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Lawn Care

Updated: Oct 5, 2018




GARDEN ADVICE

In spring lawns begin to be actively growing again after the dormancy through the cool winter months. It is the time to feed the lawn, kill the moss and weeds and begin regular mowing.

Fertilising

All lawns need fertiliser to maintain healthy growth. Like vegetable patches and hedges where nutrients are removed through harvesting or trimming, lawns are regularly mowed and clippings removed* from the lawn, along with the nutrients they contain. These need to be replaced.

In mid-spring (late September to October), apply LawnPro 7-Day-Green. This will increase lawn vigour and help prevent moss and weeds.

Moss Control

Moss is a problem in damp, poorly drained, acidic lawns. Spring is a good time to control moss problems. Applying LawnPro 7-Day-Green will raise the soil pH (lower acidity) as well as encouraging the lawn grass. Apply LawnPro Mossclear to kill the moss and the moss spores.

Weeding

Healthy thick swards of lawn grass are resistant to disease and out-compete weeds, reducing the need for applications of herbicide. Also, herbicides work best on growing lawns which have adequate nutrient.

  • LawnPro Turfclean and LawnPro All-in-1 have been formulated for the control of the widest range of broadleaf weeds in New Zealand lawns. The combination of 3 active ingredients is balanced to ensure the most common weeds in New Zealand lawns are controlled with no risk of burning the fine lawn grasses grown as lawns in New Zealand.

  • It is good weed control practice to use LawnPro Turfclean as routine and alternate it with LawnPro Prickle and Hydrocotyle every 3rd or 4th treatment.

  • For lawns prone to Onehunga prickle weed apply LawnPro Prickle and Hydrocotyle before the weed flowers and produces its prickly seeds.

  • Coarse grasses in lawns can be controlled by painting the central crowns of the unwanted grass with Weed Weapon Invade Gel.

Drainage

Fork wet areas of lawn - Through winter the lawn soil may have become compacted. Poor-drainage in lawns may cause puddles to form in wet weather. If puddles are there for more than a day they can ‘drown’ lawn grasses. Try forking over the whole area at locations 20-30 cm apart push the fork at least 20 cm deep and gently ease the handle back slowly to open the soil allowing water to pass through and air to penetrate the soil.

An alternative is to use a lawn plug remover (hollow tine aerator) which takes small plugs of soil out leaving holes to allow drainage of water and penetration of air. The plugs can be left on the lawn to re-incorporate naturally.

Mowing

Mowing is the most obvious, and important, tasks over spring and summer. Mowing regularly keeps the lawn in good health.

Don’t mow your lawn to short. When lawn grass is mowed too low, the grass no longer needs the same size of root system, and the root system is reduced to achieve balance between the leaves (photosynthesis) and respiration. The lower the cutting height, the shallower the root system becomes. A shallow root system impairs the plant’s ability to withstand drought stress, and root pruning from grass grub.

Cutting height influences the ability of the plant to protect itself from summer heat. The crown (growing points) of the turf grass are near the soil surface and are insulated by the mature leaves. Reducing the cutting height subjects the crowns to a greater likelihood of high-temperature injury. Consequently, the plant may be stunted or die, and the turf gradually thins out during summer.

For most New Zealand lawns, cut the turf to a height of 4 cm as needed in winter, and to 2-3 cm on a weekly basis during spring and autumn. Mow when the grass has grown by 50%, so you don’t have to cut off more than one-third of the blade.

Over Seeding

After moss or weeds have been removed, or where grass is growing sparsely, over-seeding may be necessary. Early autumn is the best time for this job, but mid-spring is also suitable.

  • Loosen the soil surface with a fork and rake it to leave a fine loose layer of soil on the surface.

  • Water the lawn thoroughly so the soil 15 cm deep is damp.

  • Sow LawnPro Lawn Thickener over the lawn. Lightly rake to incorporate the seed into the surface.

  • Where birds are a problem, net the area or tie plastic supermarket bags to canes in the lawn.

  • If the weather remains dry for two or three days water gently with a sprinkler.

  • Grass should sprout seven to 10 days after sowing

Watering

Lush green healthy lawns need water for growth. However, the water is taken up by roots and not leaves; wet leaves promote disease and shallow water evaporates off before roots can absorb it. When required water should be applied so that it seeps deep where deep rooting grasses can reach it and it will not evaporate off.

When required, water lawns thoroughly in the morning so that the leaves dry during the day. Thorough watering once or twice a week is preferable to light watering frequently.

Enjoy your lawn.


Article taken from David Brittain Kiwicare

https://www.kiwicare.co.nz/advice/garden/spring-lawn-care/

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