Summer is here and that means you'll be spending plenty more time in your backyard with your friends and family. Here are 10 things you can do to keep your lawn in tip-top shape and really impress your guests!
Lawns that have good nutritional value are less likely to suffer from weed infestations. Throughout summer, we need to be vigilant and monitor our lawn, making sure we are on top of any weeds that do appear.
The last thing you want is for those weeds to begin seeding. By allowing the weed to seed you run the gauntlet. Sooner or later those seeds will be released and blown across your lawn adding to your weed woes!
There are ways to control this problem. Make sure you know your variety of turf and select the correct herbicide for your situation. Always read the label and use the appropriate PPE. Never apply herbicides to stressed lawns or when temperatures are above 26 degrees.
Soil Ph Is an indication of where your soil is sitting on the acid-alkaline scale. Soil Ph is measured within the scale of 1 to 14, where most acidic is 1 and most alkaline is 14. Neutral is right in the middle at 7.
By testing your soil, you'll find out if you are dealing with soil that’s too far in either direction.
Realistically the closer you can get your soil to that magic 7 mark the better the soil quality. This means a better plant, giving you a better lawn to enjoy. When your soil profile is neutral the nutrients, trace elements and anything else you apply will be made more available to the plant, giving you better results long term. It’s true! A simple soil test can save you plenty of money and can also be the difference between a good lawn and a GREAT lawn!
Aeration is a lawn maintenance procedure and quite simply, it’s the art of putting hundreds of holes in your lawn either by machine and or manual labour with spiked rollers or a pitchfork.
This practice has been around for decades and is not a practice that’s limited to the professionals. The main reason for aeration is to combat compaction as compacted soils prevent the circulation and movement of air, water and nutrients which is vital when ensuring plant health.
The simple practice of aeration can take an average lawn to a whole new level.
Now that you’ve aerated your lawn, it’s full of open galleries allowing easy access to the root zone. This is the best place for your fertiliser to start working and allow the plant to soak up all the nutrients.
Don’t just buy any old bag of fertiliser. Be sure to check the NPK and research whether it is a quick release and or slow release.
Fertilisers that offer continual feeding over three months are far more beneficial than an instant nitrogen drop. By fertilising at this point you will be feeding the plant everything it needs to help survive the hot, dry & harsh Australian Summer that we love so much.
With the onset of warmer climates, we can be faced with a new array of weeds that will thrive if it’s not controlled or prevented before they emerge.
A pre-emergent herbicide will give you peace of mind while you enjoy a healthy lawn. Pre-emergents are herbicides that form a residual barrier in your soil and prevent germination of weed seeds.
Remember, they’re best applied after coring so that the barrier isn’t disturbed. Pre-emergents can typically provide 4 to 6 months of protection. If you’re looking at sowing your grass with seed, skip this stage as the pre-emergent will prevent any germination. Pre-emergents are not turf specific and come in granular and liquid form.
Hydrophobic is a term used to describe your soil when it’s unable to absorb water and can’t retain moisture. You can tell when your soil is hydrophobic when water beads and runs off instead of penetrating the soil layer.
If your soil is Hydrophobic, the turf in those areas can lack the ability to uptake plant nutrients and begin the onset of dry patch. It’ll be very noticeable when you compare it to healthy patches.
There are many soil wetters on the market in either granular and or liquid form. Each one will state they aid water penetration and retention, yet some will perform better than others. In this case, you often get exactly what you pay for.
Soil wetters often say that they make water wet. What does this mean exactly? In simple terms, a soil wetter can change the composition of the water by reducing its surface tension by the way of adding molecules. This will allow the water to adhere to the properties in the soil wetter and be drawn into the soil, making it wetter.
Use of soil wetters are very beneficial for the home lawn. After an application of a soil wetter, you’ll find that fertilisers work better as the path to the root zone has been made easier.
Your lawn will be now in the height of growth season! Your plant will have good nutrition and will be thriving which means that this is an open invitation for lawn pests to decimate your lawn if you don’t use preventative measures.
Curl grub & Armyworm are just a couple that will really test your patience. Look for early signs and act fast. Acelepryn by LawnPride for 6-month residual control is the best way forward. Acelepryn is the safest product on the market for your home lawn with limited PPE requirements.
Australian Lawn Fanatics label this product as the best insurance policy for your lawn that money can buy.
Your Hustler Mower will be doing a lot more work this summer so having clean & sharp blades is the first thing you should address with your local dealer. If your blades are blunt, you open your lawn up to disease and a host of other problems.
For those with healthy, well-irrigated lawns, lowering and/or maintaining your height won’t pose much of a problem. A lawn that is cylinder mowed can survive Summer with a shorter leaf without any issues. Think of the professionals that curate golf courses. It all comes down to good habits.
When watering is an issue, which can be the case in some places due to water restrictions, raising the height of cut could be a wise decision. By raising your cut, you’re essentially protecting your soil with a buffer that allows it to retain more moisture.
Lastly, regular mowing is key. Remember the one-third rule and avoid scalping. This will not only increase your plant health, but it’ll also thicken your lawn. When mowing, avoid the middle of the day. Soaring temperatures put a lot of stress on your plant so adding more stress with mowing is the last thing you want to do.
Mornings and evenings are the best times to manicure your plot.
Watering it he most critical part of maintaining your lawn throughout the Summer. The ultimate goal is to have a deep root system and this is where watering plays a pivotal role.
A lot of people believe that light and quick waters are beneficial, when in fact they may be doing more harm than good in the long run. By watering lightly and more often, you are encouraging a shallow root system. No, this doesn’t mean we go out and flood our lawn as too much water will also damage your lawn.
Aim for about an inch per week including a deep water. This will encourage the root system to go deeper looking for water that has filtered down and is stored below the subsurface. A deeper root system will allow the plant to stand up to the heat stress of the summer as the roots become better protected.
Visually it is easy to see if you require more water. The leaf of the plant begins to curl and the area will thin. This is a natural defence mechanism. Your watering schedule may vary as a lot will depend on where you live, rain and soil conditions. Be sure to check your moisture content regularly.
So when do we water? Early morning waters will eliminate aggressive evaporation as well as excess water on the leaf which ultimately prevents fungal diseases.
*Please be mindful of your restrictions if any, it may pay to contact your local council for information regarding water in your area.
The most important tip of all is to sit back, relax and enjoy the fruit of your labour with your friends and family so get out, and enjoy yourself this summer! Don't forget to subscribe to Hustler's Weekly Lawn Tips for the hottest recommendations delivered straight to your Facebook inbox each week.