Once you have your new lawn installed and established, your thoughts should then turn to the ongoing maintenance. Daleys Turf has put together the basics of lawn care maintenance to help you ensure that your new or old lawn stays lush, green and healthy.
The main aspects of lawn care maintenance:
- Weed Control
- Pest Control
- Disease Control
Never remove more than one third of the plant at any one time whilst mowing. Mowing regularly will encourage growth and over time lead to a thicker lawn, which is more resistant to weeds and pest infestation. During winter you can mow less frequently, as it is the dormant growing season. During summer leaving the grass a little longer will provide additional protection against water evaporation whilst limiting sun exposure to the soil. Always use a mower that has sharpened blades to avoid damaging the plants.
Longer and less frequent watering is recommended to ensure that your lawn establishes a strong, deep and healthy root system. A general rule is to add 2.5cms of water at a time and make sure that the entire lawn is watered.
Most lawns will require fertilising once or twice a year. Applying a slow-acting granular fertiliser will release nutrients gradually over a period of several months and will strengthen the lawn’s root system, making it more drought tolerant and resistant to weeds.
Even in the healthiest of lawns weeds will appear from time to time. If there are a few weeds, simply pulling them out should solve the problem, however if a large amount of weeds exist then a herbicide application may be warranted. Ensure that you use the right product for the variety of lawn you have and avoid damaging the lawn further.
As with weed infestations, pests can invade even the strongest and healthiest of lawns on occasions. Pests, such as lawn grubs, should be treated as soon as they are identified to limit their spread and the amount of damage that they cause to the lawn plants. Various pesticides are available to treat specific pests and are suitable to different varieties of lawn.
Most healthy lawns will stand up very well against fungal disease, however if it does take hold a fungicide treatment may be required.
Soil compaction occurs in lawns from a high amount of traffic and reduces the ability for oxygen, water and nutrients to reach the soil properly. Aerating is used to open up compacted soil. You can use manual or powered methods to aerate the soil. Both use the same concept of removing narrow sections of the soil to form shallow holes.
A small amount of thatch (parts of the lawn plants that have died naturally and collects around the base of the lawn plants), helps to conserve water in the soil by limiting evaporation, but a heavy amount of thatch will keep the air and water from reaching the soil. Thatch over 6mms deep should be removed by brisk raking or the use of a power de-thatcher.