Lawn Care Dictionary


Lawn care dictionary
Ready to discuss costs? Let's chat!

Lawn Care Dictionary - Helpful A-Z Guide

Perfect Ground Solutions dictionary of lawn and gardening related terms and definitions. Please find below a list of gardening, lawn and plant terms that will help you to understand some of the more technical sides of the services we provide. We hope you find this helpful.

If you have any questions, or would like some advice on lawn care or weed control, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us.




The state when a substance, such as soil, measures between 0.0 and 7.0 on the pH scale. 0 being the most acidic. When your soil is too acidic, many plants including turf grasses can thrive. Soil adjustments, such as lime, can make soil less acidic.


Aeration involves moving and lifting to form cracks which allow air, water and nutrients to penetrate the grass roots. Aeration helps roots to grow deeply to produce a stronger, more vigorous lawn. One of the main reasons for aerating is to alleviate soil compaction.


The state when a substance, such as soil, measures between 7.0 and 14.0 on the pH scale. 14 being the most alkaline. Many plants, including turf grasses, suffer nutrient shortages in high-alkaline soil. Alterations, such as sulphur can reduce soil alkalinity.


A plant that concludes its life cycle within one year. Annuals grow from seed, flower, produce seed and then die again each year. Some annuals self-seed and new plants grow from the seeds the next year.




The word Bamboo comes from the Kannada term Bambu. This was introduced to English through Indonesian and Malay. Bamboos are evergreen perennial flowering plants.

Barley grass

Barley (Hordeum vulgare), is a member of the grass family. It is used to create cereal grain globally.  Barley was one of the first cultivated grains used, with evidence suggesting it was used over 10,000 years ago.


A plant that takes two years to conclude its life cycle. Within the first year, it starts from seed and grows leaves and often a large root to store nutrition such as root vegetables. In the second year, it grows larger and flowers, disperses seeds, and then dies. Biennials often create a cycle of self-sowing that gives the deception of longer life.

Broad leaved weeds

These are all plants that are not grasses and will include all dicots and many other annual and perennial plants.




Compaction occurs when the structure of the soil is damaged, often in wet conditions by heavy machinery or foot traffic. The pores are squashed and the soil particles are jammed together to make an impermeable layer. Compaction affects both gardens and lawns, making it difficult for plants to grow properly. If soil is compacted it is harder for plants to send roots through the soil and take in the nutrients that are needed for growth.


The soil-like substance made up of organic matter that has been decomposed. Composting recycles various materials which would otherwise be regarded as waste products and produced a soil conditioner rich in nutrients.


Cultivation is most often used to talk about the ways that farmers care for their crops and is an act caring for and raising plants.



Dry grass

Grass that has been mown and dried for use as feed.




Edging most visible between a lawn and the adjoining garden. Landscape edging can define a shrub bed, flower border or the change from patio to garden. Edging creates a clean line between beds, lawn and other areas.




A chemical or natural substance added to a lawn to increase its fertility.

Fertiliser burn

The damage caused when plants are exposed to fertiliser concentrations beyond what they can process. In severe cases, fertiliser burn can kill plants and lawns completely.


Is a product used to control turfgrass fungal diseases, such as dollar spot, brown patch and Pythium.



Garden rollers

A tool for helping gardeners to achieve a smooth, flat, level and healthy surface.

Giant Hogweed

Giant Hogweed (also known as Heracleum mantegazzianum), is a monocarpic perennial herbaceous flowering plant from the carrot family. The Giant Hogweed sap contains toxic chemicals known as furanocoumarins.  When these chemicals meet the skin, and in the presence of sunlight, they cause a condition called phyto-photodermatitis. This involves a reddening of the skin, often followed by severe burns and blistering.

Grass seeds

Grass seeds are harvested from the grass plants. The seeds can only be harvested from grasses that have not cut and have been left to grow to develop seed heads.




The level of a plant's ability to withstand temperature extremes, especially during the winter months, without added protection.

Hose pipe

A flexible tube which is used for watering plants.



Invasive weeds

Invasive species can be defined as a species that is non-native to a specific location. These weeds often have the tendency to spread rapidly and cause damage to the local environment. Many invasive weeds were introduced deliberately and were not considered to be a nuisance at the time, but rather beneficial.



Japanese Knotweed

Japanese knotweed (Fallopia japonica) is a weed that was brought to the UK by the Victorians. It spreads rapidly in the summer months and then the plant dies back to ground level giving the illusion it is dying. The bamboo-like stems grow from rhizomes deep underground to shoot to over 3.5m, prevent all other plant growth around it.




The process of making a garden or piece of land more attractive by changing the existing design, adding decorative features, and planting trees and flowers.


An area of frequently mown grass in a garden or park.

Lawn disease

Lawn diseases are not usually a threat to a gardener’s lawn. However, often after a period of heat and humidity outbreaks can occur. Most lawns will remain disease free if they are maintained properly.

