Time to get your lawn care plan of attack ready before the Spring season starts. Now is the time when your lawn plants move out of their dormant growing phase and into the active growing phase, so it’s the ideal time to ensure that your lawn has all the nutrients needed to thrive.
Time to make a checklist so you have all of your bases covered:
Now is the time to keep an eye on the amount of water your lawn receives as the lawn plants begin to grow again. If the blades are curling or turning yellow or brown, then more water is needed. It is best to aim for less frequent but deeper watering so that the water reaches the root system and also training your lawn to be less-dependent on being frequently-watered.
Your entire lawn requires the same amount of water – around 2.5cms each time. The ideal time to water, particularly as the days get longer and warmer, is early morning or late afternoon – offsetting the moisture lost due to evaporation.
Mowing will be required more often due to the renewed growing phase. As always – never remove more than a third of the plant at a time and always use a mower with sharp blades. A timely reminder to check and change your fuel and oil if required and also check and/or replace spark-plugs. These will all help to keep your machine running smoothly in the future.
Even though your lawn has just been through the dormant growing phase it has still been using nutrients from the soil to survive. Now is the best time to replace what nutrients have been lost and prepare your lawn for the months ahead. Conduct a pH soil test to determine the nutrient and mineral deficiencies of your lawn and fertilise or top dress as needed.
A light application of either organic or inorganic fertiliser at the specified rate on the instructions will give your lawn the boost it needs. The warmer days and nights are the major trigger now for growth of your lawn. It’s a good idea to get a few mows in first, then check the weed and lawn-growth situation before addressing your lawns fertiliser needs.
While your lawn is preparing for its growth phase so are the weeds. If there are weeds present in your lawn they will now attempt to spread and take over – if you let them. Remove any weeds now by hand if small in number or with a herbicide if in abundance or if your lawn is particularly large. Always use a herbicide created specifically for your lawn variety and the weeds found.
Aeration is one of the healthiest things you can do for a spring lawn and is recommended for decreasing thatch as well as soil compaction. It helps increase the amount of air, water and nutrients getting to the soil, which strengthens grass roots and help create a healthier lawn.
Aeration should be carried out annually in high traffic areas and hard lawns or those with poorer soil can benefit enormously from aeration. Aeration properly done however, can be hard work on some soil types. A garden fork is best for this kind of work, push the fork 5 cm into the soil then gently rock back and forth to open the holes up. Continue over the entire lawn area at intervals of around 10cm.
For larger lawns it might be more beneficial to hire a spiked lawn roller, part fill it with water and then roll over the entire lawn. You may find it easier to drag the roller rather than pushing it.