Creepy Crawlies Coming Out of Hybernation? Here's Some information on Lawn Beetles

The truth about the African Lawn Beetle...

We usually refer to African Black Beetles as Lawn Beetles, and place all sorts of blame on them for the ills of our lawns health, but is this a true belief, or an urban myth? And is it necessary to kill lawn beetles?

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The Problem with Lawn Beetles

Through the larva stage of their life cycle, the Lawn Beetle will chew away at the roots of our lawns as its primary food supply. With its roots being attacked, the natural assumption is to believe this is a bad thing, that without roots our lawns will surely die. So the Lawn Beetle must be Lawn Enemy Number 1.

But this might not always be the case...

While the larvae most definitely feed on the roots of lawns, they generally keep moving throughout the soil, rarely concentrating on a single small area. Having a feed here and there, and never doing enough damage to a single root system to cause it to kill the lawn plant it is supporting. In actual fact, the lawn beetle could be thanked for its natural aeration of the soil and assisting lawns to replace their lost roots with new, younger and more vigorous roots. 
 

Another Factor

Lawn Beetle activity increases as temperature increases.

This is exactly the same as the growth and health patterns in lawns, so as beetle activity increases, so does the ability of the lawn to repair itself. In fact, a lawn would have to be severely infested before the damage from beetles could ever outpace the lawns ability to repair and grow from any damage caused. And as lawns become dormant during the Winter, so do the beetles.

When Lawn Beetles do become a problem... 

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When lawns are suffering from poor health due to lack of care, lack of nutrients, or lack of water or sunlight, the damage factor of the beetles can outpace the repair abilities of the lawn.

Also, beetles can rarely gather to great enough numbers to outpace the lawns ability to repair itself.

In these cases, treatment to control and kill lawn beetles should be considered.

How to test that it really is an 'infestation' of Lawn Beetle?

The best way to test that you do in fact have an infestation of lawn beetle (an infestation is considered to be more then 100 lawn beetles in one (1) square metre of lawn) is to soak a small area of your lawn with a soapy solution. Approximately one bucket of soapy water should suffice. If one or two lawn beetles come up from the grass then the grass has not been infested with lawn beetle and you may have another issue pertaining to your lawn. If you do have a significant number of beetles come up then it may be time to treat the lawn for lawn beetle. 

How to treat my lawn for Lawn Beetle?

In the rare case that control of African Lawn Beetle may need to be sought, simple dusts are available in most nurseries for a few dollars. Once applied to the lawn, the dust is then watered in, and dead beetles will continue to appear on the lawn surface for up to a month later. It should also be noted that applying any type of chemical to your lawn may cause discolouration and this method is only encouraged if your lawn has a true infestation. 

For Velvetene lawn (please note this is only to be used for Velvetene lawns) you can apply a salt solution to the lawn. Approximately 1 kg of pool salt to 5 litres of water applied to your Velvetene will eradicate the infestation and give your lawn that extra boost it needs to. 

Spring is here; what to do to make your lawn the best on the street

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In the spring, a lawn may need help to encourage new growth and to establish strong roots before summer. Spring is time to fertilise, dethatch and scarify.

Fertilise

As grass doesn’t grow flowers, it needs a different type of fertiliser than other garden plants.

The important thing to understand about lawn food is the N:P:K ratio:

  • The “N” is for nitrogen - that gets the leaves green and growing.
  • The “P” is phosphorous, that’ll make the roots grow strong and deep.
  • “K” is for potassium, which strengthens the plants and helps the grass cope with drought and resist disease.
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A lawn food that is nearly all nitrogen will cause turf to green suddenly, resulting in a massive growth spurt in a very short time, but this isn’t enough to promote a strong root system.
After the next mowing, most of the nutrients which are only in the leaves are gone. Because of its fast and tall growth, the lawn will look scalped after mowing, creating a perfect condition for new weed growth.

Balance is important in a fertiliser which will encourage growth in all the right areas, both above and below ground. Look for an N:P:K ratio of approximately 11 for nitrogen, 2-4 for phosphorus and 8 for potassium along with some calcium and trace elements.

