Each owner of green lawns, sooner or later there is a need to take serious measures for their care. Problems in the development of the lawn are not an exception, but an inevitable phenomenon. On emerald carpets, created with extraordinary love, even with perfect care, bald spots and voids appear, weeds develop, rodents annoy. Large or small sod repair requires time and effort, and the struggle with various other problems sometimes drags on for more than one month. But there are no unsolvable problems. And you should not be afraid of difficulties: all problems in the development of the lawn can be overcome with sufficient diligence and care.
Lawn restoration is not as complicated as they say. The process of repairing and updating lawn sites requires time and diligence, but, in fact, consists of simple techniques and procedures, none of which can be considered impossible. Using a simple combination of intensive care and spot restoration, even the most neglected green carpets can be put in order. But it is better not to delay and, at the slightest sign of problems with the state of the turf, take repair measures.
First of all, in order to rejuvenate and repair the lawn, you need to stock up with all the necessary tools and approach the process with all responsibility. To restore the lawn even with minimal damage or in a slightly neglected condition, you need to be prepared for systemic procedures, fully arrange regular care without missing watering and haircuts. And most importantly - to reduce the functional load on the lawn. Lawn regeneration, even if it already seems attractive, will continue for months.
It is generally believed that repairs take an entire year, even if the work itself takes just a couple of days. The thing is that in the following months, most often invisible processes of turf restoration take place on the lawn. And throughout the garden year, when you were engaged in repairs, try to reduce the movement on the lawn to the minimum possible. It’s advisable to walk even less on green areas, but you should completely forget about games, recreation and sports fun until next year.
No matter what kind of repair you are talking about and no matter what scale you have problems with the lawn, the time when you can do rejuvenation and repair is strictly limited: only the period at the end of May and June is suitable for such work, when the grass is already fully operational and recover after winter, or a week in late August, when the heat goes away, but before the winter cold there will still be time for the full development of turf.
Lawn repair begins with a competent assessment of the problems. The following violations of the normal development of turf require regenerative procedures:
The appearance of bald spots and spots with dry or rotten grass.
Germination through the lawn of tree and shrub layers.
Depressions or tubercles on the surface of the lawn.
General oppressed, neglected lawn cover due to lack of care or improper care.
Before proceeding with the restoration of the lawn, it is necessary to repair the areas requiring special efforts - places where the turf is torn off by cuttings from neighboring trees and shrubs or ugly curvatures of the lawn surface.
To level the surface of the lawn, you must:
In places where unattractive depressions or tubercles have formed on your green carpet that are not provided for by the original relief plan, you must carefully raise the turf. The incisions are usually made in the form of the letter “H” - cutting the turf with a shovel across the tubercle or hollow and longitudinally along the sides along it, backing 10-20 cm from the edge of the tubercle or hollow and making side cuts already on a flat surface.
Gently prying the turf from the bottom along the central section, it is turned away to the sides, as if opening the wings.
The soil is removed from the tubercles with a shovel or simply spread it over the entire surface of the soil. The hollows are covered with a mixture of sand and garden soil or clean soil. The relief correction procedure is completed by tamping: the soil is thoroughly compacted with a plank.
The sod is neatly laid back, straightened and slightly crushed or rolled.
Neat humidification is carried out and constant soil moisture is maintained until the cut marks are tightened.
The process of removing layering is very similar to leveling irregularities:
The sod is incised in exactly the same way as in the case of the tubercles, but a longitudinal section is made along the line of the layering. The lawn cut with the letter “N” with layering in the center is gently pried up and turned in different directions.
In the soil, the roots from which the shoots come are exposed. Just removing the layering is not enough: you need to cut the root with a hoe or a shovel and then remove it along with the layering. The deepening, formed from the removal of the root or layering, is covered with garden soil. The surface is leveled, compacted and compacted, and if necessary, the soil is re-filled.
