Lawn assessment – part 1

Instead of just going with a general lawn renovation programme I carried out a fairly quick inspection and assessment of my lawn to help identify what I need for my lawn and not what might be suitable for lawns in general. It’s a really good idea to have a review of your own lawn and then adapt the typical type of general activities so they are specific for your lawn.

10 minutes of inspecting a lawn and taking some cores and measurements will provide a valuable insight into the current standard and will help to identify solutions to any lawn problems. Carrying out a hand feel soil texture analysis will only take about 5 minutes, so within 15 minutes you have the essential data on which to create that ideal lawn. Pretty straight forward really – so long as you know what you are doing and can interpret the findings.

If you look back at the first page for this lawn care blog you will see the sort of information you should collect – maybe some more or less depending on what you want to achieve, but either way spend a short time carrying out an inspection of your lawn.

The weeds I found at this time of year were dandelion and field woodrush. You will find that daisy and especially white clover in particular will start to appear from April onwards in many lawns as they start to wake-up from a winter sleep.

Dandelion

Dandelion

Field Woodrush

Field Woodrush

Pests – well I suppose how much of a pest you class earthworms; personally I like them and will live with them as they are extremely beneficial for a lawn and indicate a biologically healthy top-soil. There’s no doubt that the few surface casting species can be a pain in high numbers though.

Earthworm cast

Earthworm cast

Ground cover: Overall good but a few bare areas which need attending too, plus a high percentage of the ground cover is undesirable moss.

Bare area

Bare area

Moss in lawn

Moss in lawn

Ground cover

Ground cover

Soil pH: This sits nicely between 6.0 and 7.0 being measured as around pH 6.5, which is ideal for a perennial ryegrass lawn. The accuracy of these devices is questionable, but they give a general indication and I’ve tested it before with a different pH tester and it too indicated pH 6.5.

Soil pH

Soil pH

Soil moisture content: I’m not sure about the accuracy of these devices, but the soil was relatively dry and it indicated this in the reading (at the top end of a 3 reading).

Soil moisture

Soil moisture

The grass height was measured at an average of 55mm. I used a simple 150mm metal engineering rule as a quick visual guide.

Part 2 of the lawn assessment looks at below the lawn surface.

Chris Gray, 17th March 2017