Lawn care glossary

Glossary of terms used in lawn care

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

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

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

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

Lack of air in the soil, opposite of aerobic.

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

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

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

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.

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.

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.

Describes water loss back to the atmosphere through evaporation.

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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.

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

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

The process by which water moves through the soil profile.

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A chemical used to control pests in the lawn.

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

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

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

Reel Mower:
Another name for a cylinder mower.

A disease caused by lack of fertility, rye grass and fescues are susceptible.

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

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.

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

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.

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.

An over ground runner by which the plant spreads.

The grass coverage.

The production of lateral shoots.

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.

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

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.