Lawn care in far north Queensland involves more than just the occasional mow. While freshly-mowed lawns do look great, it’s more cosmetic than anything else. Complete lawn care means doing a bit more than pushing the mower around your backyard every few weeks. But as many of us equate lawn care with lawn mowing, it’s a great place to start this short ‘how to make your lawn feel good’ guide.
When mowing your lawn, don’t cut the grass too short. By mowing your grass to within an inch of its life, you might not have to mow again for a while but you could be causing some serious damage to the lawn plants. Some lawns, such as Sir Walter, don’t grow as well if cut too short. Longer grass is not as prone to scorching and the ‘shadowing’ effect from taller blades of grass can curtail the growth of weeds, which need sunlight to thrive. Make sure your mower blades are sharp and give a clean cut – blunt blades can bruise grass. And if it’s been raining, wait until the lawn is properly dry before starting up your mower. Mowing a still-damp lawn can cause the soil to compact and the tracks left in the lawn by lawnmower wheels look awful; it can also be a slip hazard.
Most grass varieties need more than the odd bit of rain followed by a sunny day. Your lawn care regime should also include a quarterly application of fertiliser. You might think your lawn can look after itself and that fertiliser is for vegetable and flower gardens, but fertilising your lawn can do wonders for its health and appearance. Lawn fertiliser is clean, safe to handle, and easy to apply – even easier if you get a professional to do it! Many lawn feed formulas also contain wetting agents for better water penetration into the soil- this reduces the need to irrigate your lawn, a real time and water-saver. If you want lasting results use a slow release fertiliser like palletised chicken manure. For a quick result use a fertiliser high in nitrogen. The more nitrogen in a fertiliser, the quicker the result and the shorter it will last. A balanced fertiliser with iron traces is best.
Lawn maintenance in far north Queensland is made trickier because of the weather. Torrential downpours during a tropical storm can flood streets – and lawns. To handle such a deluge in such a short space of time, you should invest a little time and money in lawn aeration and coring. This allows the lawn to soak up the rainwater and disperse it below the roots, instead of it having to endure grass-drowning puddles. You can also help improve drainage by not parking your car, caravan or boat on your lawn. This extreme weight causes the soil to compact, and this compaction acts like a barrier to water. Apart from all this, make sure your levels when preparing your new lawn are correct and water flows away from low areas.
In drier times, in fact at any time, lawn irrigation is a sensitive issue. We must always conserve water no matter how full the dams are, so water storage devices or the use of grey water and other eco-friendly options, are worth investigating. A turf supplies or landscape supplies professional will have lots of ideas on how you can irrigate without wasting water. Your lawn will always respond to deep watering less often rather than shallow, frequent watering.
Getting rid of weeds, disease and pests
Your lawn is a living thing, and the ultimate step in lawn care is to give it a check-up every now and again. That brown patch in your lawn might not be there because of a lack of water, or something similarly mundane. It could be disease, pests or weeds that have done the damage, and the longer these things go untreated, the worse that brown patch will get. A lawn professional can come in and give your lawn a thorough check. They’ll see things the untrained eye cannot and, like any good lawn doctor, they’ll prescribe something to help rid your lawn of weeds, disease, pests…or all three! The important thing is to identify the problem early.
The ultimate feel better tip
When your best efforts at lawn care fail, you might need to replace the odd patch, or even the whole lawn, with new slabs of turf. Ready-to-lay turf might be the only solution if disease or pests have damaged your current lawn to such an extent that it is incurable. If weeds have overrun your lawn, laying new turf will allow you to make a fresh start, and keep on top of weeds once and for all. Laying turf is not exactly lawn care as such – but it will allow you to embark on an effective lawn maintenance plan once it is laid. And your ‘instant lawn’ will certainly look great.
Lawn mowing is one thing – but when it comes to lawn care it is not the only thing. For more information on how to make you lawn feel better just contact the lawn care specialists at Harden Park Lawns.