There is no way that you are going to have a healthy lawn without healthy soil. And the health of your soil needs to be maintained on a regular basis by lawn soil and mulching techniques.
In lawn care and maintenance, you cannot maintain healthy soil without mulching the lawn regularly – at least once a year. In the first three years, as the lawn seeks to gain healthy soil mulching should even be more frequent probably in the fall with leaves and in spring with Canadian sphagnum peat moss.
The essence of mulching is finding a way to add some organic matter to that soil to feed the earthworms and he beneficial soil microbes, just like folks do with their gardens. In lawn care and maintenance, spreading a thin layer of some kind of organic material like leaves over the lawn does this. Worms take it from there and take the organic material down into the soil.
Soil that is not regularly fed with organic matter starts to die. It will usually become compacted and infertile. The lawn soil will no longer be able to provide essential nutrients, moisture and air to the grass roots. By regular mulching you will save yourself the time and expense of fertilizing, extra watering and weeding that you will require to maintain your lawn.
There are some lawns that already have plenty of trees around which provide enough mulching material anually in the form of lots of leaves. The leaves need to be chopped up as finely as possible. Usually this can be done with a mulching mower.
If leaves are not available you will need to go for commercial mulching materials. There are several options. Canadian peat moss is the partially decayed remains of sphagnum moss plants. Peat moss comes in both bags and bales. The most economic are the bales, which are 3.8 cubic feet.
Composted municipal sludge is composted, dried and packaged by many city water departments. It usually has more nutrients in it than peat moss.
Then there is mushroom soil that is the composted residue of straw and manure usually used to grow mushrooms.
Leaves are usually the best option for lawn soil mulching. Worms work best with leaves. However if this is not available you can go for the other commercial lawn mulching options.
You can buy peat moss at any home center or garden center. Two bales of the stuff is enough to spread and mulch over a 1000 square feet area. Spread the peat moss evenly with a rake. You should rake the material until you can’t see it anymore because it has sunk deep down to the base of the grass plants.
Mulching helps the soil to maintain the required 3% to 5% organic matter in its top 8 to 12 inches. This allows air to circulate in the soil.
There are plenty of other benefits of mulching.
Among many other benefits it helps the soil resist compaction that usually occurs because of the weight of foot traffic on a lawn. Organic matter when introduced to the soil usually creates pore spaces between soil particles, lightening its texture. This allows plant roots to penetrate the soil more easily and the grass is much healthier.
The organic matter from lawn soil mulching also improves the ability of the soil to both hold moisture and drain away excess water. The result is that the health of the lawn grass is maintained and you will have fewer problems with weeds, diseases and pests. Your general lawn care and maintenance becomes an easier and more pleasurable chore.
This page: Lawn Soil – Lawn Mulching