How to Care For Your Lawn
A fine lawn needs maintenance to keep it healthy and in top condition and to help prevent weed invasion, disease or pests. The guidelines below apply to all lawns i.e. hydroseed, instant and conventional.
This is perhaps the most important part of lawn maintenance as this will encourage good grass growth and help to discourage disease and weed invasion. FERTILISE YOUR LAWN 2 WEEKS AFTER IT IS SOWN – new lawns need a lot of fertiliser and in most cases lack of fertiliser can be the reason for a poor looking lawn in the early stages. Apply fertiliser ( 1 handful /m2)to dry grass and then water in well. Just before rain is an ideal time to apply it. Fertilise your lawn 2 WEEKS AFTER IT IS SOWN then continue to fertilise monthly. Some good fertilisers are Nitrophoska Blue or Di Ammonium Phosphate. Once the lawn is well established you can use a slower release fertiliser every 3 months. Your lawn should always be dark green. If it starts to look light green or has a yellow tinge then it needs to be fertilised. It is not a good idea to allow your lawn to get to this stage before fertilising as this weakens healthy grass. For bigger lawns it may be worth investing in a spreader which spins the fertiliser evenly over the lawn.
Keeping your lawn at a healthy length (no less than 50mm) is very important!! This helps to “crowd out” weeds as they do not like competing for light and nutrients. Longer grass will encourage better root development which helps your lawn to survive dry periods. For the first mow of your new lawn, don’t leave grass until it is really long before cutting. A slight trim when it is about 60mm will encourage lawn to thicken up. The golden rule is never cut off more than 1/3 at each mow. You can mow often but not too closely. Make sure your mower blades are sharp and always use a catcher.
Don’t wait for your lawn to start showing signs of stress (e.g. lack of springiness) before watering it. The guiding principle is to allow the lawn to dry out a bit between waterings so as to let air in and stimulate deep root development. In Spring, Summer and Autumn, watering is always necessary when establishing a new lawn unless there has been SIGNIFICANT rain. In dry conditions you may need to water 2 or 3 times a day. BE AWARE OF HOW DRY YOUR LAWN WILL GET IN WINDY WEATHER, ESPECIALLY DURING THE DRY WARMER MONTHS. You will need to water MORE during these types of conditions.
These will inevitably come up in any lawn. The weeds come from seeds already in the soil and from birds and wind. However, with a regular spray programme most weeds will eventually become less prolific. Do not spray your lawn until it is at least 2 months old.
These are relatively easy to control as there are selective weed killers available which are designed to be sprayed over the entire lawn but will only kill the flat weeds. We recommend spraying for these 2-4 times a year.
Couch & Kikuyu
These can prove very hardy and difficult to get rid of once they establish themselves in your fine lawn. It is important to check your lawn regularly for any sign of these, especially if they were in your lawn prior to resowing. As soon as these weeds are found apply a strong mixture of roundup to the plant using a small paint brush. It is also recommended that you keep your lawn no less than 50mm high as these weeds like full sun and will fail to thrive where grass is thicker and taller.
Paspalum and Summer Grasses
These are also VERY difficult to eradicate and need to be sprayed in spring before they become established. There are commercial sprays available for some of these grasses but with varying degrees of success.
When instant lawn is first laid make sure you keep is well watered until it is established. This is very important during summer. If it is not well watered the edges where the rolls are joined can dry out and start to separate.
Sowing Lawns in Each Season
Autumn (March to July)
This is the OPTIMUM time of the year to sow a lawn. Weed growth has slowed right down and summer grasses are dormant. An autumn sow will give the grass plenty of time to establish good roots before the summer heat. For best results we recommend an autumn sow.
Winter (August to September)
A winter sown lawn will still produce a good result but will be slow to establish.
Spring (October to November)
The soil is starting to warm up which means the grass germinates faster than a winter sow BUT the weeds also like this time of the year and will appear quite readily. They will compete with the grass seed and so it is important to look after the grass with fertiliser, water and correct mowing height.
Summer (December to February)
Summer is the worst time of the year to sow a lawn. All weeds and summer grasses are growing prolifically and will be able to withstand harsh summer conditions easier than the newly sown grass. It is possible to sow a lawn in summer but it will be very high maintenance and often a disappointing result. However, HYDROSEEDING has made a huge improvement to the quality of spring and summer sown lawns due to the mulch having the ability to retain water and slow weed growth down.