Sod is straightened and tamped or rolled, but very carefully. Maintaining constant moisture is an important condition for the rapid renewal of turf.
The process of sod restoration and lawn renewal is a much longer, but not too complicated process. In fact, he repeats all those procedures that are part of the normal lawn care program, only carry out them step by step in a shorter period.
Any restoration of the lawn begins with a mowing. To work with turf and stimulate rejuvenation, first of all you need to create an even grass stand. Mowing before repair is carried out as well as in spring or autumn - at least 5 cm. Mowing is often called the preparatory stage in the repair of lawns. And she really just precedes the main front of restoration work.
The true start to lawn restoration is aeration. It is carried out deep enough, allowing air to penetrate not only into the turf, but also into the soil beneath it, facilitating and optimizing the process of saturating the deep layers of the soil with moisture. On small lawns, there are enough forks that create vertical holes and pierce the turf, but it is better to use a manual scarifier or special equipment - an aerator, verticulator, etc. In subsequent procedures, aeration contributes to a faster recovery process. As part of the aeration procedure, combing of felt is also carried out. Plant debris remaining after the cleaning and aeration procedure must be carefully collected and disposed of.
Sand is the only way to radically change the situation on lawns, the loss of attractiveness of which is associated, first of all, with the quality of the soil, its excessive density and dampness. In the case of too light, sandy soil, it is improved with compost.
Areas with damaged turf, which need to close bald spots or replace fragments of turf, are also sandblasted. But before applying sand on the damaged area, they clean it, cut the turf to healthy tissues, remove the contaminated soil and add new soil.
To close bald spots, you can use two methods:
Sow the seeds.
Use pieces of the turf itself (its thickness should exactly match the turf of the lawn).
In order to achieve closure of bald patches with the help of overseeding, you will have to wait a lot of time: even seedlings will appear only after a few weeks, and even the leveling of the cover will take several months. But with the option of cutting and laying pieces of sod under regular watering, the grass will recover very quickly and will begin to grow literally in a week. Immediately after the distribution of seeds or laying of sod in the places of former bald spots, high-quality watering is carried out.
But no matter how high quality you performed all the recovery procedures, you can’t do without regular care and its establishment. A renovated lawn needs to maintain a constant soil moisture, and a complete drought in the recovery process can be disastrous. A few days after all restoration work, you can add the first fertilizer along with abundant watering. When repairing seriously damaged lawns, it is better to divide the standard dose of fertilizers by half, replacing the traditional one top dressing, or use special stimulating fertilizers for new lawns and sod restoration.
Weed and unwanted vegetation control on the lawn
If in the process of creating lawns all the requirements were met, from the first days of creating the lawn received exactly the care that he needs, then a dense, strong turf is formed, a homogeneous and persistent community of plants through which weeds do not break through. Proper sowing or lining of the lawn and regular maintenance are measures that usually guarantee an almost complete absence of weeds. But if at the stage of creating the lawn, in particular, during the preparation of the soil, sowing or haircuts, mistakes are made, you do not control the growth of the turf and for some reason its density decreases, aggressive unwanted plants get a chance to get into the perfect lawn carpet.
Of course, there are also factors independent of us - self-sowing of weeds, the influence of animals and birds, the ability of some plants to produce truly indestructible creeping and underground shoots that make their way under the turf, etc. But the first and main factor is errors when bookmark. That is why it is so important not only to clean and dig the soil, but also to choose even the smallest weed roots from it. And overdoing this process will not hurt.
Lawn weeds are perennial and annual. Wild cereals that look like grass and therefore are easy to overlook are usually considered separately. In just a few years, they are able to completely exterminate the true inhabitants of the lawn turf. There are wild grasses on an ideal lawn, it is very difficult and often impossible to find them and fight them - it remains only to reconcile with their presence. Annual weeds are not as dangerous as the most terrible enemies of sod - perennial: buttercup, plantain, mountaineer, clover and dandelion, beautiful and treacherous Veronica and nyvyanik.
