Winter Lawn Care Tips

 Winter lawn care; Superior Lawns Australia

Hard to believe Winter is just around the corner especially because we have been gifted with such a warm Autumn... but nonetheless it is important to put into place some simple Winter lawn care tips. All of our lawn varieties at Superior Lawns Australia are what's known as 'warm season' grasses; this includes our Sir Walter DNA Certified Buffalo, Nullarbor Couch, Velvetene and our Eureka Kikuyu. This means in Winter the lawns tend to become dormant as their peak growing period occurs during the warmer months.

Step 1: Increase your mower height

As the days get shorter, so too does the opportunity for photosynthesis to occur. This means reducing your mower height leaving more leaf will allow your grass to have a greater food supply. You can continue to reduce your mower height throughout winter as to 'tidy up' the lawn rather then mow or more importantly not scalp the lawn as the cooler weather, limited strong sunlight will mean your lawn will take longer to repair. 

Step 2: Fertilise

Using a pre-winter fertiliser or fertiliser which is high in iron will give your lawn the nutrients it needs to maintain its health over the winter months. It will also green up your lawn before it goes into full winter dormancy. 

Step 3: Weeds/weeding

Using a pre-emergent before Winter sets in is a good option. Tackling the weeds before the cooler months will give your lawn the best start it needs to look its best over the cooler months when it is not vigorously growing. 

Step 4: Replace any dead/dry patches

If you have dead patches or areas of lawn which haven't grown too well over the summer months, you can simply and easily replace these areas before winter sets in. At Superior Lawns Australia we sell our turf per square and there are no minimums so if it's just 1 square metre your after we can help you out!

Step 5: Aeration

Over watering or hard soil causing pools of water can become an issue when the weather cools down. This can cause lawn disease or rotting within the layer of thatch. You can use a garden fork for smaller areas or hire an aerator if your area is larger to get the job done quicker. 

By following these simple steps, your lawn can continue to look good over the winter months. Don't worry if your lawn yellows off during winter; this is normal for our 'warm season' grasses. Stay tuned for our Spring lawn tips to prepare your lawn for its peak growing period. 

If you have any questions about your lawn, give our office a call 9303 2627. 

 

Did you know money grows in lawn?

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Did you know you can save money and increase the value of your home at the same time? 

It may be surprising to realise that laying grass is far more cost effective than once thought. Whilst alternatives such as artificial turf, pavers and sandstone do offer their own benefits, the initial cost outlay is significantly higher per square metre... and when you have a large area to coever, the benefits of turf are that grass is defintely more affordable option, regardless of the variety you choose to best suit your needs. 

The cost of turf per square metre

The median cost of turf per square metre including costs for site and surface preparation, underlay and supply and installation is $28,48*, which is approximately a quarter of the cost of the next cheapest alternative; concrete. The table below shows the median costs per square metre of various ground covers, such as turf, concrete, pavers and planting, which makes it very clear that turf is a great value option. The fact that a newly turfed lawn invariably increases your property's visual appeal and value makes it an obvious choice for landscapers and homeowners alike. 

Surface                         Median cost (m2)

  • Natural Turf                                 $28.48
  • Synthetic Grass                           $168.00
  • Pavers                                         $180.00
  • Sandstone                                   $218.50
  • Concrete                                      $115.50
  • Mass Garden Planting                 $139.90

These figures are based on data from the Landscape Association of NSW and include costs for site and surface preparation, underlay, supply and installation.

"Not only will laying turf save you money, it adds to the value of a home. A recent survey revealed homebuyers pay up to 19 per cent more for a house with lawn. Now that’s a significant benefit." Lawn Solutions Australia

Want to start over and install a new lawn?

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Garden over grown? Want to start again? Thanks to the help of the team at Lawn Solutions Australia you can follow these simple steps to ensure your garden is ready to be that beautiful oasis it was meant to be. 

Where do I start?

It is important to find out what the best varieties are for your area and for your needs. You can browse our varieties online or call us to discuss what variety is best for you. Once you have done this, it is important that you order your turf for the day you intend to lay it. Turf is a green life product that must be laid as soon as possible, particulraly in the warmer months. The longer turf sits on a pallet the more it will heat up and dry out and if let long enough, it could even die. This will mean planning out what day you have your soil base prepared and ensuring you have your turf delivered shortly after (usually the next day) so that your soil isn't washed or blown away before the turf arrives.

Planning your area - simple tips to be prepared.

