Top tips for grass care in spring.
Spring is the ideal time to give your lawn a little care and attention and encourage it to flourish, ready for the summer. Moss (or thatch) is often associated with a lack of light and drainage, and will build up in your lawn over time, if left. So what is thatch? Thatch is a tightly wound organic layer of dead and living stems, leaves, and roots which build up over time, reducing the amount of light and air which reaches the grass.
How do you know if your lawn has thatch? Well, if it’s spongy when you walk on it, or is difficult to pull a rake through without lifting the grass layer away from the soil, then you most probably have a thatch problem.
A small amount of thatch is actually beneficial to your lawn, providing it with nutrients and protecting it against extremes in temperature, as well as giving protection and resiliency. However, if your lawn has more than ½ an inch of thatch, now’s the time to dethatch your lawn!
Firstly, using a spring-tined rake, scratch the surface of the grass backward and forward, pulling the dead roots and moss out of the ground. This will make quite a mess, but don’t panic, the grass will now be able to breathe with all that air and light, which will enable it to grow stronger. Plus, the dead moss will make fantastic compost, so be sure to collect it and put it on the compost pile!
The next stage is to add drainage to your lawn. This can be done quite easily (and is great exercise!) with the use of a garden fork. Simply stab the ground with the fork at 15 cm intervals and up to 10 cm deep. This will make holes in the ground, which will allow any water to drain off easily, thus lessening the chance of moss build-up on your lawn, and will ultimately make the grass stronger and thicker.
To aid drainage even further and to encourage strong root growth, a top dressing can be applied. Simply shovel fine loam mixed with sharp sand onto the grass, then using a brush, sweep into the holes and evenly across the lawn. The dressing will enhance drainage, and the nutrients will help to restore and renew growth.