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.
The 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 selecting appropriate warm climate grass varieties such as Kikutu, Couch or Buffalo depending on the aspects of sunlight.
- Refraining from using too much or the the wrong type of fertiliser. We recommend control-release fertilisers at the manufacturer recommended rates to ensure controlled growth rates in your turf.
- Avoiding the indiscriminate use of weedkillers and fungicides.
September - April renovation and maintenance
Spring is the time of the year when greenkeepers and other turf grass professionals perform their major turf renovation programs. Renovations such as coring, verti-mowing and top dressing of lawn is performed when required.
Although it is seldom done, most home lawns would benefit greatly from spring renovation. In some cases where the lawn has deteriorated over many years, replacement with a better variety of lawn is the best option.
Renovation machinery and tools can be hired for Do-It-Yourself operation from hire companies or professionals can be employed to do the work.
- Mow the lawn weekly if possible throughout the growing period, remove one-third of the leaf length during each mow.
- Evaluate whether your lawn requires verti-mowing to remove excess thatch build-up. Seek professional turf advice if you are unsure.
- Aerate compact areas if compaction is causing problems with the turf. Use a mechanical aerator or pitch fork depending on the size of the area.
- Analyse soil samples to determine pH and nutrient status if required.
- Use control released fertilisers at manufacturer recommended rates to ensure controlled growth rates.
- Apply a quality wetting agent to help with water penetration, reducing the effects of hydrophobic soils.
- Top dress with a 5 mm layer of sand (such as plasterers sand). It is recommended to apply only 5 mm over the turf surface at any one time to assist with re-levelling of the surface.
- Irrigate the lawn with a uniform application of 10 mm of water per watering station as per Water Corporation guidelines.
- Regularly check and maintain lawn reticulation systems to achieve best watering application practices.
May - August maintenance
In the cooler months the turf will slow down and will go into dormancy; therefore the turf does not require the same amount of lawn care as it does in the warmer months.
- No watering is required as per Water Corp Guidelines
- Mowing is only needed as required but maintain the one-third leaf cut per mow.
- No fertilising is required due to the dormancy of turf.