1. Firstly, you need to kill off any existing grasses and weeds by spraying out with a glyphosate product such as Round Up or Zero. To ensure you have stopped everything in its tracks so it doesn't grow up through your new turf, we recommend spraying the area again about a week or two later. It is at this stage we recommend that you order your turf depending on what your time frame is for completing the preparation.

2. Once the grass has died, put your mower on its lowest setting and scalp the the dead organic material back with your lawn mower.

3. rake out dead material and other rocks or debris. Anything that is left behind in the soil may inhibit the success of your lawn down the track, so it is extremely important that it is removed during preparation. When your soil base gets packed down where the air is squeezed out and hard layer remains it is called compaction.

If the area is suffering from compaction, you may need to dig up the area and turn it over to de-compact and aerate the soil as much as possible. This can be done with a mattock, but if it is a large area that is affected it may be worth hiring a rotary hoe which would be much less labour intensive.

Spread Turf underlay soil.

The three main soil types are sandy, loam and clay, with many soils fitting in between these three; a sandy loam or clay loam to give a couple of examples. For general gardening and lawn purposes you can't beat a loam soil, it's got all the good hear and the right structure. If you don't have a sandy loam base already you will need to bring in turf underlay soil. Soils Aint Soils have a great new lawn mix which would be a great option for your new lawn. 

Turf underlay is generally an 80:20 mix; 80% coarse river sand and 20% organic soil material. This soil will provide you with good drainage from the sand and water holding capacity from the  soil. Testing your soils pH is another important factor and making adjustments is best done now before you lay your new lawn. The amount of turf underlay soil you bring in will be dependent on the soil compositing of your existing base. As a rough guide a bare minimum would be 25mm as a light skim, up to anywhere between 50 - 150mm depending on your soil base and finishing levels. Keep in mind the thickness of your turf (Our Sir Walter DNA Certified buffalo is 50mm, and our Velvetene, Nullarbor Couch and Eureka Kikuyu all at 35mm)

Laying your turf

Once your soil is spread and level, you are ready for your grass! Laying your turf is relatively simple, but it is important to follow a few simple guidelines to ensure you get the best possible result for your lawn moving forward.

1. apply a starter fertiliser such as Sir Launcher or our Turf Start (pelletised chicken manure) this will encourage deeper root growth and support your lawn in the establishment phase. Adding a soil wetter will also benefit your lawn and this should be applied regularly to your lawn even after establishment. 

2. If you are laying your turf on a slope, start at the bottom. Place your rolls or slabs of turf around the perimeter of the area and lay between the perimeter. Stagger the joints in a brickwork fashion to avoid erosion and ensure you butt the turf closely together to avoid gaps - this is where your turf can dry out and cause a patchy lawn.

3. when cutting is required use a sharp knife or shears, but don't throw these off cuts away. When you have finished laying you will probably find there are a few unusual spaces to fill and these bits are perfect for that. 

Water your new lawn as soon as possible

Water as soon as possible. If you are laying a large lawn, try and water as you go - especially on a hot day,. If you have access to a roller, we recommend rolling the lawn to ensure good root contact with the soil. 

Once your new lawn is established, check out our previous blog posts about the first mow or regaular maintenance to ensure you have a lush green lawn for life. 

 

 

Need Help with Dog Urine Burns?

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We often get people calling up about dead patches in their grass usually as a result of pets urine. Thanks to the team at Lawn Solutions Australia; they have come up with 5 possible solutions which you might like to try. 

What causes the urine to burn my turf?

Dogs are carnivores and have a high amount of protein in their diets. This protein is excreted as nitrogen when the dog urinates. Nitrogen is great for your lawn when in the right quantities, but an excessive amount will cause the grass to burn. What you need to do is reduce the amount of Nitrogen in your dog’s urine.

5 Methods of Prevention

Successfully putting a stop to urine burn often requires a few different approaches.

1. Watering an area straight after urination will dilute the urine and prevent it from burning. This obviously can be quite difficult to follow up all of the time, but if you do see your dog urinate then straight away is the time to take action.

2. Feed your dog a well-balanced dog food that has the protein level your dog requires. This will ensure you are not creating more nitrogenous waste than necessary and most importantly will be good for your dog’s health.

3. Encouraging your dog to drink more water will also help. Make sure their water bowl is always full and clean. Having more than one water bowl might also provide additional encouragement.

