Basic Lawn Care
If you really want a nice green lawn it is really simple if you follow a few basic care tips. Having said that its not easy, but is is simple.
Lawns need a few basic requirement to maintain a lush green look. Soil, water, sun, air and fertiliser are just about all, except for regular mowing and a little aeration to relieve and compacted areas. so lets look at each element on its own.
We talk about sun and air for lawn growth, and this is essential, no matter what it says on the packet, lawn will just not grow in deep shade, or at least it will be very thin and patchy. And by air we mean a good soil, open in structure to allow water and fertilize to penetrate and encourage good root growth.
The base on which any lawn is laid is the starting point. A good base of loamy soil with an underlay of water retentive material is the way to go. It sounds simple enough, kill the weeds sow the seed and away go. what we really need is good soil structure, good drainage and the right soil ph.
Start by removing the weeds, two applications of a Glyphosate which is a non – residual weed killer, this will usually do the job.
Remove any stone and rubble and dig the soil over to a good depth, you will probably need a rotary hoe for this. If the soil if clay type add some Gypsum and dig over to a depth of at least 10cm. If you soil is poor consider bringing in some good quality top soil to improve the base.
Some Golf courses add coir peat as a soil amendment, it helps maintain moisture, increases capillary porosity and works well with sandy soils, this is usually mixed with a potting mix or soil mixing machine to provide an even distribution.
Prepare the surface by raking until you have a level base ready to sow the seed. so top dress with a fine sandy loam, this is much easier than raking flat, you will need a depth of about 2cm.
Consider the type of lawn seed, we are pretty keen on the new low growing types suck as ‘smart grass’. It requires less mowing and is better in shade than most.
And we are ready to sow the lawn.But what is the best time to do this ? we tend to go for late winter to early spring, its cooler yet the weather is warming up and so is the soil, we do not need to water so much and the autumn leaves have finished. This gives the lawn time to establish itself before summer.
Spread some lawn starter over the area and rake is well. And then spread the seed evenly over the whole areas, rake lightly and water in.
You will need to water every day until the seeds have germinated, around 2 – 3 weeks depending on the weather.
You will need to maintain moisture especially through the first summer. Once the new growth is around 5cm high its time to mow, set mower fairly high, we only want to take of 1- 2cm.
Once established mow at a height of 5cm in summer and 3 in winter, use a grass catcher to prevent thatch build up.
Fertilize at the beginning of spring and then again at the end of summer, and always apply fertiliser to damp lawn an water in well.