People often forget that our household grass is a plant like any other. It exists in a complicated eco system and provides nutrients to everything living on and under it. Like any other plant, it needs to be properly looked after in order to thrive. The benefit of this is that healthy grass looks great and can add value to your home instantly. To keep your grass in excellent condition we have compiled five tips to help you on your way to a beautifully manicured lawn.
It goes without saying that mowing is essential for lawn health. However, what is less known is that the height at which a lawn is mown can make a big difference. A lawn that is cut too short can’t appropriately retain water, this leads to drying out and disease.
To avoid this, your lawn should be mown to an optimal length of 30-60mm (for buffalo grass). Generally a longer leaf will allow for faster growth and better health whereas a shorter leaf is over exposed to the sun and dries out far too quick.
Fertiliser is a key tool to replace lost nutrients in your soil. Grass requires a certain balance of nutrients and when we introduce grass into our home environment it loses the nutrients by not being as exposed to the natural conditions. Therefore, it is necessary to replace these lost nutrients through good watering practice and the use of a fertiliser.
We recommend you fertilise every 8 to 9 weeks for optimum health. Avoid excess fertilisation though as grass can struggle to absorb nutrients if over fed. Less is definitely more in this case. Further, as the weather gets colder try a solution with more iron to protect your lawn against harsher conditions.
A healthy lawn has deep, established roots. Watering plays a key part in developing these roots and it is crucial that the water is absorbed at this deep level. Once there, it is much harder to evaporate and keeps nutrients locked in.
We recommend watering in the morning before the temperature and humidity rises to avoid excessive evaporation. In the summer months this generally means twice a week. When watering, make sure you allow sufficient time to allow the moisture to penetrate to the deeper roots. A good rule of thumb is to water when you notice the lawn starting to discolour.
Weed, Pest and Disease Prevention
As with any kind of ‘medicine’, prevention is better than a cure. A good care regime will stop any nasty weeds or pests from developing. Regular, deep watering and appropriate mowing length will ensure you never have to worry about weeds.
However, if you find weeds taking hold it will be appropriate to use a herbicide. We recommend using such a product about two to three weeks after fertilising to give the lawn a chance to open its roots up.
Aerification refers to the process whereby the soil is perforated to allow the lawn to open up and breath. It helps the roots to grow deeply and allows water to absorb quickly and easily. If your lawn is particularly dry or used heavily then it could be a good time for you to aerate. You can use a pitchfork or similar tool and ensure to remove a 3-5cm soil patch when wet.
If you follow these tips you will have a beautiful lawn for years to come. Preventative maintenance is always the best regime for a healthy lawn and always factor this into your care plan. We can advise you on all sorts of tips and strategies to help you get the best out of your lawn and can also do all the yardwork so you don’t have too!