Lawn maintenance

Lawn maintenance is the art of keeping a lawn healthy, clean, safe and attractive, typically in a garden, yard, park, institutional setting or estate.

Lawn mower

A machine used for cutting the grass on a lawn.


Leaching occurs when rainfall or irrigation water flushes materials and nutrients through the soil. Leaching is usually performed to remove the build-up of harmful nutrients, including salt. After leaching, it's important to fertilise your lawn with nutrients that promote growth, such as nitrogen.


A substance produced from natural limestone that is applied onto a lawn or soil to restore the pH balance in acidic soil.




Moss is a small flowerless green plant which lacks roots. It is often found growing in low carpets or rounded cushions in damp environments. It reproduces by releasing spores from its stalked capsules.


The act of using a mowing machine or scythe to cut down grass or grain.


Mulch is used to cover the surface of the soil. It is most commonly used to keep soil cool, supress weeds and retainer moisture. As well as making your garden more attractive.




A pesticide used to kill microscopic lawn pests known as nematodes that. If found in large numbers these worms can destroy your lawn by eating its grass roots.


The ratio of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) indicated by three numbers on a fertiliser label.




Used to describe materials that originate from living matter, whether plant or animal, and occur as a result of natural processes. Organic also describes horticultural and lawn care styles and products that avoid man-made ingredients.


Overseeding is the planting of grass seed directly onto existing turf, without tearing up the turf, or the soil. Overseeding a great way to fill in bare spots, improve the density of your lawn, establish new grass varieties and enhance your lawn's appearance. into root rot.


Overwatering is when you water a plant too much and it causes to drown. On occasions this can also develop



Patchy lawn

Uneven or irregular lawn which will often have bald spots.

Perennial plants

A perennial plant naturally takes over two years to complete its lifecycle. When grown within their hardiness zones, healthy perennials return on their own annually, for several years.


Pesticides are chemical substances that are used to kill pests, including insects, rodents, fungi and weeds.




Ragwort is a pleasing looking plant, but it can be dangerous to animals. Ragwort (Jacobaea vulgaris) is native to Eurasia and is often found in dry open spaces. Ragwort is native to the UK and provides a home and food source to at least 77 insect species.

Ragwort Control Act

The Ragwort Control Act is an Act made by Parliament and passed in 2003. It details the Code of Practice on Ragwort Control.  Common ragwort is a harmful weed that can endanger animals which browse it.




Scarification is the mechanical removal of surface thatch from a lawn. Thatch naturally forms on a lawn. However, when it gets too thick it prevents important nutrients such as water, fertiliser and oxygen from getting to the grass roots.

Seed spreader

Is a piece of agricultural machinery or lawn care tool designed to spread seeds, fertiliser, lime, sand, and ice melt.

Selective Herbicides

Herbicides that will kill some plants but not others and therefore can be used to remove weeds from lawns or grass weeds from flowerbeds


Often made up of a black or dark brown material consisting of a mixture of organic remains, clay, and rock particles. Soil is often described as the upper layer of earth in which plants can grow.


Is the act of planting seeds but scattering them onto the earth.


The act of spraying liquid chemicals used in the garden.


Although not commonly used in most UK homes, sprinklers are a great way to water plants or grass.

Sports turf mixture

A non-ryegrass mixture that contains fescues and bentgrass. This mixture binds the turf together and can naturally repair itself.

Stem injection

When spraying is unsuitable, such as near water, stem injection is a safe method of treating and killing weeds.




Lawn thatch is the layer of dead turfgrass tissue which lies between the green vegetation of the lawn above and the root system and soil below.  Lawn thatch is made up of stems, stolons, rhizomes, and roots that have not been broken down.

The Weed Act

The Weeds Act was passed through UK parliament in 1959 in order to control several injurious weed species. Royal Assent was given on 16 July 1959 and aims to avoid the spread of the Creeping Thistle, Common Ragwort, Broad Leaved Dock, Curled Dock and the Spear Thistle.

Top dressing

Topdressing is a sand or other prepared soil mix which is applied to the surface of a lawn. Topdressing materials are evenly applied in a thin layer, typically ¼ inch (6.35 mm) or less. Top dressing can help with a variety of issues. Often it is used to smooth the surface of the lawn. It can fill in low spots in the grass and reduce thatch build-up. Topdressing adds much needed nutrients and improves drought resistance and drainage.

Total Herbicides

A substance that is toxic to plants and is used to destroy undesirable vegetation.


Is a patch of grass which includes a surface layer of earth which is held together by its roots.

Turf rolls

A turf roll is a small rectangular piece of grass which you lay on the ground in order to make a lawn.




A plant that is undesirable which usually has vigorous growth. Many weed varieties tend to overgrow or choke out more desirable plants.

Weed control

Weed control is a component of pest control, which attempts to stop weeds, especially noxious or injurious weeds, from competing with desired flora and fauna.


Wheatgrass are the first leaves of the common wheat plant, used as a food, drink, or dietary supplement.


For help or advice, please contact us today and one of our expert team will be able to help.