21 Sep 2011

How To Look After Your Lawn

Posted by bcsands

Is your lawn looking sad and tired? Keep your grass looking good all year round with our helpful guide!

Fertilise in spring

Like most things green, spring is the start of the growing season for your lawn. Give it a boost with a dose of fertiliser. Ideally choose an organic fertiliser, such as granulated chicken manure or blood and bone. If you would prefer a granular fertiliser, try Shirley’s No 17, or a slow release food such as Scots Lawn Builder Some turfs, such as Sir Walter, have purpose-designed fertilisers that you can use.

Aerating the lawn with a fork or purpose-designed aerator before you distribute your fertiliser will help your lawn to make the most of it.

Top dressing your lawn

Top dressing your lawn is another spring way to ensure that your lawn grows strong and healthy over summer. Choose a good quality top dressing and distributed over your lawn with a shovel. Then use a lawn leveller to spread the dressing over the surface, filling in any dips and hollows. Be careful to make sure that a third of the blade of grass is always visible – if you cover the grass completely it will die.

Don’t mow too short

It’s can be tempting to mow your lawn as short as possible so that it looks neat and you can take a longer break between mowing – but please don’t! A short lawn is a weak lawn and is liable to develop bare patches. Only cut off about a third of the length of your grass at a time.

Weeds and bindies

There are some weedkillers that are safe to use on buffalo and Kikuyu. Endothal is good for winter grass and Bin-die works for clover and prickles. However, having said that, using chemicals should be avoided as much as possible because of the harm they can do to the environment. If you don’t have too many weeds, the best method is to remove them by hand – and get to eager seed spreaders like dandelions as quickly as you can, before they blow seeds all over your lawn!

Remove the thatch

‘Thatch’ is a layer of dead grass that blocks water from reaching the surface of the earth and can also lead to fungal disease. If your lawn feels spongy when you walk on it, then thatch has probably built up and it’s time to remove it. If you have a smaller lawn, rake it thoroughly with a rake – for a larger lawn you may need to hire a de-thatcher/scarifier to clear it.

Watering your lawn

If you fertilise with a light hand and keep your lawn a reasonable length through summer, so that it is strong and healthy, then your lawn will be well-prepared to survive the hot days – that’s assuming that it is a turf that is suitable for the Australian climate. Some turfs may brown in the hottest part of the summer, but should grow back once the weather cools off. If you must water your lawn please do so early in the morning or in the evening, rather than during the day when it will evaporate quickly.

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