Renovating old fine lawns
The GardenAdvice team often have to renovate old lawns which have been created years ago from seed. Rather than ripping the lawn up and relaying with new turf or seeding a new lawn, often these lawns can be saved and greatly improved with the proper management and adjusting the soil pH.
Older lawns and similar areas such as old grass tennis courts are often created by sowing bent and fescue species of grasses. Whilst these grasses are fine and create a first-class lawn they also produce a lot of dead grass around the lower stems which goes on to form a spongy layer called which creates the perfect conditions for fungal diseases such as dollar spot and Fusarium patch disease.
Normally thatch or the dead grass would rot down but often for several years the lawn will have been fed with high nitrate fertilizers lowering the soil pH and suppressing the soil bacteria that would normally help to rot down the dead grass.
The solution is to carry out a soil test add some garden lime to raise the soil pH to active the soil bacteria which in turn will start to break down the dead grass and thatch. An additional benefit is the soil pH is very low the grass will be able to access soil nutrients that have been unavailable to the grass plants creating stronger growth which in turn will crowd out moss growth.
The GardenAdvice team often use Viano Bio Lime
In addition in the winter, it is a good idea on dry days to cut the grass just to top the growth to stop the grass from becoming too long plus using a drag mat to stop the grass from becoming matted and flat.