The 3 main components of Jonathan Green’s New American Lawn:
1. The use of superior grass seed to establish the lawn.
2. The relief of soil compaction, to allow for entry of air and water into the lawn soil.
3. The adjustment of soil’s pH level for adequate transfer of nutrients to the lawn grass plants.
1. – Addressing the first problem with Black Beauty Grass Seed:
The genetic improvement of turfgrass seed has only made significant progress during the last fifty years. Much of the credit for this progress must go to Dr. Cyril Reed Funk of Rutgers University in New Jersey. Dr. Funk passed away a couple of years ago, but his accomplishments in turfgrass breeding live on.
- He was the first to hybridize Kentucky Bluegrass.
- He developed the first fine textured Perennial Ryegrasses. Prior to Dr. Funk’s breeding of this species the Perennial Ryegrass plants were coarse and did not produce particularly attractive turf.
- He developed the Turf-Type Tall Fescues, from what previously had been little better than coarse pasture grasses.
- He also discovered beneficial fungi, called endophytes, living in a symbiotic relationship inside lawn grass plants. Endophytes provided some insect and environmental stress resistance to turfgrass plants.
We have been continuing this work in our own turfgrass breeding program, developing truly, genetically superior grasses that produce a beautiful lawn. We call these grasses our Black Beauty lawn grasses.
Black Beauty turfgrasses can root four feet down into the soil, over time. They are naturally dark-green in color and contain endophytes for natural insect resistance. These grasses are uniform in texture and have a waxy leaf coating, like that on an apple, making them heat and drought tolerant.
The selection of Black Beauty grass seed is the first step to be taken in achieving a beautiful lawn.
2. – The second consideration is soil compaction
Soil is fundamental to the health of your lawn. It forms a thin layer over much of the land surface of the earth. It is the meeting place between the atmosphere and the upper most portion of the earth’s crust.
- The primary component of soil is weathered rock. This weathering has occurred over millions of years through the action of water, wind and changes in temperature. These factors have served to break down rock into finer and finer particles.
- Somehow, no one knows how, this weathered rock, on the upper most surface of the earth became inhabited by single celled organisms. These organisms had a profound effect on the upper surface of the earth; they created soil. These microscopic organisms began creating organic acids which erode the rock surface.
- The soil, which it could now rightly be called, became more porous, allowing water and air from above to enter deeper horizons of the soil.
- Bacteria are the main form of single celled life on earth. A handful of soil can contain 10,000 genetically distinct types of bacteria. Bacteria are so small that 250,000 to 500,000 of them can fit inside the period at the end of this sentence. They were certainly the earliest form of life on earth, appearing at least three billion years ago. They are the primary decomposers of organic matter, the residue of plant and animal life. It is this process that allows for the reuse of nutrients in the soil; thus, the recycling of energy.
- Of course, the bacteria, while they are the most numerous microbes, are not alone. The fungi and the algae are also present in the soil in huge numbers. They are also responsible for the breaking down of complex organic substances.
- So what does this mean for the health of your lawn?
- What is means is that biologically active soil is better able to support grass plants. The common denominator of all life is that it needs energy to survive and grow. Naturally, this energy originates from the sun; however it expresses itself through countless biological, physical and chemical interactions in the water and the water in the soil.
- In order to encourage the soil biology we have developed Love Your Lawn-Love Your Soil which feeds and encourages the soil life to flourish, making the soil more alive and porous.
3. – The final consideration is soil pH
Soil pH is how acidic (sour) or alkaline (sweet) the lawn soil is. This can be adjusted by using Mag-I-Cal Calcium Fertilizer with humates.
- Grass grows best in a pH range of 6.0 to 6.8. This can be easily tested and adjusted to achieve this range. The benefits will be:
- Increases the ability of grass plants to utilize nutrients
- Increased microbial activity
- Improved soil texture
- A synergistic effect when used with other lawn fertilizers
Once these three issues are addressed a logical lawn plan begins to emerge. One in which you are dealing with basic causes and not symptoms. Remember that we are trying to grow a beautiful lawn. It is actually not that hard to do once you get the basics right.