Covering Your Turf
Even though we are big fans of edibles and native plants, lawns do have a place in the yard, specifically when actively used by children and pets. Fall and spring are great times to give some extra TLC to your turf. Here are some recommendations.
Now is a great time to dethatch your grass. Thatch is a build-up of above-soil grass runners (rather than rhizomes under the soil). An abundance of runners weave a mat that chokes out water and air. Dethatching helps break apart these mats so that air and water can more easily get to the roots.
Top-dress your grass with a 1/2-inch to 1-inch layer of compost. As worms and soil micro-organisms break down the organic material, top-dressing improves soil fertility, helps with water retention and improves turf growth.
If your lawn needs fertilizer, use an organic, slow-release fertilizer without salts. Salt is detrimental to the health of the grass and the soil micro-organisms that help build healthy soil.
Have the pH of your soil professionally tested. Grass likes a pH of 6.5 to 7.5. Weeds, like dandelions, thrive at an alkaline pH of 7.5. So if your pH is 7.5 or higher, your grass will probably never beat out the dandelion. Add lime if it is below 6.0 and gardener’s sulfur if it is above 7.0.