4. f possible, train your dog to urinate in the same area. This will help restrict damage to one area instead of the entire lawn and you can then target that area for additional watering and lawn care.

5. Another popular option is to try dog rocks. Dog Rocks®filter out impurities from water such as Tin, ammonia and nitrates. Putting Dog Rocks® into your dog’s water bowl may help reduce the impurities your dog consumes and be the answer for preventing any more urine burns from affecting your lawn.

By utilising a combination of these tips, you should achieve some positive results.

** We have also heard that giving your dog a spoonful of baked beans can assist in reducing the burn. Give it a go and let us know if it worked! 

For more tips like this visit the Lawn Solutions Australia website. 

How to Install Your Own Lawn

Apply a starter fertiliser to your soil

Once you have a reasonable amount of underlay leveled (100mm is recommended but this may vary for different lawn varieties), apply a starter fertiliser such as Sir Launcher, Turf Start and a quality soil wetter. This will encourage deeper root growth and really support your lawn in the establishment phase. 

Start laying turf around the perimeter

If you are laying your turf on a slop, start at the bottom. Place your rolls or slabs of turf around the perimeter of the area and lay between the perimeter. Stagger the joints in a brickwork fashion to avoid erosion and butt the turf closely together to avoid gaps - this is where your turf can dry out and cause a patchy lawn if not installed correctly. 

Don't throw turf offcuts away

When cutting is required use a sharp knife or shears, but don't throw these off cuts away! When you have finished laying you will probably find there are a few unusual spaces to fill and these bits are perfect for that. 

Water your new lawn as soon as possible

Water as soon as possible. If you are laying a large lawn, try and water as you go - especially on hot days. If you have access to a roller, we recommend rolling the lawn to ensure good root contact to the soil. NB for our Sir Walter DNA Certified customers rolling will not be required as our lawn is sold in slabs. 

 

NPK - what does it mean and why is it so important?

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Knowing why NPK is important for your lawn will help you to understand how you are helping  your lawn when you fertilise. 

For the most part, as long as you use a good quality fertilser that is suited to your turf variety (where all the scientific work has been done) your lawn will thrive. 

Lawn fertilisers come in many varying types and blends and can be quite confusing as to which is the right option for your. Grass is like any other plant - it takes in nutrients and air through the soil and sunlight through the leaves for photosynthesis where the conversion to sugars and energy takes place. The job of lawn fertilisers is to keep this in balance and help provide the nutrients that your lawn is lacking. 

(N) Nitrogen - Nitrogen is largely responsible for the growth of leaves on the plant and is the most talked about nutrient when it comes to lawns and is usually the highest percentage of your NPK ratio. Lawns love Nitrogen, but it is important to strike a balance between strong leaf growth and strong roots capable of supporting it as well. This is where phosphorus comes in. 

(P) Phosphorus - Phosphorus is largely responsible for root growth and is actually quite a low percentage of the overall NPK ratio. Phosphorus moves slowly through the soil, and isn't used in great amounts by your lawn.

(K) Potassium - Potassium is a nutrient that helps the overall functions of the plant perform correctly. Potassium is an essential macro-nutrient used in the largest quantities by plants for vigor and growth. Potassium helps grass withstand drought and disease. IT also helps the plant to more effectively use Nitrogen. 

By Understanding how these nutrients effect the overall health of your lawn, you will be better equipped to identify deficiencies in your lawn and the tell tale signs of stress, which will help you know when it's a good time to fertilise. 

The original blog post can be found on the Lawn Solutions Australia website. 

Edging... there is an art to it!

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Sometimes we run out of time to add the finishing touches to the lawn - but don't forget the edging. Finishing your lawn off with a nice edge can be compared to adding a frame to a painting; it makes all the difference.

If your lawn looks a bit scraggly around the edges, the overall appearance of your lawn is definitely diminished. Not everyone has a lawn edger... that's OK; a whipper snipper can do the job but its important to know how to use it to get the best results. 

The team at Lawn Solutions Australia have come up with 5 tips for getting a great finish every time. 

1. Choosing your trimmer; the main types are corded/cordless and petrol powered trimmers. Petrol trimmers will have more power and you will find these much easier for larger spaces. The may find the corded trimmers are a bit annoying as you will need to drag an extension lead behind you - but these are all you need if the space is small. The cordless trimmers are convenient in that sense, but do tend to lack the right power to get that precision edge. 

