Caring for your lawn

The appearance of your lawn depends entirely on the care it receives. Are you following the right mowing guidelines? Are you watering the lawn as you should? How are you controlling weeds on your lawn? What fertilizers do you use and when do you fertilize? All these determine how healthy your lawn will be. You do not have to put in so much time, effort and money in maintaining your lawn. You just need to know how to do it right.

Lawn mowing

How you mow largely contributes to the general appearance of your lawn. Before mowing your lawn, it is important to understand the mowing height requirements of the grass on your lawn. Most grass types require you to leave at least 3 inches of grass when you mow. This is because when cut too low, leaf exposure is reduced resulting in low photosynthesis. When grass fails to produce enough food for its sustenance, the root system will fail and eventually the quality of the lawn will drop. Cutting the grass too low will also affect the grass’ ability to fight disease and increase the possibilities of succumbing to dry weather conditions. You will also be required to water your lawn more frequently as most of the water is lost through evaporation.

The mowing equipment you use also plays an important role in the lawn mowing process. When investing in a lawn mower, you need to understand the needs and demands of your lawn so that you get an equipment that is designed for the area. For example, if your lawn has steep areas, some lawn mowers may not do well when tilted. You therefore need to talk to a professional about the gradient on your property when purchasing a lawn mower.

If your lawn mower works well on your lawn, you need to regularly check the blades for sharpness. Over time, just like other blades, those on the lawn mower will need to be sharpened if they are to continue working efficiently. Blunt blades cause damage to the grass since they leave the grass with a serrated edge that makes the grass vulnerable to drying as well as diseases. For a lawn to be healthy, the cut needs to be sharp and precise.

Edging and trimming

Trimming refers to the cutting of long stray grasses on the lawn. Edging on the other hand refers to the vertical grooming of the edges of the lawn to give it a great final finish. When mowing the lawn, it is important to remember that there will always be areas the lawn mower will not be able to reach. These are usually the hard to reach areas. Some of these areas include where there are benches, flower beds, mail boxes, poles and swing sets. To make the lawn even, trimming and edging will be necessary.

Without trimming and edging, your lawn would likely start developing weeds especially on the edges of the lawn. It is important that the same rules in mowing apply in trimming. You need to leave at least 3 inches of the grass. You are simply leveling the grass to be the same height as the mowed area.

Tips for edging and trimming

  • If you have trouble bending, you can get long handled sheers to make the edging easier
  • If you want perfect straight edges, you can use a plank of wood as a guide. If you need different shapes, like a curve, you can use a garden hose as a guide.
  • If you find the growth of your edges a little demanding, you may consider using lawn edging barriers to halt this growth.
  • Always mow your lawn first before you go to trimming and edging
  • Wear protective eye gear when trimming since there is a chance of debris entering your eyes
  • Edging every two weeks or so will keep your edge looking neat always

Do you feel overwhelmed? We can imagine, but don’t worry we take care of lawns in various arious of Perth. Our areas are:

Joondalup, Beckenham, Baldivis 

We also serve the greater Sydney area.

Fertilizing your patch of grass

Your lawn needs nutrients for it to have a healthy growth. The nutrients in the soil will not be enough to sustain your lawn for long. You need to boost the nutrient intake of the grass over time. Your lawn needs fertilizing at least four times a year for it to have a lush, green and healthy growth. A thick growth ensures weeds are denied space to sprout and grow.

Steps to follow when fertilizing your lawn

  • Days before your lawn is due for fertilizing, water it well. This way the soil will be ready for the fertilizer.
  • Ensure you have the right spreader for your lawn. When investing in a spreader, you need to consider the size of your lawn and the efficiency of the spreader. You also need to consider how energy efficient the spreader is.
  • Start with the edges to ensure you do not miss them.
  • Just as you do when mowing, walk back and forth while overlapping to ensure you do not miss any spots.
  • If any fertilizer remains, put it in a bag and store it well until your lawn is due for another feed.

Importance of aeration

Over time, soil becomes compact and air, water and nutrients do not penetrate into it as is required. Aeration is the process of perforating the soil by creating small holes or removing soil plugs so as to allow easy access of these necessary elements for a healthy lawn. If your lawn has a heavy thatch, it may need to be reduced to allow air to circulate efficiently and be utilized by the grass during photosynthesis.

