Lawn care glossary

Glossary of terms used in lawn care

Acidic Soil:
A soil with a pH value of less than 7.0.

Aerobic:
Refers to a healthy soil environment where there is presence of air.

Alkaline Soil:
A soil with a pH value greater than 7.0.

Aeration:
The task of putting air into the soil profile either manually with a garden fork or with a purpose built machine.

Anaerobic:
Lack of air in the soil, opposite of aerobic.

Annual:
Refers to a plant that completes it's life cycle in just 1 year.

Biennial:
Refers to a plant that completes it's life cycle over 2 years.

Broad leaf:
A term used to describe weeds (broad leaf weeds).

Compaction:
A result of compression placed on the soil particles which causes a breakdown in soil structure resulting in lack of air.

Compound Fertiliser:
A fertiliser that contains more than one nutrient e.g. Nitrogen & Potash.

Complete Compound Fertiliser:
A fertiliser that contains all three major nutrients, Nitrogen, Phosphate & Potash.

Crown:
The top of the base of the plant.

Core Aeration:
Also known as hollow tining, this is the process of removing cores of thatch and soil from you lawn with hollow cylinder type tines.

Cultural:
The use of natural methods to maintain your lawn without the use of chemicals.

Damping Off Disease:
A disease that attacks newly sown grass.

Drag mat:
An implement used for rubbing in top dressing

Dry Patch:
A conditions that occurs during drought where the soil becomes water repellant and difficult to re-wet.

Evaporation:
Describes water loss back to the atmosphere through evaporation.

Evapotranspiration:
The loss of water through a combination of evaporation and transpiration.

Fertiliser:
Nutrients that are applied which are essential for a healthy lawn. The main nutrients are Nitrogen, Phosphate & Potash.

Fungi:
Organisms that can be both beneficial & pathogenic that live of dead & living plants and animals.

Fungicide:
A chemical that is used to control fungal diseases in turf.

Fusarium:
A common disease in the autumn and winter, annual meadow grass is very susceptible.

Foot printing:
A condition during drought stress. When the grass is walked on it fails to spring back up, leaving foot prints.

Germination:
When the shoots start to appear after new seed is sown.

Granular:
The form in which a fertiliser or weed killer is applied.

Herbicide:
A chemical used for the control of weeds in the lawn.

Hollow Tine:
A type of aeration that involves the removal of core from the lawn.

Insecticide:
A chemical used for the control of insects in the lawn.

Irrigation:
The manual application of water to a lawn usually during drought.

Infiltration:
The process by which water moves through the soil profile.

Lawnsand:
A product usually used in spring for the control of moss.

Leaching:
The process by which nutrients, chemicals etc move downwards through and out of the soil.

Leatherjackets:
Small grubs that feed on the grass roots and also attract bird damage.

Micro Organisms:
Living fungi and bacteria that live in the soil, can only be seen with a microscope.

Mulching:
The process by which grass clipping are returned to the lawn, they are  not boxed off.

Moles:
Animals that live under the lawn, they create damage by pushing heaps of soil up onto the lawn surface.

Nitrogen:
A key nutrient applied to the lawn in the spring and summer, encourages growth.

Nutrients:
Mineral elements that are essential to the health of a lawn. The three main nutrients are Nitrogen, Phosphate & Potash.

Pathogens:
Bacteria in the soil that can cause disease to the plant.

Perennial:
A plant that has a life cycle of more than 2 years.

Pest:
A term applied to any weed, disease, insect or other organism that has a detrimental effect on the lawn.

Pesticide:
A chemical used to control pests in the lawn.

pH:
The measure of soil acidity and alkalinity. A pH of 7 is neutral, below 7 is acidic and above 7 is alkaline.

Potash:
A key nutrient required for a healthy lawn. Hardens the plant against disease.

Phosphate:
A key nutrient required for a healthy lawn. Improves root development.

Reel Mower:
Another name for a cylinder mower.

Red-thread:
A disease caused by lack of fertility, rye grass and fescues are susceptible.

Renovate:
To restore the lawn to it's original condition or improve it's condition.

Rhizome:
An underground runner by which plants spread.

Root Zone:
The soil in which the roots of the plant are contained.

Rotary Mower:
A type of lawn mower which cuts the grass with a spinning blade at a fixed height that runs parallel to the surface.

Scalping:
An incorrect mowing practice where the grass is shaved too short resulting in scalping.

Scarify:
A process used to remove thatch or moss in lawns. It (A scarifier) consists of vertical blades or a rake that spin quickly and penetrate into the sward to rake out the thatch or moss.

Selective:
As in weed killer or herbicide. A chemical that controls only one type of plant,
e.g. a selective weed killer or herbicide kills the weed but is harmless to the grass.

Stolon:
An over ground runner by which the plant spreads.

Sward:
The grass coverage.

Tiller:
The production of lateral shoots.

Transpiration:
Water that is lost through the plant.

Take-all Patch:
A disease, usually associated with a fast rise in the pH, bents are very prone to attack.

Verti-Cutter:
Also called a vertical cutter, a machine similar to a scarifier used to prevent the build up and removal of thatch.

Weed:
An undesirable plant growing where it is not wanted.

Wetting Agent:
A product used during periods of drought to aid water penetration and reduce surface run off.