Thatch Removal & Scarifing

If the lawn has “sponginess” there is a build-up of thatch from old and dead grass that lies just above the soil and root system. Thatch will stop air and moisture from reaching the roots and creates a micro-climate that encourages fungal disease.

Over time, all lawns build up a layer of dead grass, or thatch, at their base and thatch removal is necessary. Never dethatch a lawn just prior to winter as it will not recover green leaf until the spring.

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  1. Thatch is best removed starting with a rotary mower to slash the lawn down almost to the soil. Use a metal-tinned rake to remove the excess thatch.
  2. For severe cases or if there is black layer of old crusted organic matter, it’s best to rent a dethatcher or scarifier from an equipment hire outlet. These tools cut through and remove unwanted material.

 

 

Following these simple, yet effective tips will leave you with a lawn that the neighbours will envy. We are always happy to help out with lawn care advice; please feel free to call us for more information 9303 2627

Spring is almost here; starting planning your outdoor oasis now

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Today seems like the first day in forever that the sun is shining and spring doesn't seem too far away any more. What a perfect time to start planning your outdoor oasis. We are here to help you ensure that lawn features in your design and here are just some of the reasons why;

  • A lawn area can cost less than a third of any other surface covering to construct
  • Edging for lawn areas and garden beds can be as varied as your imagination will allow - why not make a feature of it?

We all want a place to relax after a busy day, and you can have one right on your doorstep. Before you start throwing pillows and outdoor furniture around, take some time to think about how you plan to use your outdoor area, the key things you'd like in it and importantly, the maintenance and upkeep required.

A new lawn area offers a low cost per square metre option with construction costs at less then a third of most hard surfaces like concrete, pavers or synthetic turf. (Source: Landscape Association of NSW) 

You can't really put a price on the easy access for safe play and exercise a lawn can provide children and pets or for you to simply relax in the cooling, quiet oasis of your own backyard. Remember, to have an appealing outdoor entertainment area, you don't necessarily need to go all out with creative fixtures and gadgets, an amazingly lush lawn will speak for itself.

Garden lighting is a simple way to add some atmosphere into your backyard, from practical to the pretty, low cost lighting is a quick way to 'brighten up' your lawn area

Low maintenance plants have the added benefit of being low maintenance, but they can look great in your outdoor area too! Succulents are perfect for this, or strappy grasses which are drought tolerant and only need to be watered every now and then are great options too. 

Edging your lawn ins another nifty way to add some life to your backyard. Edging can be done with pretty much anything. Why not look outside the standard edging and try something which will compliment your new lawn. Trends come and go in this area so depending on how often you want to change the edging you can always use the standard steel or plastic or even rocks to create a solid barrier for your lawn to keep out of. 

Retaining walls can also help fix drainage or slope issues and dramatically improve your lawn’s appearance. It’s one of those larger projects that you may not be inclined to take on yourself, however; and if you’re looking at anything close to a metre or more, you’ll need to talk to a licensed professional.

When it comes to a spot for the barbeque, flooring such as timber decking, concrete or dark pavers are an ideal base for an outdoor entertainment area. A tip here is to apply a sealer to ensure a low-maintenance paving solution, avoiding stains and unnecessary cleaning.

Hopefully our suggestions have let your creative juices flow and you are ready to start planning your perfect outdoor area. If you need more information on lawn please call us on 9303 2627  or email sales@superiorlawns.com.au we know the difference a superior lawn can make to your backyard so let us help you create something amazing.

 

Article taken from;http://www.lawnsolutionsaustralia.com.au/blog/how-you-can-easily-create-a-luscious-low-cost-outdoor-entertainment-area/ 

Image: https://www.google.com.au/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwii_tu25N_VAhVITbwKHYq0A3kQjRwIBw&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.gardensdecor.com%2F12056%2Fgarden%2Famazing-of-ideas-garden-design-17-best-ideas-about-garden-design-on-pinterest-landscape-design%2F&psig=AFQjCNEeAFfKHKfpdUjHVT7iIdlMidjJPQ&ust=1503111351509498 
 

Installing a new lawn in winter

Installing lawn in in the warmer months is the ideal time but that doesn't mean you can't lay your lawn in winter too. There are even a few benefits in establishing a lawn in the cooler times of year too. 

