the state of the lawn, one operation or another will suit you.

Obviously, if the soil is very clayey and tends to compact, the rolling should be ignored or done when the soil is dry.

After a sowing or reseeding it is convenient to pass the roller for example. If the surface is very uneven due to wear and tear, it is also advised to level .

On other occasions it is done to prevent roots that have been raised for various reasons such as very severe raking or poor cutting height from drying out.

LAWN PH

The optimal pH for grass growth is between 6-7, that is, slightly acidic soils.

Basic soils impair the growth of the lawn due to the low availability of elements.

If the soils are very basic, soil corrections will be established with the addition of sulfur or gypsum, not exceeding 250 kg / ha and making the applications in spring or autumn.

SUBSCRIBER DOSE 

 

Types of lawnsNP205K2OMgO
Golf course green360-38060-70250-26050
Heavy-duty sports grass330-34060-70220-23045
“Tee” or “avant green” of campo de golf260-27040-50180-19035
Low-use sports grass220-23040-60150-16040
High ornamental value lawns210-22030-40130-15030
Normal family lawn150-16020-30110-12025
Golf course fairways130-16025-35110-13030
Showing from 1 to 7 of 7 records

TRIM THE EDGES

Here we enter «haute hairdressing». If we want to limit the edges of gravel or dirt roads, or we have edges with flower beds, we have to limit the expansion of the lawn by cutting with a trimmer or with a garden shovel that we will nail in the cutting area and with a dry blow of foot, we will cut the roots cleanly.

[alert style = »yellow»] Early spring is the best time to perform this cutting operation. [/ alert]

WEEDING AND WEED REMOVAL

The elimination of weeds is a fact that has always been suffered in any agricultural discipline, whether for intensive crops or for the garden of a house. They always are and the fight is assured. The dandelions are a common companion and Plantain among many that tend to invade the field.

In a small garden, annuals are relatively easy to dispose of manually, with patience and some time.

The dandelion should be uprooted, not cut. It has a very deep and resistant taproot that we must eliminate. There are root starters that we can buy for this purpose. The problem comes with the perennials, that unless selective herbicides are applied, it is not easy to get rid of them. It all depends on the type of lawn you want.

  • For a lawn like that of a football or golf field, we will have no choice but to resort to this type of herbicide.
  • If you do not mind having the lawn somewhat more rustic with the odd adventitious grass, you will avoid worrying excessively about the state of the lawn and weeds. It is another more relaxed way of seeing the garden.

CLEANING LEAVES IN AUTUMN

We already discussed a few weeks ago what autumn leaves mean on the garden. It is good to remove them because we prevent cryptogamic diseases . The typical light fan rake will be sufficient to drag these leaves without damaging the lawn.

BALD SPOTS, YELLOWING … TOUCH RESEEDING!

It’s what you never do. Normally, we tend to put more and more seed, thinking that from everything we put in, something has to grow and finally cover our garden in the way we think. Many times, this can be a mistake and it is necessary to try to see what is wrong to find the most suitable solution. It is not easy but you have to try.

BALD, MANY BALD!

The first time you sowed your lawn, you thought you covered it evenly with the seed, right? I’m sorry to dissapoint you. It happens to all of us, and replanting is the next step. Before putting seeds back into the bald patches , you should aerate and decompress the soil a little in the most bare areas. Reseed, cover with a good substrate and water. The rest will continue its course as long as it has the necessary water supply.

THE YELLOWING OF THE LAWN LACK OF WATER? IT CAN BE, OR EXCESS TOO …

It is usually the most common cause. The yellowing of our vegetal layer in the garden is one of the possible problems that we can almost certainly face. It can be produced by:

LACK OF WATER

If the yellowing occurs only in August and the grass shows a straw-colored appearance, it is almost certainly a lack of water. Monitor the automatic irrigation system, frequencies, clogged, broken sprinklers …

EXCESS OF WATER

This can also be a cause of yellowing. The root suffocation . This chokes the roots, rots them and, therefore, the grass does not have the capacity to absorb water and nutrients. The next question is: why does root asphyxia occur? due to poor drainage most of the time, which leads us to the next question, what has happened so that my soil suffocates the grass if when I planted it it was soft and full of nutrients with the best substrate that they sold me in the nursery …? The answer can be:

SOIL COMPACTION

It can be a cause and it is best to aerate the lawn before reseeding to give a “breather” (pun intended) to the shallower subsoil with aerators. There are many types. Here we have an example.

INAPPROPRIATE AND / OR INCORRECTLY APPLIED TREATMENTS AND FERTILIZERS

Remember. If not long ago you put a wonderful product that a friend told you to green the lawn … maybe you happened in some area. Be very careful with the dosages of whatever you put on the lawn.

An excess of compost can also burn it.

This problem is not very common since the doses are very well defined but it can happen.

DISEASES

It is another possibility. Commercial seeds are usually quite resistant although we will never be exempt from a disease (usually fungal).

In this case, it is difficult to find out why it is happening and there is no magic formula to fix it.

