Caring for your lawn

Caring for your lawn

Caring for Your Lawn

Mowing

When your lawn begins to look untidy it is probably time to mow – this should usually be 2 – 3 weeks after installation in the warmer months. Mow often, generally removing no more than 1/3 of the leaf. To keep lawn looking its best we recommend the use of a reel mower especially for Wintergreen and to keep your mower blades sharp.

Watering

The first year your lawn may require extra water during the hot summer months. Generally once established, three watering days a week will suffice (two allowed + one hand water)

Fertilising

This should be done every 6—8 weeks throughout the year to maintain growth and colour. This is especially important with Zoysia as it takes 12 months to fully establish.

Pesticides & Herbicides

Seek advice before spraying turf less than 6 months old. Make sure with Buffalo lawn that you use a product that is suitable for Buffalo lawn.

Long Term Maintenance

Lawn is a long term investment, therefore it is important to understand what your lawn requires on a regular basis. The following information should be helpful to keep your lawn green and healthy.

Thatch

Thatch is the layer organic matter often made up of stems and roots that have not decomposed yet. It accumulates near the soil surface at a rate which is determined by the vigour and type of lawn. Some lawns are more prone to thatch build up than others. Thatch is a normal part of any lawn and to some degree can be regulated by the amount of water and fertiliser you apply. When thatch becomes excessive, the lawn may begin to root into the thatch layer instead of the soil. This is a problem as thatch does not hold water or nutrients. Thatch often becomes hydrophobic and prevents water and nutrients reaching lawn roots.

If your lawn is spongy to walk on you have too much thatch and it needs to be removed.  Thatch is typically removed by vertimowing or for some buffalo lawns grooming is preferrable.

Vertimowing in cooler weather can significantly slow the rate of recovery but if done in the warmer seasons, watered and fertilised adequately, your will lawn recover within a couple of weeks. Spring once the frosts have past and early Autumn are the best times to dethatch your lawn.

Compaction

Compacted soil can physically restrict grass roots from growing and receiving vital nutrients. Coring (with hollow tynes or solid tynes) is the process of creating vertical pathways for water, nutrients and oxygen to penetrate your soil.  This process also softens the soil by creating horizontal "cracks" in the soil.  This will allow the roots to penetrate deeper and reach vital nutrients and moisture.

Compaction is can result from excessive foot traffic and is typically in areas that are close to the front or back door, on road verges and under swings or clothes lines. Aeration can be done manually with a garden fork and wriggling it gently.

For larger home lawns and areas turf coring machines can be hired from local hire shops and there are many contractors that provide turf coring services for home lawns. 

Lawns under twelve months should not need aeration.  Established lawns generally require aerating annually to make the most of the water and nutrients applied but every lawn is different.  If your lawn feels hard underfoot or your suspect compaction is a problem test the area with a large screwdriver.  A large screwdriver should penetrate the ground easily when pushed in.  If it does not your lawn needs to aerated.

Fertilising

Lawn needs a wide variety of nutrients, many of which are present already in your soil. Three nutrients that are not readily available however, are nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium also known as NPK. Nitrogen helps to make your lawn lush and green, phosphorus helps to grow stronger roots and potassium helps to make the plant cope with a variety of weather conditions, pests and diseases.

It is advisable to use a fertiliser that contains NPK at a fairly balanced ratio. We recommend Eco Prime NPK Purple for lawns over 6 months old.

Apply NPK Purple at the maintenance rate every 6 – 8 weeks throughout the year. A heavier rate can be used just prior to Winter to keep the colour in your lawn. For a “quick” greening effect, Eco Prime EMERALD can be used, but it is not advisable to be used exclusively, as the high nitrogen will promote growth of the leaf but will not contribute to a healthy root system.

Watering

Good watering habits will benefit your lawn and also help you avoid the many problems associated with over and under watering. The best time to water your lawn is in the morning. This enables water to remain available to the lawn throughout the day. It is not recommended to water your lawn at night because the water will not be absorbed as effectively, leaving the lawn susceptible to fungal diseases. Hydrophobic soil is when the water cannot penetrate the surface and cannot be used by the lawn. One way to combat this problem is to use a good quality wetting agent such as Eco-Growth's Eco-Wet as part of your maintenance regime.

One indication that your lawn is stressed due to lack of water is a grey blue tinge, or the leaves will roll or fold vertically. Measuring how much water your sprinklers produce, is a good way to make sure you are watering at the correct rate. After fertilising it is recommended that extra water is applied to dissolve the fertiliser so that it can be used by your lawn.

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