Did anyone ever tell you that spraying is the ultimate solution for whatever turf issues you might be having? Or that it takes more water to establish sod or someone shared the simple information that the fertilisers make grass green? Well, there are many myths about turf (and lawn care) that most people believe to be true but simply aren’t. Because we want you to make no mistakes while caring for your lawn, we’ll debunk some of those myths here in this article.
Myth 1: Natural turf is more difficult to maintain than artificial turf
Yes, natural turf does require regular maintenance to keep it healthy and good. Mowing, fertilization, and irrigation are the primary practices that goes into the maintenance schedule. But if you are considering purchasing artificial turf instead of natural one thinking artificial turf requires no maintenance, think again. At first look you really would believe it’s a set-and-forget option compared to real grass, but let us burst the bubble, artificial lawns require monthly maintenance: they must be brushed to stop the pile lying flat; mess from pets has to be scrubbed off; leaves have to be removed to stop moss growing; and, like the natural lawn it replaces, weeds can still be a problem in synthetic lawns.
Myth 2: Turf requires more chemicals and fertilizer than seed
Another myth regarding turf is that it requires more chemical than seed. Whereas in reality, less chemicals are used with sod, compared to using seed. Sod is a professionally grown, healthy and mature turf that is free of weeds and disease-causing pathogens. Less fertilizer is needed for turf to establish than is needed when growing grass from seed. Properly grown turf has minimal amounts of weeds, therefore there is no need to apply herbicides. When establishing turf from seed, weed invasions occur because the soil is not free of weed seeds. Immature seedlings are also more susceptible to disease-causing bacteria and fungi than mature plants. Therefore, you will need to apply chemicals more often on seeded areas. Turf has less weeds and less disease therefore requires less chemicals.
Myth 3: Ready turf is way too expensive
If you are calculating only the initial investment that goes into turf and seed, of course it will seem that using ready turf costs way more than using seed. But you simply cannot ignore the other factors that contribute to the budget. For example, even the best seeding methods do not guarantee a uniform high quality turf. Higher management and maintenance costs, compounded by increased water and chemical applications, as well as delay of use, poor visually unappealing terrain are trade-offs for the lower initial seed costs. In the long run, seeded lawn costs are approximately the same as sod lawns. The costs of overseeding and reseeding washouts, more chemical applications to control weeds and disease and higher fertilizer needs all add to this.
Myth 4: The more the better? Not always!
Are you using much more water, fertilizer and chemicals to maintain natural grass than is needed because you think more resources will draw better result? If you are, you are up for some big shocks. In reality, irrigating less frequently and more thoroughly strengthens the grass plant by encouraging the roots to grow deep into the soil, making the grass stronger and less susceptible to being pulled up by activity.
Myth 5: Cutting it short is the best shortcut
We understand where you are coming from when you tell us, you cut your turf grass short so you don’t have to do it so often. It seems reasonable, cut it short so you can have extra time between cuttings, right? Wrong! You need to know that this seemingly innocent thing can damage your lawn. Grasses need to grow to the point where they can germinate seeds. Cutting it too short will affect the cycle. The ideal strategy with mowing is to grow the turf to 5 inches and cut to 4. This scenario will create the least amount of stress on the grass and soils, while giving you the clean, tidy look of groomed turf. It also allows you to use less fertilizer and irrigation water and leaves more of the turf canopy in place to reduce soil compaction and erosion.