Phone: 0419 121 121

Spring and Summer Lawn Care

This time of year sees lawns around Melbourne spring into life. Most have been dormant over winter but the increase in day and night temperatures in conjunction with an increase in daylight hours quickly awaken lawns from their slumber.

Just as the lawns are becoming active, so too are we. Naturally, we all want to enjoy our lawn areas as the weather improves, whether it is having a BBQ, a spot of backyard Cricket or just lying on it and reading a book.

However, your lawn could have a few of the issues I am going to discuss which could adversely affect your lawns health and your ability to enjoy that lawn. Please read on as I try to help you, the home gardener with some cost effective solutions to common lawn problems that you can implement and complete yourself.

 

SEPTEMBER- OK, now that you no longer have to crank up the ducted heating or wear bad socks, and the footy finals have begun, it’s time to start thinking about your lawn.

Overnight temperatures are on the up and so is your lawns growth.

Now is the time to increase the frequency of mowing. During winter, most Melbournians have been mowing every four weeks. I like to start mowing fortnightly now but never take too much off. Just tip mow the lawn.

A strong, lush lawn is the best defence against weeds and the increasing heat.

Some lawns build up a spongy layer called thatching http://www.thelawnguide.com.au/lawn-care/lawn-care/22-lawn-care/147-what-is-thatch.html

If this is the case with your lawn, then I recommend that you cut your lawn quite short and collect the clippings. You may have to cut your lawn a couple of times to get it down to the desired level. Yes, it’s going to look ugly for a while, but, “if you’re going to make an omelette, you’ve got to break some eggs”. After mowing, apply a good dose of fertilizer and water it in well.

 

OCTOBER- Mowing can continue on a regular basis but never cutting too short. If you have not had to remove thatching, then now is a great time to apply some fertilizer to your lawn. Do not forget to water this in or apply when rain is expected. Once the fertilizer has started to take affect, (1-2 weeks) you can start to think about spraying any weeds you have in the lawn. One of the products available to the home gardener is Bin Die http://www.bunnings.com.au/amgrow-250ml-bin-die-selective-lawn-weeder_p2990227

This selective herbicide attacks the weed but not the lawn. It is also one of the only chemicals that is safe to use on Buffalo lawns.

It is also a good time to top-dress with sand or over sow any bare patches with seed.

If your lawn has moss through it, you may want to consider treating this now with Sulphate of Iron http://www.yates.com.au/products/fertilising/specialised/yates-sulphate-of-iron/

 

NOVEMBER- Continue mowing regularly with the aim of establishing the summer cut height. Leaving your lawn longer will protect it from the sun and wind and will restrict the amount of light available to any weed seeds.

Give your lawn another dose of fertilizer four to six weeks after the initial dose to get it ready for the rigours of summer.

Continue weed spraying if necessary.

If the weather is hot and dry, you may want to consider watering the lawn.

 

DECEMBER- If the weather has been dry, please consider raising the mowing height.

Deep and frequent watering is advisable to train the grass roots to submerge into the soil rather than cling to the surface, therefore further protecting it from the sun. Many people I see splash water around with a hose. For the most part, they are wasting water and not really helping their lawn in the long run. A once a week soaking is preferable to hosing every couple of days.

Continue spraying for weeds.

Some lawns may start showing signs of Dollar Spot

http://nuturf.com.au/files/2011/10/Tech-Bulletin-Issue-4.pdf

This can be treated using an appropriate Fungicide such as Mancozeb Plus

http://www.bunnings.com.au/fungicide-yates-150g-mancozeb-pls-53850_p3010237

 

JANUARY- Keep mowing at least every 14 days.

If you have been fertilizing the lawn, now is a good time to give it a light feed.

Weeds can be a problem at this time of year, so keep up with your weed-spraying program.

 

FEBRUARY- Still mowing at summer height and spraying any weeds or fungal diseases that may appear.

Feed the lawn in preparation for autumn and do not forget to water.

 

I hope that you have been following these steps and have enjoyed a green and healthy lawn over spring and summer.

Of course, whenever using chemicals of any sort, always wear protective clothing and never stray from the manufacturers instructions.

Please check with your local authority re any water restrictions that may apply in your area as well.

 

Hope you enjoyed my latest instalment, and if I can help you in any way, please contact me on 0419 121 121 or via the Contact Us page.

 

Thanks for visiting!

John

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