Due to very high fire danger conditions, Naturescape is closed and Kings Park afternoon guided walks are cancelled.

Read more...

Grass is arguably the most important vegetation on earth. Where it fails to grow, human population is sparse and economic progress limited. Green grass is a natural air purifier, it helps cool the air and improve the atmosphere. Lawn is also a desirable feature of the home garden that links all aspects of the garden to the home and provides an attractive safe surface for children and pets to play.

Peppermint LawnThe effect of climate change and global warming on the environment, and the urgency of reducing greenhouse gasses are the subject of worldwide debate. It is essential that we change the way that we look at lawn maintenance, challenge injudicious practices of the past and learn how to manage them in a way that will enhance the environment.

We can control climate change on our home turf and make a valuable contribution to the environment by:

  • Minimising water use by matching watering with the requirements of the turf.
  • Reducing the use of insecticides on our lawns.
  • Refraining from using too much or the wrong types of fertiliser.
  • Stimulating microbial activity in the soil by top dressing with lawn compost and recycling grass clippings.
  • Avoiding the indiscriminate use of weedkillers and fungicides.

Spring is the time of the year when greenkeepers and other turf grass professionals perform their major turf renovation programs. Unless dense grass and the underlying thatch is reduced by vertical mowing and the ground cored to relieve compaction and to aerate the soil, the production of first class playing surfaces would be impossible.

Although it is seldom done, most home lawns would benefit greatly from spring renovation, and in some cases where the lawn has deteriorated over many years, replacement with a better variety of lawn is the best option.

Renovation

September / October

  • Mow the lawn with two passes, up and down the same swathe, with a heavy duty cylinder mower at a height of 20 mm and remove the clippings.
  • Lightly scratch the interface of the lawn and soil with a vertical mower and remove any debris brought to the surface.
  • Aerate compacted areas with a hollow tine aerator, hollow tine fork or by working a conventional garden fork to and fro at a depth of about 100 mm.
  • Analyse soil samples to determine pH and nutrient status.
  • Uniformly spread a methylene-urea based lawn builder plus a grub and insect control fertiliser.
  • Top dress with a 5 mm layer of fully processed lawn compost and rub the material well into the surface of the grass with a screed or lawn levelling tool.
  • Irrigate the lawn with a uniform application of 10 mm of water.
  • Renovation machinery and tools can be hired for Do-It-Yourself operation from hire companies or professionals can be employed to do the work.

Maintenance

November

  • Apply soil amendments and fertiliser as determined by the soil analysis to correct the chemical balance of the soil.
  • Water the lawn twice a week on the days allocated by the Water Corporation with 10mm of water.
  • Mow the lawn whenever necessary to keep it at its optimal height with a sharp, correctly-set mower and do not collect the clippings.

December

  • Water the lawn twice a week on the days allocated by the Water Corporation with 10 mm of water.
  • Mow the lawn whenever necessary to keep it at its optimal height with a sharp, correctly-set mower and do not collect the clippings.

January

  • Evenly spread a lawn builder/wetting agent and some iron-sulphate.
  • Water the lawn twice a week on the days allocated by the Water Corporation with 10 mm of water.
  • Mow the lawn whenever necessary to keep it at its optimal height with a sharp, correctly-set mower and do not collect the clippings.