Here the Harden Park Lawns team list their top lawn care tips for going green in 2018:
Natural and Organic
Growing a healthy lawn in a natural and organic way might mean you need to take a different view of your lawn and what lies beneath – you must consider that your soil is alive.
The organisms that live in the soil below the grass have exactly the same needs that you and I do – to drink, eat, breathe, digest and excrete. The healthier we are the more likely it is that we will stay that way and develop naturally. Growing lawn in healthy soil will ensure it is lower-maintenance, disease resistant and drought tolerant.
Organic fertilisers are soil food that will nourish the organisms whereas chemical fertilisers just feed the plants directly. Chemical fertilisers also potentially cause damage to groundwater and waterways through runoff and that does no-one’s health any good.
You shouldn’t purchase any fertiliser or soil additives for your lawn unless you have first conducted a soil test and considered the results. You must know the exact needs of you lawn and the soil before you do anything else.
A soil test takes the guesswork out of what is really needed – and it’s better for your soil, plants, the environment and your wallet. A soil test will let you know how much nitrogen (N), potassium (K), phosphorus (P), lime, sulphur or other nutrients are required.
Take a closer look
Many people curse weeds but perhaps there is again a different approach to be had. By learning to identify the weeds that appear in your lawn you can see that your lawn and its soil are actually trying to tell you something – what it needs. Think of weeds as a natural early warning system – they can tell you what’s going on with the condition of the soil below.
While we can take many different avenues to eliminate the weeds – chemical or natural – they will continue to come back until the soil conditions are dealt with so perhaps it’s best to heed the message the weeds bring.
An alternative approach to pests
Very few insects do any real damage to our lawns so complete annihilation with harsh chemical should never be the ultimate goal.
A gentler approach to lawn pests:
- Avoid chemical, synthetic fertilisers with high levels of nitrogen. These types of fertilisers promote rapid growth in a short period of time – insects see this as an invitation to feast and will attack the lawn plants in greater numbers;
- Find a natural, food-grade pesticide that is safe to be used around children and pets – if it’s safe for them then it’s good for a living lawn;
- Consider a natural solution – beneficial nematodes or traps can be beneficial to your lawn, your family and the local environment.
Choose the right grass
Not all lawns are the same – some varieties prefer full sun while others are shade tolerant, some varieties tolerate traffic well while others suffer from compaction quite easily, and some varieties need a lot of water while others are drought tolerant – so it’s important to have the right lawn for your local conditions.
Some newer varieties of turf have been designed to grow more slowly and to resist disease which equates to a lower need for pesticides, watering and mowing. The lower the need for these things, the lower the cost of maintenance, the lower the air pollution from lawn mowers and the lower the amount of water required to maintain a healthy, green lawn.
Good luck going green in 2018!