As one of the most beloved and best-trodden areas of the home, looking after your Perth turf is essential if you want it to not only look great but last the distance.
Maintaining your Perth turf does require a little care and effort—but if you take the right measures consistently, you will reap great rewards.
So, If you live in Perth, WA and you want to keep your turf green with an emerald sheen all year round, here are the turf maintenance tips you need in your life.
How to Look After Your Turf The Right Way
Let’s get started.
1) Watering your turf
You probably know that grass needs regular watering to keep it alive—but, knowing how often to water your lawn will mean the difference between good and great.
In Western Australia, you should water your lawn once or twice a week for 30 minutes during the cooler months. And, during the hotter seasons, watering your lawn three to four times a week for around an hour at a time will get the very best results.
If you can, use sprinklers earlier in the day for better turf absorption and a richer more even spread of water.
For detailed advice on how to keep your turf looking green and vibrant during the summer, read our step-by-step watering guide.
2) Dethatching your turf
Once your turf takes and establishes itself, you may start to experience a build-up of mulch, leaves, and dead grass, sandwiches between the grass and soil—this is known as ‘thatch.’
An excessive build-up of thatch often stops essential moisture and nutrients from getting to your turf‘s roots—which, after a while, can kill your grass stone dead.
To keep your Perth turf in good shape, you should commit to dethatching it between once or twice a month.
To dethatch your lawn the right way, gently rake your grass, pushing down deep to reach the thatch and loosen it up. If you have a big lawn, investing in a power thatcher is a wise move.
Once you’ve finished the dethatching process, working through one section at a time, you should dispose of the thatch in a suitable bag or container and examine your turf to make sure you haven’t missed a spot.
3) Aerating your turf
If you want to ensure your WA turf is in fighting form throughout the year, you should monitor the compaction or hardness of your lawn/soil and aerate as required. And, the good news is—aerating the lawn is simple yet satisfying!
Aeration is the concept of punching small holes in your turf at certain depths (typically 75 -100mm apart and 50- 100mm deep for home lawns). Aeration or coring softens the soil by creating “cracks” in the soil profile making it easier for roots to grow. Although some grasses like couch can tolerate compact ground all grasses grow better and more economically in soft soil as the roots do not have to physically push through the hard dirt. In addition weeds are more tolerant of hard ground than grass or turf so the aim is to maintain grass and turf friendly environment to give your lawn the best chance to compete out weeds.
You don’t need anything fancy to aerate your lawn effectively—a standard garden fork will do the trick—but, if you have a big lawn, you can hire our Cam corer for the day or even two. Get together with your neighbours even and share the cost. You will easily get through multiples home lawns in a day and this machine is highly effective.
We also have pto driven equipment available for dry hire and our large commercial equipment services are available with an operator.
4) Fertilising your turf
Before applying your fertiliser we recommend checking the valuable water you apply is going to reach where it is needed and take your fertiliser there too. This applies to granular and foliar fertiliser as the run off from foliar fertilisers is taken up by the roots too. You can do this by using our Troubleshooting your Lawn guide.
Fertilising your turf starts on the day you lay/install your new lawn.
You do not need to choose a fertiliser specific to your lawn variety. Fertiliser choice is determined by what your lawn needs.
Please refer to our installation guide for advice for advice on how to fertilise your new roll-on or stolon (runner) lawn.
To maintain a healthy, happy lawn we recommend EcoGrowth’s Eco Purple every 8 weeks.
If you are looking to improve your lawn’s colour we recommend EcoGrowth’s Emerald Green and Floratine’s Knife Plus.
To improve your lawn’s root growth we recommend EcoGrowth’s Eco Red and Floratine’s Protesyn.
If you would like advice specific to your lawn and situation please use our FREE Turf Maintenance and Renovation Advice form and Lara Lovegrove will answer your questions. Using the right fertiliser at the right time will help you achieve the happy, healthy and economical lawn you deserve.
We recommend the use of foliar fertilisers but particularly in the colder, winter months. Please do not apply granular fertilisers once the heavy winter rains have started without seeking advice from our experienced staff first.
5) Mowing you turf
Regular mowing is an important part of turf maintenance. Fortunately turf is self-repairing and very forgiving so if you don’t get it right the first time or even the second you can learn from your previous mows and work out what works for you, your lifestyle and your lawn.
If your turf has been freshly laid, you should wait a few weeks for it to settle before mowing.
Turf is ready to be mowed when the rolls do not lift when you gently tug on the leaf. This indicates the roots have grown enough to hold your turf in place and can withstand the traffic of mowing.
Never mow more than 1/3 of your lawn’s leaf height off at a time or you will end up with a patchy, straw like result as you have scalped you lawn. This scalped material careates ‘future thatch’ and contributes to water repellency. If you would like to lower the height of your lawn do it in stages by mowing more frequently and keeping to the no more than 1/3 of the leaf rule. Allow atleast a couple of days between mows for your lawn to recover.
Turf mowing height is a personal preference and something you may enjoy experimenting with. Some keen lawnies keep their Wintergreen couch as low as 3mm. Others prefer a longer lusher look and mow at 30mm and higher. Generally we recommend a higher height of cut for Buffalo lawns and lawn in shaded areas. Lawn should also be mowed higher in winter.
A couple of other important points include;
- Make sure your mower blades are sharp. This is important to minimize your lawn’s risk of disease and reduce energy wasted on leaf wound repair
- Check your mower for oil leaks
- Do not service your mower on the lawn to avoid spills
- Many weeds can’t tolerate low mowing so regular mowing will help weed control
- Regular mowing encourages horizontal growth and a nice dense canopy which looks great, feels great and is difficult for weeds to penetrate
If you would like to reduce the frequency you need to mow your lawn in the growing season. Talk to our friendly staff about Plant Growth Regulator’s (PGR’s) like Astro.
All of our new turf comes with a weed-free guarantee and we will even maintain your lawn after it’s been installed.
With over 100 years of collective experience in Perth Turf in the Lovegrove Family alone we can help you achieve the happy, healthy and economical lawn you want. Contact us for a FAST obligation-free quote on our turf or any of our tried and tested turf products.