lawn

The Old Council Verge Debate; Lawn is the Way to go. Hands Down.

A perfect lawn in Perth

A perfect lawn in Perth

Perth Councils of late have been putting out a lot of information out regarding the council verge. Do’s and don’ts as to what can go there and how it should be maintained. Well here at Superior Lawns in Perth we may be a little biased but lawn is definitely the way to go. We have a number of drought and heat tolerant lawns which are low maintenance and won’t leave you out the front weeding for hours! Think lawn is hard to maintain? Follow these simple steps and you will have a lush green lawn that will fight away the weeds and add that finishing touch to your home. Don’t be fooled that lawn isn’t a good option and please please don’t think that artificial lawn is the way to go for ‘no’ maintenance…. we see those weeds growing around the edges!!

Managing Compaction on Council Verges in Perth

If your council verge strip endures a lot of foot traffic be it walkers, runners, cars or even the postie it can lead to compaction of the soil underneath. A tell tale sign of compaction are bare patches of hard dirt either side of the footpath or for those without a footpath this can occur on the main traffic area. The soil compacts so much that the lawn can no longer grow any more and you are left with the bare patches which lets me honest arent the most attractive. So what do you do? Aerating your lawn will help with compaction, being the council verge you could simply use a pitch fork to make holes in the soil (or get those shoes from Bunnings… you know the one's I am talking about!) this will help oxygen and nutrients enter the soil and give your lawn a chance to grow. Apply some soil wetter (a definite must especially for residents living in Perth and Western Australia. See our blog about Soil Wetters for more information on the benefits.)

Make sure the area is free from leaves and other matter.

It is important to make sure that your lawn and the council verge strip is left free of debris. This includes leaves, twigs, rubbish and if you live in some areas around Perth some extra special gifts left behind from dog walkers! It is important especially as the weather cools down that your lawn is receiving sufficient sunlight to ensure that photosynthesis can occur and give your lawn the best chance to grow and look a million bucks… and who really wants all of that on their front verge anyway!

Mowing your lawn regularly is a must!

It is important to ensure that you mow your lawn regularly. Although this may be tedious for some a quick zip around the verge is much easier than getting on all fours and weeding (or at least I think so!) Mowing regularly (but not too low… remember on 1/3 of the leaf at any given time). will mean you have a reduced risk of compaction as well as encouraging lateral growth which means a thicker more lush looking lawn.

What about edging?

You will need to edge if you want that pristine finished look. A quick whipper snipper around the foot path and driveway will do the job and might even encourage people to stick to the path rather than walk all over the lawn. You can also use an edger which will give you a more finished look adding to the aesthetics of your home… and if your in the market to sell they do say that a well manicured lawn can add big bucks at sale time!

Other than that, ensuring your reticulation is working and you are watering on your scheduled watering days, an application of fetiliser every season change and some soil wetter and you are done. It’s as easy as that! Lawns add so much more than just a look to your home, don’t forget that cooling effect, also that an average sized lawn produces more oxygen that a single tree alone and research has proven a strong link between mental health and lawn.

If you need any more help in getting your lawn to grow give our office a call or email and we would be more than happy to help. OR if this article has twisted your arm and you would like to purchase some superior lawn we are here to help! We can deliver Tuesday to Saturday. We look forward to hearing from you!

E:sales@superiorlawns.com.au

P: 9303 2627

TifTuf - The Lawn of the Future for Perth

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We are so excited to announce that our TifTuf is for sale in Perth, WA.

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With over 25 years of research and development from the University of Georgia; TifTuf Bermuda is set to change the playing field (excuse the pun) for turf in Perth and Western Australia as a whole. 

TifTuf was hand picked from over 30,000  different varieties of Bermuda and the main reason for this is its superior drought and shade tolerance. Not to mention its wear tolerance (higher then most other turf varieties on the market) as well as its ability to maintain its lush green colour during winter when most other varieties tend to yellow off.  

With a fine leaf blade and dense growth TifTuf is a perfect turf variety for the Perth residential market or even commercial use in larger open spaces. It has the ability to hand high traffic areas and with a fine leaf blade it maintains a high level of shade tolerance whilst still being soft under foot.

What you need to know about TifTuf?

