Date Posted:11 January 2023
Is it time for a lawn reno? If so, Plant Doctor has a simple but effective 5-step guide with these garden maintenance and lawn care tips.
We all love the look of a green and healthy lawn! Even better is when people gawk and neighbours become envious! If you're trying to achieve the lawn of your dreams this season and are a beginner in lawn and garden care, we've got you covered.
To get your lawn looking mint, you need to overhaul your lawn care and consider a lawn renovation. Most lawn renovations involve a simple yet effective five-step process, most of which can be completed over a couple of days.
Please keep reading about how to tackle your lawn renovation with these garden maintenance and lawn care tips.
Step 1 – Scalp the lawn
We know scalping the lawn may sound counterproductive, especially if you're a beginner in this space. But cutting the lawn right back with a rotary mower is essential for creating lush new growth.
Why do I need to scalp the lawn? The answer is simple; you need to scalp the lawn to remove thatch's build-up, and it's also an excellent time to reset the HOC (Height of cut). Thatch is the layer of organic material between the grass and the soil. While a little is necessary for a healthy lawn, thatch can cause issues when it builds up too much.
You could be wasting money applying fertilisers to your lawn if it has a thick layer of thatch, which can build up so much that it prevents water and the much-needed nutrients from reaching the soil.
Be prepared; scalping the lawn will take longer than your regular mow, as you'll need to go over the area a few times, gradually lowering the blades each time. Your lawn may look miserable after it's been scalped, but it is an essential step and will help you improve your lawn game.
It's also important to note that lawn scalping is only suitable for certain types of lawn. Blue couch, for instance, is fast-growing, resilient and has deep roots, so it copes well with scalping. On the other hand, Buffalo won't recover as quickly and has shallower roots. You could cut Buffalo back short, but less than you would with blue couch.
Make sure you research and consider your grass type when considering scalping the lawn.
Step 2 – core or aerate the ground
The next step in lawn renovation is to core or aerate your lawn. Aerating helps improve and promote lawn growth as it helps open the soil and reduce soil compaction. When the ground is compacted, water, air and nutrients cannot penetrate the soil as quickly. Perforation of the ground will encourage better lawn growth and help the roots to grow deep.
Spike aerators or even a pitchfork are sufficient for a small area when the ground is not very compacted, but core aerators will produce a much better result and can be hired on a daily basis from most hire yards. Core aerating removes plugs of soil from the ground, allowing maximum oxygen, water and nutrient uptake.
Coring will leave holes in your lawn afterwards, which you will need to collect by either raking or mowing over them. The best time to core is when your soil is moist but not saturated.
Step three – fertilise your lawn
Fertilising the lawn is essential in maintaining and boosting the nutrient requirements of soil and grass so they remain healthy and in mint condition.
Now that you've aerated the lawn, this is the perfect time to fertilise the lawn with a slow-release granular fertiliser such as Champion Lawn and Greens Grade Fertiliser. This mineral fertiliser will provide an initial charge to the soil and deliver sustained nutrients for up to three months.
It's also the ideal time to fertilise using liquids, as they'll be able to get deep into the soil. Our favourites include Stimulizer, Activ8mate, Seaweed Secrets and Nature's Wetter Soil.
Activ8mate will help stimulate grass growth while feeding the soil, helping to green the lawn and ensuring it remains healthy for the summer ahead.
Step four – top dressing your lawn
After aerating, it's time to top-dress the lawn, which involves spreading a thin layer of sand across your lawn to fill the holes and help level the mowing surface area.
Using a screened, double-washed river sand mix is perfect, and you can find this via local sand and soil suppliers; they will help determine how much you need depending on the size of your lawn. When top dressing, aim for about 10mm of the thickness of your sand mixture, and it's essential to ensure the grass blade tips are still exposed to help with photosynthesis.
The next part is easy, spread the sand evenly over your lawn. If you've got low points in the lawn, apply the mixture up to 10mm over the entire lawn. A second application may be required to improve the uneven parts of the lawn to ensure the grass tips are still visible.
Step five – time to water
Once you've spread the top dressing mixture evenly over your lawn, you'll need to water it well. As this is an arduous process on the lawn, it's important to continue watering it regularly for the next two weeks. Ideally, you should water your lawn early morning, ensuring you're using enough water to provide a good soaking deep down to the roots. Watering late afternoon or in the evening can encourage various lawn diseases.
If you're giving the above lawn renovation process a go, remember to post your pics on Facebook and Instagram and tag @plantdoctorau so we can share your posts!
Amazing information25 April 2023It is very informative blog, I am also working for a construction related firm so it is more beneficial for me.
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!