Whatever the reason that stubborn weeds annoy you on the lawn, combating them is not an easy task. And there are many methods to cope with harmful weeds - different in terms of speed and efficiency, and in terms of safety for the garden ecosystem:
The most optimal way to combat weeds is regular and thorough care of the lawn itself. Proper frequent mowing (up to 2 - 3 times a week with active growth in the summer), compliance with the rule of cutting no more than 1/3 of the height of the grass - all this ensures the formation of a healthy and dense turf that will not let foreign plants pass. But feeding is also important, without which you cannot get a strong, healthy grass stand, and measures to clean the lawns, and careful monitoring of the slightest signs of the appearance of "strangers".
A running lawn against the appearance of weeds is powerless. And even simple, including only basic procedures, but not providing for scrupulous care, increases the risk of spreading weeds.
Manual weed removal from the lawn
Effective only if it comes to a small defeat by weeds and a timely fight against the most stubborn aggressors. They begin such a fight as soon as they carry out the first procedures for lawn care in the spring, while weeds are still at an early stage of development. It is best to pull the weeds not by hand, but by a special tool - a garden fork. But since it is impossible to manually remove all the roots without breaking the turf, such a fight is more of a cosmetic measure. With the regular appearance of weeds, even in small quantities, it is better to switch to more serious treatments.
Herbicide lawn treatment
To control weeds on the lawn, you can use simple, safer mixtures, composed of a combination of simple drugs, and more aggressive herbicides. The easiest option is to mix 1 part of iron sulfate in powder form with 3 parts of ammonium sulfate and 20 parts of sand (if the soil is already sandy, then compost). During the active season, as a light herbicide, this mixture is distributed over the area of the lawn, using from 120 to 200 g of the mixture for each square meter, depending on the nature of the weed damage.
In order for such a drug to be effective, it is necessary to carry out at least 4 treatments per year (but also no more than 6 procedures). Popular, effective and aggressive broad-based herbicides, or systemic preparations for combating unwanted vegetation on lawns, are used pointwise: they are applied with a brush or spray gun only to weeds.
This method, like manual wrestling, can only be used on a small area. But selective herbicides that are specifically designed for lawns are sprayed over the entire area. They do not affect cereals and destroy only dioecious plants - clover, dandelion, nyvyanik, highlander, etc. They are considered, if not the only, then the main option for weed control on emerald carpets.
When choosing chemicals, try to pay attention to their environmental friendliness. It is better to spend more on the latest generation of herbicides that decompose in the soil without using toxic drugs. And carefully read the instructions: the effectiveness of the drug depends on the correctness of its use. And we are not only talking about the need to strictly follow the dosages: use in hot weather, during droughts, during periods of sharp cooling reduces the effectiveness by several times. As well as mowing on the lawn for 2 to 3 days after application of the drug. Chemical control of weeds is usually planned twice a season - in early summer or late spring and late summer.
Another stranger on the lawn is moss. But he should not be regarded as an enemy: he is an assistant who directly points out misses in care and problems that need to be addressed. And you need to fight not with the moss itself, but with what caused its appearance. Fighting mosses will not work without system changes. They appear only on weakened lawns, with soil compaction, improper top dressing, in shading, with low mowing. It is best to assess the prevalence of moss and the reasons for its appearance in the fall, almost before the onset of winter. As soon as you solve the problem that caused its appearance, you can forget about the moss itself.
Some gardeners, in addition to common weeds, are forced to fight another type of plant aggressor on the lawn - mushrooms. But unlike unwanted herbs, they are far from being so harmful and dangerous. Firstly, all mushrooms positively affect the ecosystem of the lawn, enrich the soil with vitamins and biologically active substances. Secondly, far from always the appearance of mushroom glades spoils the lawns, especially when it comes to the natural style of landscape design.