  • TifTuf requires on average 38% less water then other turf varieties which means it is extremely drought tolerant; perfect for Perth water restrictions in summer.
  • Heat tolerant which means it can maintain a healthy green colour/growth throughout the heat of the Perth summer (with little water) 
  • TifTuf maintains its colour throughout winter
  • Self repairing
  • High tolerance to shade
  • Comes with a 10 Year Product Warranty
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To purchase your TifTuf today or to find out more about the lawn of the future call us today on 9303 2627 or email sales@superiorlawns.com.au 

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. 

WA turf removal advocacy short sighted

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Media Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE November 7, 2017

The Western Australian Government’s advocacy for home owners to pull up natural turf lawns is a bad idea that will have devastating effects on our urban areas, according to Turf Australia.

The huge number and wide-ranging benefits natural turf can offer an urban area overwhelmingly outweigh the advocating of removing lawn from backyards.

“Removing lawns is a knee jerk reaction that will not fix this problem – turf has far too many long-term benefits to the entire urban community,” Turf Australia’s Ross Boyle said.

“There are huge benefits to having turf, which is a natural product, in urban areas – it absorbs carbon, absorbs noise, absorbs heat, absorbs dust. It produces oxygen and improves water quality … you are potentially losing all these benefits when removing lawn.

“Lawn areas cool everything around it – it is one of the greatest defences in the urban heat island issue cities are faced with … lawns are cooler in the peak of summer by between 10 and 40 degrees compared to other surfaces like concrete and bare ground,” Mr Boyle said.

“There are also some very real social wellbeing and mental health benefits to communities of lawn – people get out and play on lawn, relax in parks on the lawn – you can’t do that on hard surfaces.”

Mr Boyle also said new lawn varieties did not use as much water as many people thought, and, with the addition of soil amendments and watering at optimal times – like overnight – the humble back yard can be very water efficient.

Turf Australia also urged the Western Australian Government to look closely at what it was advocating to replace natural turf with.

“Turf is a natural product, and replacing it with a hard surface or synthetic product costs the community many ways like increased energy usage trying to cool urban areas and the environmental cost of removing a natural air and water filtration system that is lawn.”

Dry Patches in your lawn? Here's a few things it could be

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There are a number of issues that need to be addressed if your lawn is going off in summer. They can  occur individually, or as an interrelation between two or more of them. The reasons have been listed in order of priority.

  1. Reticulation
  2. Hydrophobic soils
  3. Fertlising & Mowing
  4. Beetles (pests) and fungus's
  5. Soil Compaction

 Reticulation

The first cause is a retic system that is not giving adequate coverage. Likely reasons are blocked / broken/ misaligned sprinklers, change in pressure or sprinklers that have been replaced and don’t match the system. You check retic systems by finding out how many millimetres of water are being applied during each watering time. The pressure is measured by putting aerosol caps around your system and measuring the amount of water in each. If watering twice a week you need a minimum of 30mm on each day in normal conditions. These figures will let you know how long to run each station to get the required amount of water (stations may vary depending on pressure and sprinkler type). Different types of sprinklers put out vastly different amounts of water. Contrary to public perceptions, there is no time limit to how long each station runs for, as long as you water within your allocated watering day and time. Consideration must be given to drift from prevailing winds. Once you have audited your retic system and it is working satisfactorily you can look at the non wetting properties of your soil (hydrophobia).

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 Hydrophobic Soils

Hydrophobic soils repel water and this doesn’t allow for even distribution of water. The water makes runnels, following down through easier penetration areas, over wetting some areas and completely missing others. This is a natural occurrence in our dry, waxy sandy soils. So, if your retic system  is working efficiently and you are still having problems with a dry lawn, use a spade to cut out a square of lawn 100mm deep from the stressed area. You can then compare it with an area of healthy lawn. If it is drier, you probably have hydrophobic soil (at the same time you can check for beetles and grubs). Applying a good quality wetting agent such as Bailey’s Gro Sorb, Soil Soak, Eezi-Wet  or Aqua Soak before the first heat wave and reapplying as required (we recommend 4-6 weekly in summer) will improve and even out the water penetration through your lawn.

