We’re almost at the end of the 2022 FIFA World Cup – a festival of football that hasn’t been without its controversies but one that has captured the imagination of football fans all across the globe.
Now, it’s natural for kids to watch their heroes on the TV and then want to go straight outside to emulate them by kicking a ball around the garden. The major difference this time around is that the World Cup has never before been in the middle of the British winter.
So what do you do when your children escape onto your precious lawn in December and start pretending to be Lionel Messi? The quick answer is to tell them to go to the park instead! Because if you don’t, a ten-minute kick-about can leave lasting scars and lead to lasting issues for your lawn…
If your lawn is waterlogged, which it might well be due to the heavy rain we had in November, playing football will potentially damage the growing media, which is the area where the roots of the lawn are likely to be growing. It will damage the first inch or so, which are crucial for a healthy lawn.
And if you’re damaging the soil structure – essentially squashing the soil particles together and driving the moisture out – it will result in compaction, making it very difficult for the roots to explore their way through the soil particles. This makes it almost impossible to have a healthy environment in which your lawn can flourish.
The other major problem is the disruption to the surface. Sogginess equals mud, and you’ll end up with muddy lumps. If you can envisage driving a car across some waterlogged grass, the impact can be the same with a load of little footballers on a wet lawn, albeit on a smaller scale. Any sliding or skidding can have a really disastrous impact – whether we’re talking football boots or car tyres!
If it’s frozen – as in the ground is hard – then the damage we talk about above won’t happen. Frozen blades of crisp grass are, in effect, moisture-laden blades of grass. They are rigid, but brittle, and if you stand on them they will break. If you walk across a frozen lawn you will leave footprints that will linger for quite some time and this results in long-term damage to your grass.
Subsequently, as the frozen blades of grass thaw, the soil underneath often remains frozen to about an inch below the surface. Lateral movement from people running across it and potentially kicking a football can result in the roots being severed.
Overseeding and spiking in the spring *could* help your lawn recover from this, but it could be that you need a complete renovation. Whatever the damage, Greensleeves are here to help you get over not just England’s exit, but your own fall out from the 2022 World Cup!
To find your local Greensleeves Lawn Care Team – and find out how they can help care for your lawn – click here