At the start of 2012 I was asked to put a programme together to regenerate the very poor quality lawns at the Skyline Central apartment buildings in Central Manchester.
Upon surveying, I quickly found that these lawns were having a really tough time and had a number of key problems which needed to be addressed to get them looking back to their best.
Firstly, I found that the entire lawn had been laid upon extremely poor soil, including building rubble, concrete from the surrounding buildings, shallow light fittings, cabling and all sorts of other things which are not helpful towards grass producing a deep root run.
Secondly, the existing lawn grass was extremely thin, bare in some areas, full of weeds, moss and even litter and cigarette butts!
And lastly, the lawns lay between two high, east-west apartment buildings meaning, very importantly, that the lawns are only exposed to a couple of hours of sunshine a day.
I believe that the lack of consistent sunlight was the main reason for the existing lawns demise, as not many grass species can tolerate low light levels and the original landscapers obviously laid a turf that needed full sun. This led to slow growth, thinning and ultimate demise of the lawn.
The regeneration of this lawn was always going to take more than just a couple of months, so I proposed the following regeneration plan:
- Step 1: Get rid of the weeds – This helped the new grass from having to compete with weeds, creating a blank canvas to work with.
- Step 2: Moss Control – An iron treatment was applied to control the moss (turning it black). This enabled easy removal.
- Step 3: Scarification – The top of the lawn was heavily scarified, to remove the thatch and debris that had accumulated on the lawn, getting back down to soil.
- Step 4: Aeration – Enabling air and moisture to penetrate deep down into the soil.
- Step 5: Overseeding – A high-quality, shade-tolerant seed was sown, specifically suited to the high-shade conditions created by the adjacent apartment buildings. Seed establishes in difficult areas better than turf.
- Step 6: Top dressing – A fine sandy loam was applied over the seed to help it to germinate and to improve the structure of the soil.
- Step 7: Fertilisation – Improving the nutrient content of the soil and feeding the grass was very important in this case, and a complete fertilisation programme was followed throughout the year.
Just six months, and much quicker than even I had anticipated, the lawn is thick, green and weed-free. A fantastic improvement!
This goes to show that even the most unlikely lawns can be recovered using a professional lawn care programme.
For a more recent example of a lawn regeneration, have a look at this one I carried out in Exeter in 2018.
If you would like me to regenerate your lawn, please don’t hesitate to get in touch to organise your free lawn survey and quotation.
The Lawn Man