We have had an amazing autumn but its almost winter and we have a few tips for you to improve your lawn's appearance throughout winter. Don't attempt too many drastic actions; scarifying or topdressing at this time of year is a definite no no, but a last fertilise for the season and even a pigment treatment can work wonders for your lawn.
During the cooler months lawn's will generally be at their most vulnerable and unable to repair or maintain good health as well as they can in the warmer seasons.
Most Australian lawns are what are known as warm-season grasses; Kikuyu and Sir Walter Buffalo lawns are a few of the most common types and fit into this category. As the name suggests 'warm-season' grasses are actively growing during these months and during the cooler months they slow down and can go dormant; shutting down or discolouring over winter.
This is a protection method that lawn grasses use to withstand freezing temperatures and frost with the grass leaves thinning and drying out and the plant's energy being stored in the lower parts of the grass stem and roots area.
As the weather starts to cool down, so does lawn care with the grass not growing as vigorously as it did a few weeks ago in most cases. As daylight hours decrease, so does photosynthesis, so by increasing mower heights and leaving more leaf it will help increase the food supply to the grass.
Pruning is a great way to plan ahead for winter conditions, as overgrown trees and bushes may increase their shade levels and by the time we notice our lawn has started dying in certain areas, it can be too late to repair the damage.
Use this period as an opportunity to fertilise your lawn, and go for an all round or pre-winter fertiliser that contains higher levels of iron, which is essential for good lawn health throughout these cooler conditions and also gives a quick colour boost to your lawn.
It is important to address any weed issues before winter, as conditions for their survival improve, while at the same time the lawn's ability to fight against them decreases. Winter weeds such as poa (wintergrass), could potentially inhabit your lawn. Treating weeds before they spread is the best thing to do.
Patching up any bare or dry spots will help prevent issues during the cooler months, and will keep your lawn looking good - you can square up any areas with a mattock or spade and fit new turf sections straight onto your lawn. Give us a call if you need a turf roll or slab to patch up areas.
As air and soil temperatures decrease, over watering during cooler temperatures can increase the possibility of lawn diseases or rotting of the thatch latch layer. Aerating your lawn during autumn in considered a good time to do so as the plants are busy enhancing their root zones in preparation for winter and the soil is usually a bit softer than at the height of summer.
Use a garden fork and work to break up the soil or hire an aerator that will make quick work of the job. You will be amazed at the results - just check out any golf course and see how often they are aerating or coring to get more airspace into the soil profile.
Getting the mowing height right is probably one of the most important things now and its a good idea with the next few mows to increase the height and then you can gradually lower it over winter - not taking much leaf off but more of a tidy up.
You will see this on many footy fields around the country as most sports turf curators start to lift the mower height at this time of the year to get a more healthy and robust cushion of turf in readiness for damaging winter sports.
Lawn care doesn't need to be difficult and simple hints from us and the Lawn Solutions Australia team can help with products to keep your lawn in top condition this autumn. If you need any more advice or would like to purchase lawn for patch ups or for your whole backyard call us on 9303 2627 today.