Now that most of the cold weather has passed, it’s a great time to come out of gardening hibernation and get into your lawn care. Doing the right things in spring can make a big difference to how your lawn fares in summer and improve the general health of your lawn.
Test your pH.
The optimum soil pH is 6.5. When your soil pH isn’t in the ideal range of 6–7, your lawn can miss out on important nutrients, leading to poor overall performance. Test with a basic soil pH testing kitor soil probe. If the pH is too high, apply sulphate or ammonia to lower it. If it’s too low, add a 50/50 mix of lime and dolomite. This will not only raise the pH, but also add calcium and magnesium, which are often leached from acidic soils. Click here for more information on lawn pH management.
Aerating your soil will increase the amount of air, water, and nutrients it receives. This decreases thatch and compaction, strengthens grass roots, and helps create a healthier lawn. Use aeration sandals or a garden fork to do this yourself before fertilising. Aeration and should be carried out annually in high traffic areas, on hard lawns, and on lawns with poorer soil quality. Aeration can be hard work on some soil types, and sometimes a lawn contractor with specialist equipment may be required to do the job effectively.
You can remove most solitary weeds by hand, preferably before they go to seed. For flat weeds, simply mowing over them and providing good lawn care will often be enough, as a healthy lawn will choke most weed types. However, if you’ve got lots of weeds or a persistent type, it may be worth calling your local nursery or lawn care specialist for advice on the best herbicides to use. It’s a good idea to try to control any weed problems before you fertilise, because of course fertiliser doesn’t just feed your lawn – it feeds the weeds as well. Click here for more information on lawn weed control.
If your lawn is ‘spongy’, you’ve got a build-up of thatch. You can remedy this by mowing your lawn back to its runners, but be careful on lawns such as Sir Walter Buffalo, as mowing too short can damage the root system. Dethatching may take a couple of mows. Once this is done, fertilise and water well to promote speedy regrowth.
Spring is the time to fertilise. This speeds up new growth and establishes strong roots for summer. But don’t get carried away! Overfeeding at this time of year may not produce the desired results, as the warmth and light intensity are not quite there yet for your lawn to perform at its best. A light dusting of either organic or inorganic fertiliser at the rate specified on the label should give your lawn the boost it needs.
However, if you live in a cooler climate, you might need to use a liquid fertiliser. Granular fertilisers such as Lawn Solutions Australia Premium Fertiliser are soil reactive, meaning they require bacteria in the soil to convert the nutrients into a form that the grass can utilise. Low soil temperatures do not provide the right conditions for bacteria to work their magic, so using these fertilisers in cool conditions can be fruitless.
As liquid fertilisers are absorbed through the leaves of the grass, you’ll only need a little growth occurring for the liquid fertilisers to give an instant boost. Once the warmer weather really kicks in you can feed your lawn with a granular NPK fertiliser like Lawn Solutions Australia Premium Fertiliser.
Once you’ve done your first application of fertiliser, it’s a good idea to mow a few times and assess the weed and lawn growth situation before further addressing fertiliser needs.
Spring is a good time to top dress your lawn if it is uneven. Mow and fertilise your lawn first, then top dress with coarse river sand, remembering not to cover the entire leaf tip. Once your lawn is growing at its peak, it will be ready to take on the heat of summer.
At this time of year, natural rainfall should fulfil most of your lawn’s water requirements so that minimal additional top-up watering is needed, though of course this depends on your soil and location. A deep soaking once a week will train your lawn’s roots to grow deeper into the soil, which will improve your lawn’s drought tolerance. You can water more frequently if dry weather is forecast over the coming weeks, but a minimalist approach will often be rewarded with stronger, deeper roots and a healthier lawn.
For more information about spring maintenance of your lawn or any other lawn questions, contact our friendly staff on (03) 9730 1128 or email email@example.com.