There is a common misconception that installing a new warm season turf like Sir Walter DNA Certified cannot be done in the cooler months. This isn't true, as turf is installed successfully all year round anywhere in Australia, especially in our warmer climate (even though it doesn't feel too warm!)

A benefit in laying a new lawn in winter is lower water usage; in the cooler months, you will not have to water your new lawn anywhere near as much compared with the warmer months as the days are not hot enough to dry out your new turf. Whilst it still needs some water, you can virtually halve your water usage by laying turf in winter and still maintain a healthy lawn come spring. Another benefit is you wont have to mow your lawn until the weather warms up. This comes in very handy as the winter months have shorter days and weekends filled up with sport and other activities which makes it much harder to find the time. 

Just keep in mind, when laying a new lawn in winter the lawn will not root down properly until the weather warms up and it starts growing again. This doesn't mean anything is wrong, and your lawn isn't dying. It is simply sitting idle until it gets some warmer temperatures so it can fully establish. 

This blog post was sourced from the Lawn Solutions Australia blog page; http://www.lawnsolutionsaustralia.com.au/blog/installing-a-new-lawn-in-winter/

New Research Examines Health Benefits of Turf

The $3.2 million, five-year project entitled Greener Cities, Healthier Lives has been funded by Research Council Horticulture Australia’s Green Cities fund in partnership with the Population Wellbeing and Environment Research Lab, which is part of the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Wollongong (UOW).
— http://www.lawnsolutionsaustralia.com.au/news/new-research-examines-health-benefits-of-turf/

These results will build upon the growing body of evidence that points to turf and lawns as being a most important contributor to health in our urban environments. Find below some key points to note from the research already undertaken;

  • Turf reduces noise and heat which in turn helps reduce stress
  • It improves air quality and helps keep our cities and towns clean
  • Ever major city uses grass in parks and other public spaces as an essential part of the city landscape and to keep cities clean and local environments safer
  • When people live or work close to nature they are more relaxed and therefore less susceptible to high blood pressure, stress and depression
  • Families who walk in the park report better quality of family life and reduced problems with child behaviour
  • Hospital patients with a view of parkland recover much quicker than patients who don't
  • Residents of high rise housing with access to open green spaces enjoy a range of health benefits including better mental health, immunity to disease and greater productivity in their working lives.
  • It provides a healthy clean environment that's ideal for people of all ages. Whether your need is raising a family, walking the dog or playing professional sport or just having a kick around with friends, there's no better surface
  • Whatever you use it for, turf is the safest surface for outdoor leisure activities, games and sports. It reduces the incident of personal injuries through its cushioning ability
  • Children in particular are much better protected when playing and failing on grass than any other surface
  • Not only is turf ideal for cleaning up blood and bacteria associated with sports usage, but it also helps with spills from general outdoor entertaining whether it be a BBQ or the kids picnic birthday party
  • Mowing a lawn also gets you outdoors and provides valuable cardiovascular exercise
  • Psychologically, the colour green makes us feel closer to nature by being beautiful, restful and relaxing
  • Beauty and nature are essential parts of the human experience and turf grasses play a vital part of the landscape with which we like to surround ourselves. 

The health benefits listed above are only a smart part of the turfgrass story with many other environmental and economic benefits realised through its use. 

To read more about the health benefits of turf check out the complete blog post by Lawn Solutions Australia

Top Tips from a Turf Grower

When in comes to growing turf, it’s just like growing any plant really; a good soil-bed, water, light, nutrients and a bit of maintenance are all required to keep it in good condition. 
— http://www.lawnsolutionsaustralia.com.au
Harvesting at our Farm in Regans Ford

Harvesting at our Farm in Regans Ford

So with this in mind, consider a similar appraoch to your new lawn for best long term results;