How to tell if your lawn needs aeration

  • If your lawn is exposed to heavy foot traffic
  • If the grass on your lawn dries out easily
  • If your lawn was grown in an area where soil layering exists. If soil of fine texture was poured on course compact soil, chances are, most of the water is retained by the top soil denying the roots the opportunity to grow and penetrate the course soil. Aeration will help solve this problem resulting in a healthy growth.

Tools used in aeration

A spike aerator and plug aerator are the commonly used tools for aeration. A spike aerator is used to pokes holes in the ground using its folk ends. The plug aerator on the other hand is used to remove soil plugs. The recommended plug size is 2-3 inches deep and 0.5 inches wide. The plugs need to be at least 3inches apart.

How often and when to water your lawn

Watering your lawn early in the morning gives your lawn time to soak in the water during the day. Since morning hours are usually cool and less windy, there are reduced chances of evaporating. You also do not run the risk of exposing your lawn to fungal diseases due to water retention, which is usually the case when you water your lawn in the evening. Watering during the day when the temperatures are high means the water will evaporate long before the lawn has had the chance to utilize it.

An inch of water every week is the recommended quantity of water for your lawn. It takes an average of half an hour to get at least half an inch. To get an inch, you need to water your lawn for at least 20 minutes three times a week. Watering thrice a week is ideal when it is warm. When it is cooler and the lawn is retaining more water than usual, watering can be reduced to twice a week. It is important to remember that too much water will ruin your lawn.

How to get rid of weeds

Mowing is a great way of managing weeds on your lawn. However, there are times when you may be forced to get rid of the weeds, especially when mowing is not keeping them at bay. There are several ways to control weeds without the use of chemicals.

  • Corn gluten meal contains nitrogen so it will be great for your grass while at the same time destructive to the weeds. It is best to apply it before the appearance of weeds since applying it when the weeds have already appeared means you will be feeding them just as you would your grass.
  • Fertilize your lawn adequately since a thick lawn is a great way of fighting weeds. This way they do not have space nor the light to grow.

6 interesting facts about grass and lawns

  • Grass cleans the air through photosynthesis
  • The giant bamboo can grow up to 151 feet tall, making it one of the largest grass variety.
  • A family of four can comfortably utilize oxygen produced by a 2500 square foot lawn
  • Grass can grow anywhere including in the polar regions
  • The most significant source of food is grass. This includes barley and oats consumed by human beings and grass for animals.
  • Your lawn can keep your house cooler since it utilizes the sun rays before it is absorbed by the ground.

 

 

5 types of grass in Australia

Kikuyu grass

This is a fast-growing grass which requires little maintenance for it to achieve a healthy growth. It also repairs pretty fast when it has been damaged. It is however important to note that unlike many grass types, the kikuyu grass needs frequent mowing to keep it under control as it is very invasive.

Buffalo grass

This grass has undergone changes over the years. It used to be coarse with sharp blades. Today’s buffalo grass is softer and more resilient. Compared to other grass types, buffalo grass is more tolerant of shade. It is also less invasive compared to other grass types. The recommended mowing height for this grass is 3-6 inches.

Couch grass

This is one of the most popular grass found in most lawns in Australia. This is because of the improved color, softness, drought tolerance and its ability to grow just about anywhere. When damaged, this grass repairs quite easily. It is highly intolerant of shading and grows perfectly when fully exposed to sunny conditions.

Zoysia grass

There are different types of Zoysia grass but the most common one grown in Australia is Empire Zoysia. This grass is highly adaptable to different conditions and is not demanding when it comes to maintenance. Its ability to resist weeds, diseases and pests as well as its shade tolerance properties has made this grass type a favorite for many.  It is also an easy to maintain grass type as it does not require much watering, mowing or fertilizing for it to remain healthy.

Tall Fescue

This grass type does pretty well when grown in shade. It is often blended with other grass types because it fits in irrespective of the grass type it has been blended with. When it goes for a long time without water, it goes dormant but easily re-establishes itself when watering is resumed. It is however important to note that when exposed to extremely harsh conditions, the recovery process is not fast neither is it easy.

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Make an appointment for our gardener to come to your home to discuss your needs. We service Perth NOR. You can also call us at 1300 1212 55 or e-mail us at hello@thehappygardeners.com.au

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