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Garden Tips

Lawn Maintenance

The benefits of mowing

Lawn Mowers that can mulch are more  beneficial for your lawn. They recycle  the grass  clippings back into the lawn, providing valuable nutrients. What’s more, the blades on  mulching mowers are designed to break down the grass cuttings into very small pieces,  then distribute them evenly over the lawn where they quickly and naturaly break down  and return the goodness back to your lawn.

Mower cutting heights

Grass grows fastest and is at its healthiest, in the spring/summer months, so decreasing  your cutting height down to 2.5cm won’t affect it too much. During cooler months,  grass grows slower, raise your cutting height so as not to damage your grass.  Don’t  cut your grass lower than 2.5cm. The big risk of mowing low is ’scalping’  which browns your grass. Scalp your lawn often  and you risk weakening it, allowing weeds and disease to attack your lawn.

How often should you mow?

As a guide, you should mow once a week or at the very least, once a fortnight during Summer, and around once every three  or four weeks in Winter.This depends on how fast your own individual lawn is growing. Infrequent mowing can cause a lawn to  become “stalky” and unattractive. This is especially the case with popular grasses such as Couch and Kikuyu. So it is advisable  to mow regularly, with sharp clean blades, to keep your lawn at its best and looking good.

Watering advice

Australia is the driest populated continent on Earth. But did you know that around  50% of annual residential water consumption  in Australia goes in watering gardens and lawns.  we use about twice as much water as we need. To reduce your water bill  consider the following. More info

For sandy and light soil, add mulch and soil conditioners regularly to improve its water-holding ability. Water in the early morning or evening  –   to maximise plant nourishment and reduce evaporation. Check your taps, nozzles and sprinklers regularly to ensure they work well & don’t leak Install a rainwater irrigation system and tank.

Fertilising tips

Every time you mow the lawn and remove the grass clippings you’re depriving the remaining lawn of rich nutrients it has extracted  from the soil. That’s why mulching is a great idea. If you don’t mulch regularly, your lawn will benefit from the addition of fertilisers, especially during spring and summer when it is more active. Apply fertilisers which supply the correct balance of the three major  nutrients required for a healthy lawn . A mix of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium in a ratio of 3:1:2 is ideal.Available from your  local garden centre.We can offer as part of our regular service a Weed & Feed programme throughout the year,applying the correct  balance at the right time of the year.

Spring Renovation

On top of regular lawn watering, weeding and mowing, you’ll get best results if you carry out an annual  renovation programme.

  • Remove the previous year’s build-up of thatched material rake or scarifing
  • Open up the soil via ’coring’ to let it breathe using a fork or hire machine
  • Apply fertiliser before the onset of a long hot Summer
  • Correct the surface level by adding sterilised topsoil where necessary
  • Regenerate any bare areas seed or re turf
  • Conduct a soil test, kits avaliable from us or at your local gaden centre

Spring Renovation Check-list

  • Dethatch your lawn
  • When organic matter builds up faster than it can be broken down it makes your lawn harder to mow, much more susceptible to wilting in hot weather and forms a barrier which can prevent fertilisers being of any benefit.
  • The best way to dethatch your lawn is to set your mower to the lowest setting and get stuck into it! This controlled scalping will do the job particularly well for
    Couch and Kikuyu grasses.

Core the soil

It’s a good idea  to do this job annually in order for it to continue to support lush, healthy grass. ’Coring’ is necessary to deal with
’no grow’ areas of your lawn with poor grass cover. You can buy a hand-held corer from hardware stores or hire a larger more
powerful model.

Apply fertiliser

Try and seek out organic natural fertilisers as they’re far more beneficial for your lawn and garden.Available from your
local garden centre.

Add top-dressing

Annual top-dressing is necessary  to even up the level of your lawn.  It’s best not to add more than 1cm of top-dressing at any one time. For large holes, take up the grass, fill the hole, re-plant the grass and then water lightly for half an hour. A coarse 90:10 sandy loam mix is perfect. Top-dress in late Spring.

Regenerate bare areas

These areas are usually high-traffic zones and come about through excessive shade or because soil gets compacted then baked by the sun and blocks worms from oxygenating the soil to allow grass roots to take hold. Turn the soil, add runners from your lawn, provide plenty of water and don’t mow these rejuvenated areas for around four weeks.

Soil test

If you’re really serious about your lawn, ensure your soil pH and nutrient activity remains within optimum levels by conducting a soil test once a year. Then add a relevant fertiliser to improve your soil if necessary. If you keep your soil pH between 5.5 and 7.0 you’ll reduce pest attack and provide a good level of nourishment. You can get test kits from your local garden centre.