  • Successful establishment of all lawn types relies on proper soil preparation. Without preparing your soil properly, your lawn can suffer from poor soil drainage, compaction, pH or fertility problems that could have otherwise been prevented.
  • Removing weeds and debris is important when preparing your soil. One of the best methods for eliminating weeds is using an environmentally friendly herbicide, such as a non residual glypohosate herbicide like Roundup.
  • Keep drainage and the grade of your lawn area in mind as it should slope enough to allow surface water to drain away from your house yet be gradual enough to allow for easy maintenance and outdoor activities.
  • Where steep slopes exist (over 40%) or grades change drastically, consider installing retaining walls or other surface plantings in these areas as mowing and other maintenance may become difficult after you've finished.
  • It is recommended to strip the top layer of your soil by around 150mm and this will ensure the removal of any debris, clay or poor growing medium.
  • Beware of areas where mortar or brickies sand were stored as they can cause high pH issues in your soil, its the last thing you want to happen after getting your turf established.
  • When setting up levels, establish and stake or mark out subgrade and topsoil levels, keeping to requirements for any drainage, irrigation and shape work. 

Luckily the team at Lawn Solutions Australia have an extensive selection of sepcifications for lawn establishment and preparing your soil. Click here to find out more.

 

 

 

Purchase your lawn from us and receive a 10 year product warranty

Superior Lawns is proud to be part of the Lawn Solutions Australia team. What does this mean for you? It means we provide you with a unique 10 year Lawn Warranty on our Sir Walter Buffalo (DNA certified) and Nullarbor Couch (Wintergreen) grasses. 

The unique 10 year Lawn Warranty certifies that turf supplied by us has been grown and harvested to stringent standards. That it has been inspected upon harvesting (according to the Lawn Solutions Australia policy and guidelines) to be free of weeds and disease before delivering, is freshly cut and, for a period of 10 years from installment, will perform to its maximum potential in its new environment (subject to conditions). No other turf supplier in Australia can offer this same guarantee of quality. 

So purchasing your lawn from Superior Lawns provides you with the understanding that you are recieving a truely superior product first time, everytime. Call us today on 9303 2627 or email sales@superiorlawns.com.au to order your lawn today. For more information visit www.superiorlawns.com.au 

How do I stop my lawn growing into my garden beds?

Keeping lawn out of the garden beds doesn't need to be back breaking job. We have a few pointers to help you out. 

Creating physical borders to keep grass out of your garden beds is one of the best and easiest options, keeping in mind your lawn type and incorporating some barriers in your garden and lawn design. Regular maintenance is another way; little often to keep the grass at bay. 

Depending on your lawn type or invasive garden bed species; this can be a simple or rather complex task. Couch grasses tend to be more invasive so bear in mind when selecting your lawn, but the good news is totally eradicating grass from your garden beds and then keeping it out can be done.

There are herbicides that only kill grasses, without harming other plants. But, be careful when using sprays when it comes to lawns, as most are warm-season turf grasses which are susceptible to non-selective herbicides such as glyphosate/roundup.

Try and remove as much vegetation as possible by hand, by using a garden knife or hand- scythe to cut the grass low to the ground height.  Warm Season grasses Nullarbor Couch, Eureka Kikuyu, Sir Walter Buffalo and Velvetene have a runner system and that's why they tend to invade the garden in the first place.  With Couch and Kikuyu they also have a rhizome system that grows underground and can tunnel under edging and pop up and establish in neighbouring beds. 

Once you've removed most of the plant its time to address the underground part of the grass and there's a couple of ways to go about it;

  • Cutting off the light with a covering - mulch, cardboard or newspaper is one way and can smother the grass and then make sure you spray any new shoots that appear.
  • Use a non- selective herbicide like round up/ glyphosate being careful not to spray any garden plants you want to keep. (Depending on the grass type and the amount, you may need several spray applications - and trimming back in between before you can see the end of the weed. Once under control it's a matter of being vigilant with a spray bottle handy to quickly knock over any new invasion as they appear. 

Now keeping it from re-entering from your lawn is a different matter and that's where you will need to decide on your approach.

This blog post was adapted from the Lawn Solutions Australia post found at http://www.lawnsolutionsaustralia.com.au/blog/how-do-i-stop-my-lawn-growing-in-to-my-garden-beds/ 

 

 

Getting rid of that pesky Onionweed

Onionweed is one of thew worst types of weeds that can take hold in your lawn or garden, It can be eradicated however with patience and a bit of delicate work. Keeping onionweed under control by preventing flowering is a must to prevent it spreading any further.