The only harm that mushrooms can do is cause bald spots. In order to eliminate them, you can simply add additional nitrogen top dressing to this place, which stimulates the growth of grass, reduce the use of organics, and make scarification procedures more frequent. If bald patches are not tightened, then they simply change the soil and sow or lay a new turf.
Rodents, diseases and other enemies of a perfect lawn
Irreplaceable damage to magnificent green lawns can be caused by both fungal diseases and various garden pests. Moreover, in the case of lawns, it is predominantly not insects that are dangerous, but rodents. The consequences of their activities for green lawns are as dangerous as for bulb plantings.
Particular damage to the lawn is caused not by field voles and other habitual rodents, but by animals much larger - shrews and moles. It is impossible to understand that they pose a danger to the lawn until the first results of their constant movement in the garden appear. Large mounds at the entrances to the underground passages of moles and shrews do not just spoil the look of the lawn and add repair work. Shrews gnaw at the roots, which threatens much greater problems. And if no control measures are taken, the affected areas will only increase.
Moles spoil the attractive appearance of the lawn and lead to subsidence of the soil, but by absorbing harmful insects, they (theoretically) help the garden. True, how much harm the tunnels themselves and the mole’s movement indiscriminately cause, every gardener knows firsthand. So both those and other pests on lawns are extremely undesirable.
It is very simple to understand with whom exactly it is necessary to fight, it is very easy to destroy shocks and dig tunnels, but shrews restore them, but moles never. Rodents on the lawn can be fought with several methods, the most effective of which are arranging traps, poisoned baits (attracting an abundance of earthworms in the lawns of moles, and they are used for baits) and various repellers.
Of the insects, lawns are harmed:
Ants , whose moves lead to subsidence of the soil, and anthills spoil the view and complicate the care of the lawn (fighting with special deterrents and insecticides);
Long-legged , whose larvae eat up the lawn (you can fight with insecticides, but usually a timely haircut with aeration is enough);
Earthworms that pollute the lawn and contribute to the growth of weeds (spraying with copper sulphate or potassium permanganate helps to cope).
Fungal diseases on the lawn are almost always associated with waterlogging, improper site selection and poor care. They are manifested in the appearance of various spots on the lawns and require urgent correction of care with the elimination of the spread factor. Scarification and aeration, regular haircuts, and normalization of moisture and the feeding regimen usually contribute to self-healing of the turf. But with signs of further spread of infections or serious damage, fungicides that are effective against a particular disease must be used.
Spraying with fungicides is carried out 2 times a week. For the next season or with a protracted struggle, preventive spraying in the spring and in August is included in the care program. Preventing problems is easier than dealing with them. With good lighting, a well-designed irrigation scheme and timely, but not excessive feeding, the risk of infection becomes much less.
The following fungal diseases are most common on lawns:
Rust is the only disease that is caused not by waterlogging, but by insufficient nitrogen feeding. It manifests itself in the fall: red-brown pads form on the top of the blades of grass, due to which a reddish coating appears on the lawn with a serious defeat.
Powdery mildew - threatens lawns with waterlogging, lack of aeration, scarification, contributing to the "respiration" of the lawn. It is often found on shaded lawns and is more characteristic of grass mixtures with a large proportion of onion bluegrass. Powdery mildew appears with a whitish bloom on the blades of grass.
Rhizoctoniosis (brown spotting) occurs only in connection with waterlogging of the soil mainly in the summer. It is often combined with fusarium and appears in spots on the lawn of a grayish-yellow light with a smoky ring, which gradually grows from several centimeters in diameter to several meters. The grass in such a spot turns yellow and dies. The spots are best seen in the early morning, while there is still dew on the lawn.
Fusarium In addition to waterlogging, an excess of nitrogen in the soil can also cause it. It manifests itself immediately after snow melt or at the end of summer. Most often it is characteristic for lawns with a predominance of a field tree. It also appears as spots, only in the spring - whitish, and at the end of summer - yellow with dead grass and several green blades of grass in the center.