Fertilising / Mowing

Lawn should be fertilised lightly every 6 to 8 weeks with a quality fertiliser such as Sir Walter Buffalo Fertiliser or Baileys 3.1.1 or 4.1.1. This should continue even into winter to keep your lawn green and vigorous when others have gone dormant. A tonic of iron, manganese and nitrogen sprayed on the leaf does wonders. This is available at Bunnings. It is important that your lawn is mowed at a suitable height (above 20mm and higher in shade). This helps the lawn to keep its vigour and minimises porpoising (when the runners leap over each other due to the lawn being scalped). Scalping also stresses the lawn as it doesn’t have as much surface area in the leaf to retain moisture and promote photosynthesis and it is a known fact that the length of the leaf has a direct relationship to the length of the roots (longer roots make the lawn more drought tolerant).

 Beetles (Pests) and Fungus

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Pests (black beetle etc) and funguses (virtually unheard of in Sir Walter but more prevalent in other buffalo types and very occasionally in the couch varieties) can also be the cause of problems with your lawn, however these add up to less than 1% of turf related problems. You can check for beetles by soaking an area of a metre square by holding the end of your hose 150mm  below the surface for several minutes and seeing how many float to the top. If you get 50 or more you may have a problem and can treat with a suitable pesticide and for Velvetene lawns  (ONLY APPLICABLE FOR THE VELVETENE _ DO NOT USE ON ANY OTHER LAWN VARIETY) you can apply a salt solution (1kg pool salt dissolved in 5tl water). The black beetle is not a problem  if you have less than 100 to a square metre of lawn. These little creatures generally do more good than harm as they are a natural way of aerating the soil. Do not treat for black beetle unless you have an infestation of them (100/sqm). Funguses can also be treated with a suitable garden fungicide such as Fongarid or Mancozeb plus depending on the type (be aware that you do need to read the label and make sure that it is compatible with your lawn type).

 Compacted Soil

Some lawns do become compacted. Like us they need air. Opening up the ground (de compacting / aerating) with a sturdy pitchfork (pushing it in and working it backwards and forwards) is one way in a small lawn or you can hire a corer from a garden hire company such as The Hire Guys. This will allow for air to circulate through the lawn and make it easier for water to penetrate.

 Other

Finally spills including fertiliser, chlorine, petrol or BBQ fat will damage the lawn. Other secondary problems can be excessive thatch, dog urine and builders slurry (lime and mortar washed out of concrete mixers etc during building). Also, all lawns have a flowering and seeding time. Buffalo lawns flower in late spring and can occur more prevalently in a new or stressed lawn. Any problems can be minimised (or even eliminated) by checking the above points and you should be well on the way to having the best lawn in the street.


THREE GROUND RULES TO A HEALTHY LAWN

  1. Adequate water; 30mm on each of the two days allocated for watering.

  2. Regular dusting of fertiliser

  3. Regular mowing all year round – do not remove more then 1/3 of the leaf. 

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

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. 

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/ 

 

 

Spotlight on Eureka Kikuyu in Perth, Western Australia

Harvesting our Eureka Kikuyu

Harvesting our Eureka Kikuyu

A proven performer in most Australian climates in particular Perth, 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. 

What makes Eureka Kikuyu a lawn to consider in Perth?

  • Kikuyu has medium coarse bright green leaves,
  • Fast growing; perfect for the lawn mowing lover!
  • Good resistant to wear and recovery is rapid, (twice as quick as normal Kikuyu)
  • Thrives in full sun, perfect for large open spaces in Perth
  • Maintains even colour year round
  • In warm climates such as Perth, it can maintain growth and colour into autumn and early winter
  • Low irritant
  • Tolerates a variety of soils, perfect for Perth's sandy 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

 

Should I consider Nullarbor Couch (Wintergreen) for my lawn?

Nullarbor Couch also know as Wintergreen is a mid emerald green couch particularly drought tolerant variety of lawn with a soft, fine, but tough, dense sward supported by a deep root system. 

Nullarbor Couch is a proven and popular couch grass in Perth and WA with extensive use in home gardens, on golf courses, sporting fields and community parks.

  • Couch thrives in full sun areas
  • Very strong horizontal growth
  • Low mowing heights
  • Can handle high amounts of traffic, whilst enabling it to recover quicker if affected by wear and stress
  • Suitable for large areas such as sports fields, golf courses and parks or recreational areas
  • Backed by a 10 Year Lawn Solutions Australia Product Warranty

For more information on our Nullarbor Couch (Wintergreen) turf or to place your order today call 9303 2627