What is onionweed?

Onionweed is a sedge-type weed and is a menace in lawns and garden beds throughout Australia. It is one of the worst weeds that you can have take hold in your yard and it is also one of the most difficult to get rid of. 

Onionweed is a perennial with thin green strappy leaves growing from a mainly white bulb which gives off an onion smell when crushed. Flowers grow at the top of a long stalk and are mainly white. Seeds form in summer and autumn and are spread mostly by wind blowing the seeds into the new areas.

It has a 'slow-release' way of sprouting its bulbets, making it a weed you just have to admire for its adaption and 'survivor' skills. Onionweed's thin, waxy leaves also make it difficult for herbicides to stick to the leaves, and even if it dopes, the wax makes it difficult for the herbicide to affect the plant. 

How to start the eradication process

Eradicating onionweed starts with removing as many of the plants as possible. Do not try to pull the plant out of the ground, or shake excess dirt back off into the hole or compost. The small bulbets tend to pull away from the mother plant when pulled, which leaves more bulbs in the ground that will rapidly grow.

If possible, dig the weed-clump out of the ground with a spade or a trowel, and throw the entire clump away.

The next step to total eradication of onionweed is to treat the area with either a non-selective herbicide (like Roundup/ Glyphosate) or even boiling water. Both options will kill any plant it touches, so be wary o surrounding plants. You will need to use a paintbrush or a weed-wand to carefully target the onion weed plants and avoid your lawn in possible. 

It can help to add a surfactant or a slight amount of household detergent - about the same rate as the herbicide concentrate amount - and when added to the mix helps the herbicide to stick to the waxy leaf and penetrate to do its work. 

Keep an eye out on your lawn, and repeat the process if any new onionweeds begin to grow. If your unable to treat the area, keep the plants trimmed near the ground if possible as this will prevent the onionweed from flowering and spreading to other parts of your lawn or garden through seeds. 

Hopefully this process will allow full eradication of onionweeds from your lawn and garden.Be patient, it can be a tedious exercise, but show no mercy, and don't give up hope. It will be well worth it to be onionweed free in the long run.

Lawn care doesn't need to be difficult and simple hints from us and the team at Lawn Solutions Australia can help to keep your lawn in top condition this winter. 

based on the blog post found at http://www.lawnsolutionsaustralia.com.au/blog/onionweed-the-battle-of-the-bulbs/ 

Spotlight on Eureka Kikuyu

Harvesting our Eureka Kikuyu

Harvesting our Eureka Kikuyu

A proven performer in most Australian climates, Eureka Kikuyu Grass is a vigorous grower that stands up to a wide range of conditions. Good for both home lawns and larger spaces such as recreational ovals and schools.

An economical all rounder Kikuyu grass

if your looking for a grass that is an economical all rounder, then Eureka Kikuyu is your choice of lawn. Its medium-coarse bright green leaves give a Euerka Kikuyu lawn superior colour, which is maintained year round in warm climates. In cold climates, growth and colour is maintained well into autumn and early winter. Eureka Kikiuyu also has superior disease resistance and resonable cold weather tolerance. 

Great for high wear areas

Preferring a sunny aspect, Eureka Kikuyu is a dense, rapid growing lawn. Its vigorous growth habit allows it to repair very quickly if damaged and is able to establish a strong, deep root base to help it stand up to the hottest summer days. Eureka Kikuyu enjoys a long growing season and with regular moving will hold a good tight growth mat. It holds its colour well into winter. It will brown off when frost affected but bounces back with full vigour in spring. 

Key points

  • medium coarse bright green leaves
  • fast growing
  • good resistant to wear and recovery is rapid, (twice as quick as normal Kikuyu)
  • thrives in full sun
  • maintains even colour year round
  • in warm climates it can maintain growth and colour into autumn and early winter
  • low irritant
  • tolerates a variety of soils
    • Summer mowing height 12 - 15mm every 7 days
    • Winter mowing height 15 - 18mm every 3 - 5 weeks. 

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON OUR EUREKA KIKUYU OR TO PLACE YOUR ORDER TODAY PLEASE CALL 9303 2627 OR EMAIL sales@superiorlawns.com.au