• Scarification

    Scarification is a very important thing to do for your lawn . In spring (and autumn for that matter) scarification is best combined with other things, like top dressing, seeding and applying fertiliser. However, where scarification is combined with other planned work, we must stress that it should be completed first. We have had discussions with lawn owners who have fertilised and top-dressed and then remembered that they should also scarify. If this happens, it will be better to leave any intensive scarification until the autumn. That said a little light scarification could be beneficial during good growing conditions in the summer, once the effect of the other spring operations have borne fruit.

    Assuming that the work has been planned well and the lawn is scarified prior to any other spring operations (excluding mowing, which should continue on a regular basis both before and after scarification) effective scarification will improve the quality of the lawn. It will also improve the effectiveness of the other operations that follow. In this regard, if you still have the energy, you do not have to wait to do any other planned work once the scarification is complete. Seeding and top dressing can follow straight away!


    Having considered when to scarify, it is appropriate to ask why. Scarification is carried out to remove organic matter from around the base of the grass plants and tidy up any straggly lateral growth. In a nutshell, scarification removes material, probably in the form of thatch or moss that will otherwise prevent good dense grass growth. If you do not scarify, debris will build up and lead to other problems. Thatchy and mossy lawns will not be very wear or drought tolerant. Once the space has been created around the base of the grass plants, the trick is to encourage the grass to fill the space. There are two important points to make here. Firstly, do not scarify too early in the spring. It is important that the grass is growing fairly well and that any space created is filled by desirable lawn grasses. If growth is slow, there is a higher risk that the gaps will be filled with unwanted weeds or weed-grasses. Secondly, encourage grass growth after scarification. This is where other operations like fertilisation will be beneficial.

    Finally, be careful not to over do it. Hand scarification is hard work. If you have a large lawn, it will be better to use a machine.

  • Changes in Your Turf After Laying

    What should you do if :

    1. Your turf becomes thinner a month after it is laid?
    2. Your grass seems to lose its colour?

    If this happens, your turf may be adapting to the type of care you are giving it.

    New turf growth

    The performance of newly installed turf is dependant on:

    1. The quality of turf you bought.
    2. How well your soil was prepared.
    3. The care you give your new turf after it is installed.

    Why your turf becomes thinner

    The density of your turf responds to the conditions under which it grows and the care you give it. If your turf is grown in less than full sunlight or you give it less care than Rolawn did, it will lose its density and colour. Turf density is greatest when it is grown in full sun. Growing it next to buildings, tall hedges or under trees will cause the turf to become thinner. If you look around your neighbourhood you will also notice that lawns which receive low amounts of fertiliser are thinner. Lawns that are mown at heights greater than 50mm will also be thinner.

    Does your turf seem to lose its lush green colour?

    Loss of turf colour is generally caused by decreasing amounts of available nitrogen.

    Solution to the problem

    In most cases, your turf will need to be fertilised and mown more often. Remember: Your turf is a living organism and it will respond to the care you give it. Your Rolawn turf was delivered to you in excellent condition, and with the proper care it will remain that way.

  • Mowing Your Turf

    We'll start with five important questions:

    1. How soon after your new turf is laid should you mow it ?
    2. What height should you mow your turf ?
    3. How often should you mow your turf ?
    4. Should you collect your grass clippings ?
    5. What kind of lawn mower is best ?

    Before answering these, we should point out that mowing your turf is the single most important activity you can do to maintain a beautiful lawn. Grass is a living organism that responds to changes. Your turf will get used to how much you cut off and being cut to the same height. If you dramatically lower the height of the cut or let the grass grow too long before cutting it, you can injure or even kill your lawn. Dark green leaves can withstand the intense rays of the sun, but those parts of your turf near the soil, which are shaded by the leaves, are very sensitive to the sun. If you scalp your turf and expose those tender tissues near the soil, the sun may scorch your turf. Scorched turf will turn yellow, grow slowly and may even die. In general the longer the turf, the deeper the roots. However, if lawns are mown higher than 20mm, there will be sufficient roots.

    How soon after your new turf is laid should you mow it ?

    Most people wait too long! Your Rolawn turf was conditioned to a 25mm (1") height of cut and mown just prior to harvest and delivery by London Lawn Turf. With new turf you may need to mow it 2-3 days after it is laid. If this is the case, make sure that the turf is well rooted before you use a rotary mower, because the draught created by a rotary mower could lift the turf. You should try and mow your turf whenever it is over 30mm long.

    How high should you mow your turf?

    The actual height of the turf is a matter of preference. However, if most amenity lawns are mown shorter than 25mm it will weaken the turf, allow more weeds to encroach and in general, require more care. Rolawn mowed your new turf at 25mm because it provides a high quality appearance. You can raise the height of cut if you want to. If you let your lawn get much higher than normal, raise up the height of cut. Then, each time you mow bring it down by a third, until it is the height you want.

    How often should the grass be mown?

    Mow the grass as often as it needs it throughout the year. Your lawn will grow at different rates as the temperature changes, after you fertilise or water, and so on. If you are mowing properly you should not see much clippings on the turf. You cannot damage your turf by mowing it every day or even twice a day.

    Should you collect the grass clippings?

    It is not necessary to collect your clippings unless they cover the grass and block the sunlight from reaching the lawn. Grass clippings are rich in nutrients, and by returning them to the turf in small amounts you actually are creating a healthier turf. Grass clippings do not contribute to making thatch. In fact, by adding them back to the turf your thatch will form slower. On the other hand, you can collect the clippings if you want to. Clipping removal causes no significant loss of nutrients. Clippings are only a problem if you mow your grass improperly.

    What type of mower is best?

    The best type of mower is one that you maintain well, keep sharp and use regularly. The type of cutting action makes only a minor difference. A sharp mower is most important. A dull mower will damage the leaves, allow for more disease development and make the lawn look shabby. Both cylinder and rotary types of mowers work well. To select the mower that is right for you, consult the brochures of the leading manufacturers, chat with your neighbours or the grounds staff at sports clubs in your vicinity.

    Remember: Mow your new turf as soon as it needs it. It is not the height of cut, but how much of the leaf you cut off that is important. Never remove more than 1/3rd of the grass height at any one time.

  • Topdressing

    Lawn topdressing can be applied at any time when the grass is actively growing.

    Spring & Autumn - application of up to 3 litres/m2 (approx. 4kg/m2 or 3mm deep) of topdressing will assist in levelling, repairing worn & patchy areas, improving drainage, minimising thatch and promoting growth. If required, it should be done in conjunction with:

    • Scarification
    • Hollow tining/forking
    • Fertilising
    • Overseeding

    Summer - application of up to 1.5 litres/m2 (approx. 2kg/m2 or 1.5mm deep) of topdressing will assist in routine maintenance as worn areas appear. If required, it should be done in conjunction with:

    • Hollow tining/forking
    • Fertilising

    NB. If drought conditions exist, do not apply topdressing, fertiliser or hollow tine/fork the area.

    Topdressing should only be applied when the grass surface is relatively dry and it should be worked into the sward. Usually this is done using the back of a rake or a stiff brush. The topdressing should not be so thick that it smothers the grass when work has finished. Once the topdressing has been completed, there should be no obvious clusters of topdressing on the surface and the grass should be clearly visible. Watering the lawn when you have finished will put the final touches to the job.

    Do not mow immediately after applying the dressing, as this may remove some of the dressing and may cause damage and unnecessary wear to your lawnmower.

    Check out our Topdressing here >

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