Date Posted:3 February 2022
Follow these 5 simple lawn-relationship tips to get your yard looking green and good!
If you’re like me, you know next to nothing about gardening, let alone lawn maintenance. However, in the last month I’ve relocated to a new house and have found myself responsible for a lawn which, since moving in, has started to look a little less than fresh, especially as the summer temperatures have started to soar.
If you’ve found yourself in a similar situation, fear not! I’m here to help you forge a strong and ever-lasting love between you and your lawn. To save you precious time and energy, I’ve gone to the trouble of consulting the kind folks at Plant Doctor to bring you their top lawncare tips for beginners to help your lawn thrive during the scotching summer months.
A good place to start any relationship is taking the time to get to know each other on a deeper level – same goes for your lawn. Do your homework and find out what type of grass your lawn has. The most common Aussie backyard grass varieties are Buffalo, Zoysia, Bermuda, Kikuyu and Couch.
But don’t stop here, go deeper – it’s not just about your grass, think about your soil too! There are many elements soil needs to stay healthy, including organic matter, minerals, air, water and living organisms. Learning more about these two components will help you develop an effective plan of attack to get your lawn looking lush.
They say the way to your true love’s heart is good food. With that in mind, think of fertiliser as soul food for your lawn. However, it’s worth noting that not all fertilisers are created equal. Plant Doctor recommends choosing products containing organic matter as this helps to better store water and, in turn, feeds microbes which are beneficial for soil health.
Choose fertilisers containing humic and fulvic acids for their natural chelating and soil improving properties which will help with nutrient uptake, reduce nutrient run-off (leaching) and minimise wastage. One of Plant Doctor’s recommendations is Champion Lawn & Fairway Fertiliser, a sustained release mineral fertiliser designed to provide an initial charge for turf and lawns and provide sustained nutrition for up to 3 months.
If your lawn is like mine, you may have noticed a few dark patches appearing here and there. Don't wait until your lawn is completely bare to do something. Avoid serious issues arising later and patch them up with seed, runners or sprigs. Dig over the bare spot, rake smooth, and apply slow-release lawn food and water with a soil-wetting agent.
This helps break the surface tension of soils to ensure the soil doesn't repel liquids, improves water penetration and holding capacity. Regular application will help improve the soil structure of sandy soils and help break down clay soils. Plant Doctor recommends using Nature’s Soil Wetter which combines premium complex organic compounds and cutting-edge colloidal technology to produce an environmentally friendly, concentrated, predominantly plant-derived soil wetting agent and soil conditioner.
Just like in any relationship, sometimes lawns need breathing space. Over time, soil can become compacted from heavy use and create thinner or bare areas. Aerating your lawn can help moisture, nutrients and air to filter down to the grass roots. If you start to notice overgrown thatch or hard soil, wait until the soil is moist, not wet, as this will ensure that the aerator you choose will work well.
Generally, the best times to aerate are in the spring and autumn, but Plant Doctor doesn’t recommend aerating too often – once or twice per year is enough. After aerating, spread a fine layer of sand or a top-dressing mix, such as Champion Lawn Fertiliser (choose from either Fairway 2-4mm or Greens 1-2mm), so particles can filter into the holes.
This might seem a bit obvious, but as a beginner like me, you might not know how, how often or even how high to mow your lawn. However, I’ve discovered a good rule of thumb is to follow the ‘one-third rule’. This involves mowing often enough to avoid cutting more than one-third of the grass height at once. So, if you set your mower at 40mm, avoid letting the grass grow more than 60mm tall before mowing.
Although regular mowing encourages lawns to thicken up, shorter grass isn’t optimal during hotter and drier periods, so make sure to slightly raise the height of your lawn mower to leave the grass longer, providing shade and natural cooling to the roots and soil. Lastly, another useful tip I discovered is to leave your grass cuttings on the lawn, as they quickly break down and nourish the soil.
By following these five simple lawn-relationship tips, you shouldn’t have any problems forging a strong, healthy bond with your lawn – if all goes well, your relationship will flourish and become much more than just a frivolous summer fling.
Happy gardening, folks!
First time owning lawn. Gave the team at plant doctor a ring and they supplied me with a wealth of information. Products turned up quickly.
Will definitely be getting more 8 weeks difference been using stimulizer, activ8mate, soil wetter, seaweed secrets and champion fertiliser. Was super fast delivery.
Amazing products!! The results are excellent and the prices are even better! Postage was only 2 days as well. Highly recommended!
Only have great things to say about Plant Doctor. Organic products and a competitive price, fast shipping and easy to contact with questions. Have had great results with the special mix for lawns, and my plants (indoor and outdoor) love the seaweed secrets. I am excited to test out some of the animal products soon!