Why growing grass from seed is a bad idea

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Why should you buy turf instead of growing a lawn from seed? A good question and with the help from the team at Lawn Solutions Australia let us tell you why. 

If you have a look at the gardens in your street, you will find that 99% of the good ones are turfed, and not grown from seed, and there's a very good reason for this.


A great lawn requires great skill

All great Aussie lawns like our DNA certified Sir Walter Buffalo, Eureka Kikuyu and Nullarbor Couch are what we call male sterile and cannot not be grown from seed, not even on the turf farm can they be grown from seed, they have to be grown from live vegetative material that takes a lot of skill from us at Superior Lawns as well as every other Australian turf grower to turn it into lawn turf. If an experience turf producer cant grow it from seed - what chance does the average Joe have?

Grass grown from seed struggles in hot weather

It is true that seed will grow into some sort of ground cover in the colder wetter climates of Australia, however it will not be a drought tolerant lawn as usually it will be a cool season variety such as a seeded rye or fescue that may give a quick flush of green in a colder climate but once the hot weather comes along it can be gone forever. 

See the difference for yourself

A good test if you're still not convinced is to ask your seed supplier to show you a couple of front lawns they have supplied in your local area that are 5 years or older. You will be amazed at how few are grown from seed.

Want a lawn for life? 

So if you want a great long lasting Aussie lawn give us a call and get a great lawn for life. Remember only turf purchased through us comes with our 10 year warranty. 

Dethatching your lawn

If you’ve got a thatch issue going on, it’s a great time over the next month or so to get in a couple of low-mows (the other best time of year is at the end of Spring). 

A study carried out by the University of Western Australia a few years’ ago, compared different types of renovation for turf and they found that the results from a ‘hard-mow’ or ‘scalping’ was just as good as scarifying, coring, or grooming when it came to dethatching a lawn.

This should only be done a couple of times a year and works only for warm-season grasses like our DNA Certified Sir Walter Buffalo, Nullarbor Couch, Eureka Kikuyu and Velvetene. (NB. it should be avoided for cool season grass types). 

If your lawn feels ‘spongy’ to walk on then it may be time for such drastic action. For more lawn care tips visit Lawn Solutions Australia

5 Basic Lawn Mowing Tips to help you out this Spring/Summer

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Getting on top of your lawn mowing routine is essential for helping to create a beautiful, healthy, low maintenance lawn. Now is a great time to start getting back into the swing of things after a long winter dormancy. 

Regular mowing helps keeps weeds down, minimises grubs and makes the lawn less susceptible to disease and promotes healthy coverage by sending nutrients from the grass cuttings back into the soil. Plus a freshly mowed lawn looks and smells great!

Different lawn varieties have different mowing requirements but there are some basic standards. Knowing these fundamentals will make a big difference to the health and appearance of your lawn. 

Tip #1 Mow at the right height for your grass type

The proper height for mowing your lawn depends on your grass variety, season and growing conditions. Below is a rough guide for correct mowing heights for our lawn varieties (Spring/Summer guidelines);

Grass Type        Lawn Mowing Height 

Sir Walter Buffalo                        20 - 40mm                                                                    Nullarbor Couch                           12 - 15mm                                                                      Eureka Kikuyu                              12 - 15mm                                                                      Velvetene                                     10 - 12mm 

Tip #2 Don't mow your lawn too short

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Don't mow your lawn too short, as this can put your lawn under extreme stress (unless you are purposely scalping your lawn which we only recommend at the start of Spring). It can leave your lawn looking brown with bare patches on your lawn, and if cut too short regularly, this can seriously deplete the lawns energy reserves and is an open invitation for weeds to invade and seed.

Tip #3 Reduce mowing height gradually

If your lawn is overgrown, gradually reduce it to the correct height over a few mows. Avoid taking too much off the leaf blade in one go as this can stress the grass and it may require additional irrigation to recover. Taking no more then one-third of the blade length each mow is a good general rule. 

Tip #4 Mow your lawn regularly

Avoid long periods between mows - regular mowing is best. Keep in mind that your mowing routine may also need to change with the seasons. Sir Walter for example, loves hot summers and will have vigorous growth during this time.

Tip #5 Keep your lawn mower blades sharp

Sounds simple, but keeping your mower well maintained is very important. Sharp blades are crucial for a good cut. Blunt blades tend to tear, rather then cut the lawn. 

For more tips and tricks to keep your lawn looking spot on we recommend you visit the Lawn Solutions Australia Website. 

Top Dressing your lawn...

There are a few reasons why you should apply a top dressing to your lawn and here they are;

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  • If your lawn needs a boost of nutrients,
  • Is uneven,
  • Contains holes

You should always top dress to repair holes or uneven lawn just prior to the growing season (usually the beginning of Spring - not when the lawn is dormant as you can run the risk of damaging or even killing the lawn entirely! Top dressing for nutrients can be applied at any time though. It is not recommended to top dress on an annual basis as it can accelerate the build up of thatch. 

Top Dressing for Nutrients

When you 'top dress for nutrients' you are applying a thin layer of organic soil over the entire area of your lawn adding organic, natural nutrients and minerals. Usually you apply a top dressing for nutrients when your lawn is in need of a boost as this will encourage the production of new shoots and result in a thicker lawn (with the added bonus of hindering moss and weed infestation.)

Applying the top dressing will introduce materials to your soil that will improve drainage, allow the soil to exchange gases with the atmosphere more effectively whilst also promoting the development of the soils micro-flora and micro fauna which is needed to break down thatch and clippings. The earthworms will also get an extra feed which means they work their magic releasing nutrients into the soil.  

Bags of top dressing mixtures can be purchased from lawn care centres and nurseries and provide all the relevant handling and application information. Work out the square metres of your lawn before you buy; a general guide: a 2kg bag will be enough to top dress one square metre of lawn. 

** Make sure to mow your lawn the day before applying the top dressing and remove any debris.

Top Dressing to fix holes and uneven lawn 

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Similar to top dressing for nutrients, ensure the lawn has been mowed the day prior. The longer the grass the more sandy loam or clear river sand required to cover the area and a deeper layer of soil will make it harder for the grass to through through it. 

Evening out the lawn

It is recommended that a maximum height of 12mm is added at a time to uneven lawn. If the areas are deeper then 12mm apply a second layer after the original 12mm is added. Shovel the loam or sand onto the lawn in even piles and then level out with a garden leveller. The top of the lawn should remain visible. Once leveled, the lawn can be watered. 

To Fix holes in the lawn

For the repair of a hole deeper than 5cms use a shovel to raise the grass on top of the hole, place top dressing material underneath to elevate the level of the lawn. Then apply the top dressing to address any remaining unevenness as per the instructions above remembering that the tops of the lawn plants should remain visible and the top dressing needs to be watered in once evenly spread.

*** It is recommended to fertilise the lawn a week or two before applying a top dressing. This goes for any type of top dressing be it for nutrients, holes or unevenness. By applying the fertiliser beforehand it will give the lawn the boost it needs to push through the dressing more easily and quickly. 

Watering your lawn immediately after it has been top dressed and maintaining regular watering will give your lawn the boost it needs after what can be considered a 'stressful' process for it to recover from. 

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The original blog was taken from http://www.lawnsolutionsaustralia.com.au/blog/top-dressing-your-lawn/ for more information visit their website

 

 

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.