If your lawn has structural faults such as poor drainage drastically uneven or poor soil that you complete a reconstruction not a renovation as the renovation process will only provide short term relief of inhert larger problems.
It is important before renovating to determine the cause or causes of deterioration of the lawn, then carry out a corrective program, otherwise you may have to repeat the process again in another year or two. Faults which can usually be corrected by renovating an existing lawn include low soil fertility, soil compaction, too much shade, undesirable grasses and general neglect.
Now, let’s talk about Thatch. Thatch is the build up of living and dead runners on top of the soil. Throughout the life of a lawn, new runners will grow and the old runners will die off underneath the new growth. As you can imagine, after a while this can build up quite a thick layer.
All lawn varieties can build up thatch from time to time. A small amount of thatch can be beneficial as it helps prevent evaporation, aids water retention and can give increased tolerance to wear and tear.
However, when this thatch accumulation reaches a point where it impedes water, air and fertiliser penetration, then it needs to be removed by scalping the lawn.
Before considering a renovation it is necessary to determine what elements of a renovation are required for your lawn. The way to determine this is to use our key below and matching it up with the processes. The processes are listed in the order you will need to do them. If in doubt then scalp, core, topdress and fertilise
Spongy lawn with lots of old growth- Scalp, topdress, fertilise
Thin lawn with hard soil- Scalp, core, topdress and fertilise
Thatchy and spongy lawn- Scalp, scarify, topdress and fertilise
Healthy lawn with hard soil- Scalp, core, topdress and fertilise
Thatchy not compacted lawn- Scalp, scarify, topdress and fertilise
There are also some “renovation” processes that fit into the light and frequent category, if you belong to the next level crew you may be trying some of these frequently to reduce your need for a major renovation.
Reducing laterally lying leaves- Verticutting
Increasing density of turf- Grooming