How do you get a healthy lawn?
If the grass looks greener everywhere except your own patchy backyard, read on for our tips on how to get a lush, healthy lawn. Cultivating a perfectly green carpet of grass is not always easy in every home, but with a bit of know-how, you can give your lawn the best chance of thriving.
The best time to lay turf is Spring, but cultivating gorgeous grass is a year-round job. In the cooler months, the number one job is to make sure your lawn is getting as much light and air as possible – clean up leaves and cut back any trees that are shading the grass. To have a healthy lawn it needs to be weed free. Now is also the time to look out for opportunistic weeds – wintergrass, clover, dandelions and the like – which take advantage of the grass’s slow-growing season to take over; get out there and hand-weed, or spray with a selective herbicide. Now is also a good time to check your irrigation; check the lines to make sure there’s no flooding underground and adjust the watering schedule or turn it off entirely – with less sun shining on it, the lawn should be fine with rain water only.
Set your alarm for September 1, because that’s when the real action happens! This is when you’ll want to lay top soil and feed your lawn. Many people also take the opportunity to reseed, which is actually a big no-no! When landscaping in Sydney the choice is primarily buffalo grass, which doesn’t get reseeded; throwing seed over your lawn means adding another species – usually rye grass – which results in a patchy-looking lawn. If there are bald bits that need attending, lay a square of instant turf instead.
This time of year is also when the grass will start growing in earnest and you’ll need to dust off the mower more frequently, probably every two weeks to keep a healthy lawn. A word on mowing; almost everyone mows with a catcher for a neater finish and to avoid tracking clippings into the house, but for the best lawn on your street, consider mowing without the catcher. A mulching mower will cut the clippings into tiny pieces and blow them down into the thatch as you mow, where they will break down and add nutrients directly to the lawn.
Even the greenest thumbs will find there are some places grass just won’t grow, because of excessive shade or the daily pummelling of dogs and kids. In that case, it is tempting to fake it. The good news is that artificial turf has improved over the years and now looks far more natural. It also holds the heat less – while still very hot, it no longer scorches your feet. The key to working with artificial turf is to make it look as natural as possible. Choose a longer, bushier cut and surround it with natural materials and lush plantings. It will look like a healthy lawn all year around.