It is better to go to a specialist who sees the specific case and advises for the particular case.

Sometimes it is relatively easy to identify a disease. If a very very defined fence appears, it is easy for it to be a disease.

If we have managed to identify the error, perfect, we will act accordingly, and possibly future problems that may arise will not be due to the same, and if they are, we will know how to identify it quickly.

NOW HOW DO I RESEED THE LAWN?

First of all we have to talk about dates. We know that it is ugly to see it as it is, full of bald spots, yellow in areas … but do not rush, there are seasons that are conducive to the task.

As you can imagine, the beginning of spring turns out to be the ideal date, although not the only one.

It is the moment when everything germinates almost effortlessly. Fall can also be if you don’t want to wait for the following spring.

Give the seed time to settle and germinate little by little (depending on weather).

If you have to remove dead areas of the lawn, the best thing is with a hoe, completely eliminating the affected area, including at the root level (we also eliminate possible seeds of competing species).

Once we remove the affected areas, we just have to aerate the soil thoroughly (it will take longer to compact again), level, sow and cover with a good substrate.

A little roller or similar to compact the substrate as necessary and water normally or slightly more at the beginning. The rest will be done by the seed.

THE CHOICE OF GRASS AND MIXTURES

Normally, what is usually done is to make a mixture of seeds from different varieties of grass.

This is done because the deficiencies of one variety are covered by another variety , and the deficiencies of this variety are covered by the next, forming a sod with a group of very positive characteristics.

Imagine, for example, that you plant a specific variety of grass that takes a long time to germinate, and you mix it with another variety, less attractive but more resistant and with a much faster germination.

You will have a grass that will grow faster from the mixture of these two varieties. Then, the strongest (more resistant and with less needs) will be the one that wins the battle for the space of your garden.

Some interesting mixes are as follows:

A LAWN FOR YOUR GARDEN AROUND YOUR POOL OR HOUSE, PRACTICAL, RESISTANT AND WITHSTANDS FOOTFALLS.

  • Festuca Arundinacea (85%)
  • English Ray Grass  (10%)
  • Poa pratense (5%)

In our opinion, a fairly complete lawn, with the protagonism of a widely used variety ( Festuca Arundinacea),  in combination with the two remaining varieties that increase the speed of growth (which we have commented before). Think that  Poa pratense is often used a lot on soccer fields.

English ray grass

A LAWN TO COVER SHADY AREAS

  • Festuca rubra semireptile (30%)
  • Festuca rubra reptile (50%)
  • Viability (20%)

These varieties allow their use in shady areas, either because you have a garden attached to the house or because you have many trees with dense foliage and you want to install a lawn. Ah! by the way, that we do not forget in the future to talk about the irrigation of the lawn. How it would be planned and the different irrigation systems (not everything is sprinklers …);).

A LAWN FOR HOT MEDITERRANEAN AREAS WITH LITTLE MAINTENANCE

Although we are in an area of ​​the Mediterranean with hot summers and in which we have low availability of irrigation, we do not have to resign ourselves to planting something other than grass. At Gardenprue we are in favor of the fact that plant species should go where they belong, and that is why we highly value xerophytic gardening in environments with little water availability, but if you are enthusiastic about putting up grass, then at least we offer you this information.

  • Festuca Arundinacea (80%)
  • Cynodon Dactylon (10%)
  • Ray grass English (10%)

This grass is very good for, as we have said, areas where there is no excess water , and for social and environmental awareness , it is a very interesting option to choose. It has a lower water consumption than the rest of the mixtures, it supports high temperatures well (but not low ones, it must be taken into account) and saline irrigation. An all-terrain lawn.

A LAWN THAT INSTALLS VERY QUICKLY

For those who do not want to complicate their lives, here a very versatile mix takes center stage, prepared for a classic lawn garden and those of a lifetime.

  • English Ray Grass (60%)
  • Festuca rubra crawling (30%)
  • Poa pratense Conni (10%)

A LAWN GARDEN TO BE ABLE TO STEP ON IT AND PLAY ON IT

Who knows if your child will be a star in the future like Cristiano Ronaldo (men’s soccer) Yoreli Rincón (women’s soccer). Whether or not the case is, if you want to have a lawn where you can walk on it, lie down, or let the little ones in the house play on it, the most appropriate is a mixture resistant to trampling.

  • English Ray Grass (80%)
  • Poa pratense (20%)

More or less, here are the appropriate mixtures for different uses of the lawn or according to the area in which we are. In any case, there is always one option more interesting than another.

Welcome to The GardenPure! My name is Ryan Heagle, and I’m the founder of The GardenPure, I spent the first part of my adult life teaching and then living in Australia in various business ventures, the first of which was a business devoted to the sale of house plants.  I am now a full time blogger. I am a self taught gardener.

Ryan Heagle

Welcome to The GardenPure! My name is Ryan Heagle, and I’m the founder of The GardenPure, I spent the first part of my adult life teaching and then living in Australia in various business ventures, the first of which was a business devoted to the sale of house plants.  I am now a full time blogger. I am a self taught gardener.

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