Lawn and garden tips for beginners
Author: Adam Fitzhenry Date Posted:4 September 2019
Experience lawn and garden pride this spring with our beginner tips!
Maintaining and coming home to a brilliant green lawn and lovely garden is a great feeling! The grass feels superb under your feet and you can’t help but compare yours to your neighbours! Most Plant Doctor followers and Australian Lawn and Garden Fanatics can relate to this feeling, but for anyone with a thumb a few shades from green might not. Here’s a few tips and tricks so you can revel in the great satisfaction known as lawn and garden pride - because sunshine and water will only get you part of the way!
Get soil savvy
When it comes to lawns, turf and gardens, what we see above the ground reflects what’s going on below. There are many elements that soil needs to stay healthy including organic matter, minerals, air, water and living organisms. So, don’t just think about feeding your lawn or plants, think about feeding your soil too.
Think of fertiliser as food for your lawn and gardens. Now it’s no secret that at Plant Doctor we love organics and we’re not about to get into a chemical fertiliser versus organic fertiliser debate – we respect your choices. However, we do recommend using organic products or products with organic matter in them, even if just a little, as the more organic matter in your soil, the more water it will store and the more microbes it can feed.
We suggest searching for products that contain humic and fulvic acids for their natural chelating and soil improving properties, as these will help with nutrient uptake, reduce nutrient run-off (leaching) and minimise wastage as well.
The trick to watering is making sure your lawn and garden is never thirsty or bogged down. Most people suggest watering your lawns and gardens at least twice a week. But first of all, we should be looking at increasing the moisture retention of our soil. This is achieved by increasing the organic matter and using products like our Nature’s Soil Wetter, which will help improve the soil structure and increase the water holding capacity and our VolcaMin Zeolite, which is basically a magnet for nutrients and moisture.
During the summer months, you may need to water more frequently, but conditioning your soil will help you conserve water. Watering deeply will have a better chance of reaching the roots of the plants and lawn. Try avoiding watering at the hottest parts of the day, generally the best times are early morning or late afternoon. However, avoid watering during the evening in humid regions as this can encourage disease.
This might seem like an obvious tip because of course all lawn needs mowing! But as a beginner, you might not consider how, how often and how high. Instead of mowing whenever your neighbour’s lawn out-grooms your own or whenever you’re expecting guests, 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.
Believe it or not, even lawns need breathing space! Aeration allows moisture, nutrients and air to get down to the roots. To see if you need to aerate your lawn, have a look over it and if there is overgrown thatch or hard soil, you’ll need to start aerating.
Wait until the soil is moist, but 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 we don’t recommend aerating too often – once or twice per year is enough.