Spring is in full swing so here are 10 things you can do to keep your lawn in tip-top shape for the season!
As soon as get some growth going again it is time to renovate and get a fresh start on your lawn. For Couch, Kikuyu and Zoysia – scarify or low-mow, aerate with a corer, top dress and level with a soil spreader. You’ll need some extra water for the first few weeks and fertiliser for a repair.
For Buffalo lawns, you cannot mow it to the ground because Buffalo doesn’t have rhizomes (underground runners). Mow Buffalo slightly lower, removing thatch and cut excessively long runners. Aerate, top dress and follow the care recommendations of your local lawn professional.
Spring is the time to improve your soil. Check your soil pH by grabbing a test kit from your local hardware or gardening store. Take a few samples and mix them together to get an average profile of your soil. Soil pH is measured 0-14. You want 5.5 – 7 which is neutral. Above 7 is alkaline, numbers below 5.5 are acidic.
You can fix acidic soils by adding agricultural lime and watering it in. Alkaline soils can be improved by adding sulphate of ammonia. Good options can be found at garden and agricultural stores. Aerate your soil to improve drainage and air movement to the root. Use a good soil wetter to make sure water penetrates the soil and keeps the moisture at the root zone. If you are doing a new lawn, dig down 150mm and fill with a good sandy loam. Most decent landscape suppliers will be able to point you in the right direction.
Most of us don’t have scarification machines or aerators for spring renovation and will likely have to hire. Spring is hammer time for the demand of gear like this so book early to avoid any disappointment. Organise your mates to share the cost and give each other a hand. It’s a big job. Divide and conquer!
If you have done a renovation, you should start mowing as soon as you start seeing growth and before the area is fully grown in. Cutting it will promote the lawn to spread rather than grow vertically. Start gently and ramp things up as the temperature begins to rise.
Once the area recovers, mow often. The best and easiest tip is if you are mowing once a week only, double your effort by doing a Wednesday “hump mow”. This will really improve the condition of your lawn.
To get the low-mow look takes a bit of dedication and mowing a bit more than your struggling neighbours is a good start. Thatch is the dead and decaying lawn underneath the canopy which naturally occurs, but must be managed. If thatch builds up too much it can cause a load of issues to the health of your lawn and makes a lawn look ugly with brown spots after a mow. Sure, you could be mowing too low and just need to up your height however keeping it low is aided by 1. Regular Mowing, 2. Grooming and 3. Plant Growth Regulator.
If you have a great lawn but the edging isn’t flash, then do you reallllyyyyyy have a great lawn? Simply put, neat edges make a lawn look smart and edging is just a once a week job.
Smaller properties, closer neighbours. Noise from engines of power equipment can be an issue where you live. Pack a selection of battery-powered equipment on your Hustler. It’s light, no petrol is needed, less moving parts, less maintenance and it's also incredibly quiet. Not to mention it's powerful and a charge lasts a long time with modern batteries. Savvy contractors have switched to battery gear for good reason and it gets them more clients where noise is an issue (eg. hospital grounds, schools, etc.).
If you want that deep green then start using a nitrogen iron fertiliser that's designed for a deep green without producing surge growth. This means that the deep green will last much longer.
Your mates want a lawn like yours.
When you do your spring renovation on your Couch, Kikuyu or Zoysia, the aerating plugs & scarifying clippings can be planted to make a new lawn. If your mates are really keen, they can help you with your renovation and aerating machine costs if they can take your plugs and clippings for planting. With a bit of extra water and care, those clippings will grow in and your mates will have a worthwhile lawn. Watch out, within a good growing season they could be out-lawning you in no time!
While a 10 tip seasonal guide can provide you with a great foundation, it will never really answer all the questions you have about your lawn. Find like-minded people to help you in your quest for a great lawn and subscribe to Hustler's Weekly Lawn Tips for the hottest recommendations which we've put together, delivered straight to your Facebook inbox each week.
You’ll be surprised how many people are into their lawns these days. With the power of social media, you can connect with others and share and learn from their experiences. There are plenty of people that will be more than willing to share and help you in your quest for the best lawn in town!