It’s during Summer when we’re all outdoors, that we want our lawns to look their best. However, the hot weather can sometimes wreak havoc on our gardens but with a few simple tips, we can maintain a lush green lawn throughout the warmer months.
These lawn tips will help towards a healthier, better-looking, Summer lawn.
1. Make a plan
Rather than rushing into mowing the lawn, take a moment to determine the best approach. Do you have lots of trees and garden beds surrounding your garden? Consider trimming the edges before you start on the open spaces. Or do you have a split-level garden? Try mowing the top section first so you can work your way down and do the easy section last. If your lawn is surrounded by hedging, trims those before the lawn. And another tip – always allow for space between the garden beds and the lawn – this will stop you from trampling on your newly planted petunias while you are mowing!
2. Check your equipment
Mowing a lawn with blunt mower blades will cause problems. For starters, the blades will probably just tear your lawn leaving it weak and vulnerable to pests. Not to mention its untidy appearance as the cut will be uneven. Spend some time ensuring your blades are sharp and the mower is in peak condition. It will make for a neater and healthier lawn.
3. Clean up before you mow
Imagine if you’ve just sharpened your lawnmower blades and then you mow over something that’s not lawn – like a rock or a stray ball. Not only can this cause safety issues, it will blunt your lawnmower blades. Spend some time with a rake and tidy the lawn of any debris before mowing.
4. Don’t cut too it short or too often
If you cut your lawn too short it is likely to thin it out and make it more susceptible to the Summer heat, weeds and bugs. Similarly, if you cut your lawn too often you may get the same adverse results. And while every lawn grows at a different speed due to things like variety and varying conditions, your mowing ritual can be based on a couple of simple rules:
- Always aim to trim off no more than a third of the length of grass.
- Ideal mowing heights for cool season grasses (think Tall Fescue) during summer should be approximately 5cm. This height helps to shade the lawn and conserve moisture.
- Ideal mowing heights for warm season grasses (think Buffalo, Couch or Kikuyu) during summer should be approximately 1.5cm.
5. Mow at the right time
It might sound like a great idea to mow just after a Summer shower but it’s actually not a good idea. That’s because wet lawn is harder to cut than a dry lawn. You will end up with an uneven cut when you try to mow a soggy lawn and you’ll find that it tends to clog your mower. And if you’re using the cuttings as mulch, it’s much better (and easier to distribute) as dry mulch. The cooler parts of the day are best for mowing – early morning and early evening.
6. Check your watering system
Check that your watering systems are all working well. A quick check will ensure everything’s in tip-top shape ready for the summer sun.
Did you know that grass clippings are a great source of nutrients and nitrogen? Your grass clippings are ready-made mulch! And because they have a high water content, they will break down quickly. It’s the perfect solution for cutting and feeding your lawn and garden.
7. Water at the right time and frequency
Watering lightly and too often will only encourage a shallow root system meaning the lawn is weakened and more likely to be invaded by pests and weeds. Watering heavily and too often also is not an ideal solution as a water-laden lawn can become weak too – not to mention slippery and dangerous! But never fear – there are some simple guidelines to follow.
Always water deeply and not too often to encourage strong root growth.
The best regimen for Summer is a deep watering in the morning, twice a week.
And don’t forget to check your local council guidelines for water usage and restrictions.
8. Manage those weeds
For broadleaf weeds, try using weed and feed available from good garden centres and other hardware stores.
9. Feed the lawn
The appropriate level of mowing and watering is important for your lawn, but they are no good unless we feed it.
A well-fertilised lawn will have less weeds, less pests and less diseases compared to a non-fertilised lawn.
Although fertilising on a frequent basis will give you the visual effect of a lush green lawn, the increased mowing and watering required to maintain your lawn’s good condition may outweigh the benefits.
Here at Northscape, we are very conscious of the effect that indiscriminant use of fertilisers have had on our environment and for this reason we suggest that you use the following as a guide only to the frequency of application:
- High Traffic Areas: every 6 weeks
- Normal Lawn Use: every 3 months
Suggested application rates are:
- Sandy soil: 1kg – 40m²
- Heavier soil: 1kg – 20m²
10. Sit back and enjoy
All that effort can’t be wasted! Sit back, smell the roses, let the sun shine on your face and admire your lush, green lawn!