2. Speed; your trimmer will work best when at full speed. So, keeping your trimmer line away from the edge and working your way in (this is the key to maintaining speed). Avoid starting the line trimmer already in the grass - the aim is to cut the quickest and cleanest cuts; the tip of the line does all the cutting so keeping the majority of the line clear will result in the cleanest cuts. 

3. Spin Direction; depending on which way your trimmer spins, you will need to be sure you are cutting with one side and the cuttings are being ejected to the opposite side. i.e if your trimmer spins counter clockwise you will need to keep the right side closer to the edge so that the clippings are being ejected away from it. This will keep the cutting path clear and allow you to achieve a much better result.

4. Edging and tapering; edging will be important for driveways and paths where you are after a clean edge to something parallel. This is where you hold the edge of the trimmer so that the string is vertical. This will provide a crisp cut line where you want the grass to end. Tapering is used for fencing and retaining walls where you hold the edge of the trimmer so that the string is at a slight angle. This will ensure you don't scalp a full run of grass by trimming parallel and get a nice gradual blend between the object and the grass. 

5. Regular trims; as with mowing it is important that you keep on top of the edging and no not allow it to get out of control. So, the more you do it, the more likely your edges will stay uniform and the easier they will be to tidy up, and the better you will get at it. 

The original blog post was found on the Lawn Solutions Australia Website. Superior Lawns Australia is proud to be a member of Lawn Solutions Australia. 

Lawn Solutions Featuring on Better Homes and Gardens

Did you miss the segment on Better Homes and Gardens? Don't worry, we have the clip for you here. 

The segment included;

  • A brief history of turf farming (in Australia)
  • How turf is cut and delivered
  • Sir Walter DNA and Lawn Solutions Australia history
  • AusGAP Certification and the importance of choosing quality turf
  • LSA's Turfgrass research

Here at Superior Lawns Australia we are proud to be affiliated with Lawn Solutions Australia. The research and development is second to none which means we can provide our customers with the best quality turf for our unique enviroment and soil types. 

How often should I mow my lawn?

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There's no excuse this weekend not to mow, with the weather that bit milder it is the perfect opportunity to get out there and tend to your lawn.

It is important to maintain a regular routine and mow your lawn when it needs here. Why you ask? Well there's a few reasons;

  1. Consistent heights allow for consistent nutrients within the grass, helping your lawn look the same throughout.
  2. Leaving your lawn too long can block out the sun from reaching the undergrowth and can lead to die off from below.
  3. Letting your lawn get too long actually ends up causing you to mow your lawn more often! When you do finally mow, you are having to take more off the leaf which will stress your lawn much more than necessary. Once the lawn gets quite long, you don't want to be taking more than a third of the leaf off at a time without stressing the plant, so you have to mow off a third, wait a few days then mow again to get it back to the optimal height. So sticking to the one third rule is extremely important in maintaining a healthy lawn. 
  4. The mower may have difficulty cutting down the tall grass even with an increased blade height, so it will be a much more difficult task. 
  5. A lawn that isn't mowed regularly to the recommended height is often less healthy than a manicured lawn.
  6. A lawn full of weak grass is more susceptible to disease, pests and weeds. 

By sticking to a regular mowing and lawn maintenance routine, your lawn will be healthier and be less likely to develop problems that will only cost you more time and money in the long run. 

This blog post was originally found on the Lawn Solutions Australia website.  

Do I need to use a wetting agent on my lawn?

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The easy answer; yes. Wetting agents are like a detergent or surfactant that attracts water to the soils surface, helping it to soak in. 

Soil can become hydrophobic which means it repels water and can lead to serious problems in the garden and especially your lawn. For existing lawns that are hydrophobic, a wetting agent is needed. 

What causes hydrophobic soil? 

Hydrophobic soil is caused by the decomposition of organic matter, which leaves a wax like substance forming a coating on soil particles. After long periods of dry weather, soils can become dehydrated and this is when the hydrophobic surface is exposed, which stops water from penetrating. 

How can I fix a hydrophobic lawn? 

Wetting agents can assist in reducing the hydrophobic nature of soil. Wetting agents can be either liquid or granular and are sometimes mixed into lawn foods and top dressing mixes too. 

For new lawn installation, especially here in WA mixing through some organics and adding a wetting agent before laying the lawn will provide the new lawn with the best start. 

Aerating coupled with the use of a wetting agent will help get moisture and oxygen into the soil and provide your lawn with the soil it requires to thrive. 

The original blog post can be found on the Lawn Solutions Australia website.