Lawn tips and summer spruce up / by andrea uren

alfesco.jpg

Summer is just around the corner.
Now is time to do some of those maintenance jobs so you can enjoy your garden to its fullest potential.

Plants need trimming at this time of the year to keep their shape, they also need heavy fertilising to promote growth during their biggest growing season. The type of plant you have will determine what type of fertiliser you need but a good general fertiliser is beneficial for any plant such as a blend of power feed and seasol.
Top up mulch yearly to provide nutrients to the soil for good plant health, it also keeps in moisture over warmer months.
Mulch should be topped up to approx 75mm to provide the most benefit, this will also avoid having to re-mulch for potentially up 18 months. We recommend an organic mulch, freshly chipped mulch should be avoided as it draws and depletes nitrogen from the soil

Re oil decks once the over night temperature is above 12 and the moisture has gone from the air. It may also be time to clean and reseal pavers.

If you are not keen to do this yourself our friends at Prestige Surfaces (www.prestigesurfaces.com.au) will be more than happy to assist.

A good lawn is a reflection of its foundations so, if you have had a new lawn laid follow these guidelines to get it looking and staying green & healthy.
Give the lawn a deep soak immediately after it's laid and keep the area moist, watering daily initially (irrigation is best as hand watering can be under done), then reducing the regularity as it establishes. In a few weeks, if you can't lift the turf off the ground, then you know the roots are
established and you can give it its first mow. The first mow should be on a high setting and then lowered as the lawn becomes established.

Older Lawns
Now is the time to control weeds that establish in lawns over winter. Bindii is a common culprit and, if it flowers, you are in for nasty spikes underfoot. Others, such as dandelion, capeweed, plantain, cat's ear and wintergrass, enjoy collective domination of turf areas. If you use a hand weeder, make sure you get all the roots. Specialised lawn weeder products kill the weeds in 7-10 days.
Moss often establishes in cold, shady areas. To treat, dilute powdered iron sulfate in a watering can, following packet directions, then apply. In high-traffic wetter areas, soil can compact, so you'll need to loosen it up. Plunge a garden fork deeply into the soil at 20cm intervals and wiggle it back and forth. If that just seems impossible, you could try aerating shoes or hire a corer. To fix bare patches, plant lawn seed, or runners from adjacent areas, or lay turf.

Lawn health
Regular feeding keeps your lawns healthy and green. It's ideal to fertilise lawns in spring and autumn. Modern slow-release lawn fertilisers last about 10 weeks and are easy to apply. You don't need to water them in as they won't burn the lawn. Broadcast by hand, or buy or hire a fertiliser spreader to ensure even distribution.

Top-Dressing
If your lawn is lumpy and uneven, or lacking vigor, then top-dressing could be just the thing to smooth it out and bring it back into shape. Order a top dressing mix from your landscape supplier that's sandy and high in organic matter. Spread it over the areas in need, and rake it level with a steel rake or lawn leveler, which you can hire. Make sure the leaf tips still poke through - it should be no deeper than 10mm. You should see results in one week to a month.

lawn.jpg