Do you ever walk past a house with a beautifully lush, green lawn and think to yourself, “how in the world is that possible?”
Well, we’re about to fill you in on how to not only achieve that picture-perfect healthy green grass, but how to maintain it throughout all four seasons too. Whether it’s those 35+ degree scorchers or those gloomy winter months where the sun shies away for days to weeks on end, you’ll be able to keep that lawn of yours as resilient as ever, no matter what comes its way.
It’s all about establishing a solid foundation and maintaining your lawn from there on out.
Don’t worry – it’s not as hard as it sounds. We’re here to break it all down with some simple lawn care tips that even beginners can easily put into practice!
Aeration is a must
Aerating is the process of creating small holes in the soil throughout the lawn allowing water, air, fertilisers and nutrients to penetrate and be optimally absorbed by the grassroots. This promotes the growth of deeper and stronger roots, ultimately leading to a healthy and robust lawn. The more your lawn wears down from kids and pets running around the yard, the more the soil becomes compacted, resulting in less air distribution. If this is the case with your lawn, all the more reason to aerate!
There are various lawn aerators on the market that guarantee effective penetration, from aerating sandals with spiked soles to drum roller aerators.
If you’re tight on budget, you can always use a good old garden fork to perforate the soil. If so, 8cm is a good number to remember. Aim for 8cm deep holes, 8cm apart from each other.
We recommend aerating once a year or a few times a year for compacted soil.
Fertilise, fertilise, fertilise!
Just like we humans need nutrients to thrive and be healthy, our lawns need to be fed too. Nourishing the perforated soil with some essential nutrients is absolutely key in achieving the lawn of your dreams.
With the plethora of lawn fertilisers out there, it can be a mission to decide which ones to go for.
Fast-release fertilisers are favoured by many, as the soil immediately absorbs the nutrients. But, slow-release fertilisers provide prolonged feeding and are less prone to “burning” – this is when the grass becomes scorched and turns brown as a result of over-fertilisation.
Both organic and synthetic fertilisers will be just as effective as each other in terms of nutrient processing and absorption, as soil and grass cannot distinguish between the two. But, they also have their pros and cons. For example, organic fertilisers improve water retention, but synthetic fertilisers are less messy and easier to apply.
We recommend trying out different fertilisers to see what works best. Some fertiliser products can be attached directly to your hose, giving you an even spray of water and nutrients onto your beloved lawn.
“When should I feed my lawn?”
- Mid to late autumn – Before winter hits and your lawn goes into dormancy, applying a fertiliser high in potassium will keep it protected and resilient.
- Early spring – When September rolls around, get your fertilising on. Applying a fertiliser high in nitrogen will wake your lawn up from its winter hibernation, promoting growth.
- Early summer – Before it starts to really heat up, applying another round of fertiliser will prepare your lawn for the Aussie summer.
Feeding your lawn three times a year specifically during these periods will promote growth and make the upkeep of your lawn much easier.
H2O to make it grow
Though this one may seem like a no-brainer, there are some simple mistakes people often make when watering the lawn.
Giving your lawn a generous watering after fertilising is a step that must not be missed if you want to promote healthy growth and significantly reduce the risk of burning.
But keep in mind that just like fertiliser, too much water can be a bad thing. Although watering for a few minutes every day may sound like a good idea, all you will be getting is a shallow-rooted lawn and its survival will depend on its daily dose of H2O. A much better option is to give your lawn a deep watering twice a week. This will teach your lawn to become more drought-tolerant.
Less frequent, deeper waterings trump frequent shallow ones any day of the week, any month of the year.
During the summer, watering early in the morning before the heat hits (around 10AM), or in the evening before the sun sets (4-6PM), will ensure the roots absorb most of the water and dry quickly, preventing the growth of any diseases like fungus. Watering your lawn when the temperature is peaking, is like tipping a glass of water on a forest fire…the effect is negligible. Most of the water will evaporate before it even has the chance to be absorbed.
Don’t mow too low
During the summer, make sure you raise the cutting height of your lawnmower. The long blades mean the roots will be protected and the grass won’t dry out as quickly.
Although it depends on the amount of rainfall, mow the lawn every 2-3 weeks in summer to keep it looking fresh, clean and tidy.
Here’s another number to remember – mowing your lawn approximately 5cm high keeps it at a safe height.
During winter and late autumn when soil moisture rises, dropping the mower blade down a couple of centimetres shouldn’t be an issue. You can also go by the “one-third rule”, originating from a study conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture – it says to not cut more than one-third of the height.
Take this tip on board and you’ll also improve your lawn’s ability to resist those pesky, persistent, stubborn weeds.
You may need to overseed
Too much of a good thing can be a bad thing, right?…your lawn may be an exception. If you’ve achieved that amazing green lawn you’ve always wanted but can still spot small, dull-looking patches of grass, “overseeding” may just work a treat in rejuvenating those areas.
By planting grass seeds directly into the turf without tearing up and penetrating the soil, you’ll be able to bring those patches into good health. Overseeding in autumn will allow enough time for the seeds to establish before winter comes around, and overseeding in spring will allow those seeds to sprout and bring that patch back to life.
Your neighbours will be green with envy when they see that the grass is greener on the other side! Puns aside, implementing these tips is a sure way to transform your lacklustre lawn into something to be truly proud of.