The ultimate guide for taking care of your lawn all year long!
Never mow more than 1/3 off the leaf in any angle. Your lawn will go in street when it will seed and become thin and patchy. Shorter lawn will need more watering as the soil is exposed. Keeping the length on the leaf shades the soil, keeps it cooler and much less exposed for evaporation.
Applying fertiliser early in summer is highly recommended to boost your lawn. Apply the fertiliser at the recommended rate, but in one section of the lawn in space of roughly 1m x 1m, apply twice the amount. If in a few weeks time this area has better colour and performing a lot better than the rest of your lawn, fertilise again, Sometimes your lawn needs an extra boost.
Watering for at least 1hr a week should be sufficient to withstand even the hottest summer month (some varieties will require more). By watering infrequently and deeply you'll be encouraging stronger, deeper root growth which will increase the drought tolerance.
For watering to be the most efficient, apply a wetting agent to increase your soil's water absorbency, especially on sandy soils.
Its time to get ready for the winter battle.
As it's still relatively warm, your lawn is actively growing which makes Autumn the ideal time to fertilise. By fertilising, it will encourage strong root development, winter colour and overall health. You'll want your lawn to winter ready by March/April, any later and the ground temperature will drop too low.
The best fertiliser to use is a slow release fertiliser. If you need help deciding on the best fertiliser please feel free to give us a call. If Victoria has had a harsh summer you will be okay to be a little heavy handed with the fertliser.
Keep an eye out for Lawn Grubs as they will be coming. These annoying pests are extremely active late in summer and all throughout autumn. Treat them straight away to minimise the damage to your lawn. If you have an infestation, fertilse straight away.
Grab the pitch fork and loosen up the soil. When soil becomes compacted the roots aren't able to breathe and this will cause the lawn to thin out and die. If you have clay soil, an application of lime and gypsum would be beneficial.
You can now start reducing the frequency of mow. Leaving a bit more length at this time of year will mean your lawn is better equipped for photosynthesis and weed suppression.
You shouldn't need to water your lawn too much during the winter months. Switch off the timer and water as needed. You'll know if your lawn is dry as leaves will curl, in which case give it a drink. Don't put too much excess moisture into the soil if you can avoid it, as it will only encourage compaction.
Give the mower a well deserved break and keep a little extra length on. Leaving you lawn on the long side will mean there is extra leaf for photosynthesis which will keep you lawn healthier.
If you have a bit of wet weather is best to avoid traffic on the lawn when possible or regularly aerate any areas which cannot be avoided. The same applies after heavy rains particularly if water tends to pool or the soil gets waterlogged.
Lawn Mover Tune
Some basic maintenance will go a long way. By changing the fuel, oil and the spark plug you will have a machine running smoothly for many years. If the thought of mechanics makes you shiver there are some small mower shops where you can get your machine tuned for a small fee.
Invest in a new set of blades or a grab a grinder and do a touch up, either will do wonders for your grass.
Pull Weeds Out
You are guaranteed to have developed some weeds over winter. Most are blown in and some may have been lying dormant, most single weeds can be simply removed by hand, preferably before going to seed, other flat weeds and grasses can be mown over. A healthy lawn able to choke out most weed.
If you have an abundance of weeds it would be worth seeking some advice on the best herbicides to use.
This is one of the best things you can do for your soil and should do annually - it will increase the amount of air, water and nutrients getting into the soil and decreases thatch and compaction.
Do not get carried away here, it must be light. You want to be rid of those weeds first before feeding them as well and overfeeding at this time of year may not produce desired results with the warmth and light intensity not quite there yet
Minimal additional top-up watering is other than natural rainfall, dependent on your soil and location. Start training your lawn to be less-dependent on being frequently-watered. A minimalist approach to watering will often be rewarded with a healthier lawn, with stronger, deeper roots heading towards the extremes of summer.