Overwatering, “scalping” and turf varieties mismatched to the conditions are among the three most common traps for Australian homeowners in search of the perfect lawn, warns Toro Australia.
Toro Australia’s Senior Marketing Manager – Equipment, Elise Willemsen, says Australian’s dream of having lush, green lawns, but for many, the reality is a patchy, uneven, brown and weed-infested lawn.
“Often it’s due to a series of common misconceptions about how best to maintain the lawn – with many believing it’s mostly a ‘set-and-forget’ that requires the odd water and occasional mow,” Elise said.
“Unfortunately, it’s not the case. Turf is a delicate, living organism that requires plenty of TLC, especially during spring, so it is best placed to withstand the summer conditions. But the good news is that if you get the foundation right and with the right tools, advice and equipment for maintenance, it doesn’t have to be a burden.”
As an Australian supplier of push and ride-on mowers, Toro Australia provides some important tips for getting the best out of your lawn.
First and foremost, ensure your lawn variety is the best match for both your soil type and climate. Without getting this right, everything else will be an uphill battle, no matter how much effort you put in.
Grass grows from the crown, not the blade tips, so by scalping or cutting your grass too low, there’s a risk that the crown will be damaged, which damages the plant itself. By stunting the root growth it also increases the need for watering and fertilising. Depending on the lawn variety, the average height should be between 40mm and 70mm. You can also apply the “one-third” rule – never remove more than one-third of the grass height at any one time.
Avoid the temptation to overwater as it encourages disease. It’s better to water less but deeply so the entire root zone is wet and repeat only when the soil shows signs of drying out.
Lightly fertilise during spring using either compost and/or chemical fertilisers. Top dress by adding soil or other organic material, such as lawn clippings from a mulching mower directly over the top of your lawn. This improves soil conditions, breaks down thatch and smooths out rough or uneven areas, or sets the stage for seeding bare patches.
Ensure you have the right equipment for the job. Does your mower suit your property size and landscape? Also pay special attention to your mower blades to avoid tearing the plant, leading to a brown appearance and making the lawn more likely to suffer from stress and disease.
Change mowing patterns frequently to avoid compaction and only mow when the lawns are dry. Also be sure to aerate the soil in high traffic areas and rake away dead grass blades from the winter months.
“If you take heed with the above advice you will save time, money and a whole lot of frustration. Most importantly you will have the time to get out and enjoy your lush, healthy lawn,” Elise concludes.
By Toro Australia
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