Your lawn is a long term investment. And much like the family dog, it will require some training, care and patience!
When your lawn begins to look untidy it is probably time to mow – this should usually be 2 – 3 weeks after installation in the warmer months. Mow often, generally removing no more than 1/3 of the leaf. To keep lawn looking its best we recommend the use of a reel mower especially for Wintergreen and to keep your mower blades sharp.
The first year your lawn may require extra water during the hot summer months. Generally once established, three watering days a week will suffice (two allowed + one hand water).
Water Authority exemptions are available when establishing new lawns. Call 13 13 85 for details.
For the establishment of Kikuyu, Wintergreen Couch and Sir Walter Soft-Leaf Buffalo lawns, we recommend applying 5kg per 50m2 of Eco-Growth’s Eco-Prime Red fertiliser which contains plenty of Phosphorus (in the form of non-leaching rock phosphate). The first application should be spread on the soil before laying your turf, with Zoysia’s first fertilising of Eco-Prime Red being at a stronger rate of 10kg per 50m2.
We also recommend applying a composted fertiliser at a rate of 5kg per 50m2 to your soil before laying your lawn. We can supply you with these fertilisers and recommend you purchase some with your lawn as they are not generally available at hardware stores. Usually, the second fertiliser application can take place four to six weeks after installing, every six to eight weeks after.
4 Pesticides & Herbicides
Seek advice before spraying turf less than 6 months old. Make sure with Buffalo lawn that you use a product that is suitable for Buffalo lawn.
Thatch is the layer organic matter often made up of stems and roots that have not decomposed yet. Some lawns are more prone to thatch build up than others. Thatch is a normal part of any lawn and to some degree can be regulated by the amount of water and fertiliser you apply. When thatch becomes excessive, the lawn may even begin to root into the thatch layer instead of the soil. This is a problem as thatch does not hold water or nutrients. Thatch often becomes hydrophobic and prevents water and nutrients reaching lawn roots.
If your lawn is spongy to walk on you have too much thatch and it needs to be removed. Thatch is typically removed by vertimowing or for some buffalo lawns grooming is preferable.
Vertimowing in cooler weather can significantly slow the rate of recovery but if done in the warmer seasons, watered and fertilised adequately, your will lawn recover within a couple of weeks. Spring once the frosts have past and early Autumn are the best times to dethatch (vertimow) your lawn.
Compacted soil can physically restrict grass roots from growing and receiving vital nutrients. Coring (with hollow tynes or solid tynes) is the process of creating vertical pathways for water, nutrients and oxygen to penetrate your soil. This process also softens the soil by creating horizontal “cracks” in the soil. This will allow the roots to penetrate deeper and reach vital nutrients and moisture.
Compaction can result from excessive foot traffic and is typically in areas that are close to the front or back door, on road verges and under swings or clothes lines. Aeration can be done manually with a garden fork and wriggling it gently.
For larger home lawns and areas turf coring machines can be hired from local hire shops and there are many contractors that provide turf coring services for home lawns.
Lawns under twelve months should not need aeration. Established lawns generally require aerating annually to make the most of the water and nutrients applied but every lawn is different. If your lawn feels hard underfoot, has water pooling on top or you suspect compaction is a problem test the area with a large screwdriver. A large screwdriver should penetrate the ground easily when pushed in. If it does not your lawn needs to be aerated.
Lawn needs a wide variety of nutrients, many of which are present already in your soil. Nitrogen helps to make your lawn lush and green, phosphorus helps to grow stronger roots and potassium helps the plant cope with a variety of weather conditions, pests and diseases.
It is advisable to use a slow release fertiliser containing a balanced ratio of NPK with trace elements.
Apply lawn fertiliser at the maintenance rate of every 6 – 8 weeks throughout the year. A heavier rate can be used just prior to Winter to keep the colour in your lawn.
Good watering habits will benefit your lawn and also help you avoid the many problems associated with over and under watering. The best time to water your lawn is in the morning. This enables water to remain available to the lawn throughout the day. It is not recommended to water your lawn at night because the water will not be absorbed as effectively, leaving the lawn susceptible to fungal diseases.
Hydrophobic soil is when the water cannot penetrate the surface and cannot be used by the lawn. One way to combat this problem is to use a good quality wetting agent as part of your maintenance regime. We recommend applying a wetting agent at the start of each season.
Indications that your lawn is stressed due to lack of water are a grey blue tinge, or the leaves will roll or fold vertically. Measuring how much water your sprinklers deliver, is a good way to make sure you are watering at the correct rate.
After fertilising it is recommended that extra water is applied to dissolve the fertiliser so that it can be used by your lawn.