7 tips for keeping your lawn green this summer
Want to make your neighbours green with envy when they peek over your fence this summer? A perfectly manicured, emerald green lawn seems like it would be a lot of work but if you prep correctly and follow some of our handy tips, you can make things so much easier on yourself. To get that perfect summer green it takes a little work at the start of the season and then consistency when it comes to watering and replenishing nutrients. Follow along with our 7 tips for getting a stunning green lawn this summer:
Seems like a bit of a no brainer, but there is actually an art to watering to get that maximum greenness. Watering is often a bit of a chore as it seems like no sooner have you got out and watered, then a heatwave rolls through and your lawn starts turning brown again. The trick with watering is the timing. If you time your watering right, you will be able to wait longer between soaks. Early morning is prime time for watering as the sun has not yet risen, meaning you don’t lose any moisture to evaporation. Really soak your lawn at this time as you want your water to penetrate right down to the roots and beyond. Your roots will grow toward where the moisture is, and a deeper roots system means a hardier and more resilient turf. Watering late at night is not recommended as it can expose your turf to disease.
2. Aerate your lawn
Aerating your lawn is one of those ‘start of season’ jobs that can make a world of difference down the track. What aerating your lawn does is creates pocket in your lawn for water to penetrate deeper to encourage root growth. It is also a great way to relieve tension from heavily compacted soils, restoring a bit of balance and encouraging turf growth. Compaction can occur when your soil receives a lot of heavy foot traffic, is clay based or lacking in nutrient value, or is filled with spots that are prone to collecting water and do not drain well. If you are unsure whether your lawn needs aeration, remove a square foot of turf 15cm down and check how far down your root system goes. If it only reaches 3-5cm your soil needs aerating.
3. Feed your lawn
As the weather heats up and the sun comes out, the microbes in your soil go into overdrive, using the trace elements and nutrients in your soil to feed your flowers, plants and turf. As this process speeds up you need to make sure you are replenishing those nutrients to encourage growth. Fertilising for a gorgeous green summer lawn should actually take place in early spring. Treat your lawn by fertilising it with a premium slow-release lawn fertiliser so it will retain nutrients throughout the hotter months. You can then give your lawn a top up at the start of summer using a granule or liquid fertiliser to reinvigorate the soil and give your turf that extra boost. Just make sure you don’t fertilise once the temperature consistently reaches above 30 degrees as this can cause lawn burn.
4. Mow your lawn
Mowing your lawn consistently during the summer is a must do if you want to keep it looking neat and healthy. While you might be tempted to cut it short, so you don’t have to mow as often, this is not the best method for getting that emerald green lawn you want. Mowing your turf high during the summer will help protect your lawn by providing more shade, preventing weeds from growing, and protecting your turf from the heat. On top of this, it also helps with root growth. If you have a cool season grass you should try cutting it to around 3-4 inches and warm season grasses should be cut to around 2-3 inches.
5. Weed your lawn
Many weeds can’t stand the summer weather but there are varieties that thrive in the summer sun like Bindiis, creeping oxtails, crows feet, summer grass and white clover. It is important to get in early to make sure these varieties don’t get out of control. Otherwise, they can be a pain to get rid of down the track. The best way to keep your lawn free from pests is to apply a pre-emergent herbicide in winter or early spring. Pre-emergent herbicides like Oxafert work by creating a layer that prevents emerging weeds to germinate and break through to the surface. This stops them in their tracks as spring and summer heat up. This type of herbicide will not get rid of existing weeds, only germinating ones; so these will need to be removed using traditional methods like hand picking or using weed control sprays.
6. Treat for pests early
You can sometimes be doing everything right but all it takes is for a pesky lawn pest to undo all your hard work and create dry and dead patches throughout your lawn. The best time to start treating for pests is actually early spring while some bugs start their life cycle. By getting in early you can prevent pests from maturing to adults and using your root system as food. If, however you find yourself seeing these pests spring up in the summer months, an all -rounder insecticide like Acelepryn GR is able to treat numerous pest types; both the pests you can see and those you are not aware are even there.
7. Top dress it if needed
A job for spring, top dressing is a great way to even out your lawn, improve aeration and water retention and give your lawn a boost of organic material. By doing your top dressing in spring you are setting your lawn up for success in summer. Top dressing encourages a thicker lawn, a lawn softer for play and improves the soil consistency for summer. Find out how to top dress your lawn this spring with our Rock ‘N’ Soil top dressing guide.
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