From now until the end of summer, lawns across Australia will become the focus of much tending and pampering. And for good reason, too. The lush and lovely green carpet they provide is the venue for much of summer’s outdoor playing, relaxing and entertaining. But there’s no reason for the upkeep to become a tiresome chore. Approached the right way, lawn care and maintenance can be a quick and streamlined operation.
Cut the edge
If you have lawn edges that need trimming, always do this before you mow. That way, the clippings can be left where they fall and picked up as you’re running the mower over. Doing things the other way around wastes time and energy, as you have to get the rake out and re-tidy the lawn you’ve just mowed. And if you’d really prefer to avoid edging altogether, install edges that sit at ground level (such as sunken bricks), rather than raised edging.
Go with the mow
The secret to a top-looking lawn is to mow lightly, but frequently. This means setting the mower blades a little higher so you encourage a dense sward of grass, and running the mower over about every 7-10 days. Never scalp the lawn in the belief you’ll save yourself the next mowing job. All you’ll do is weaken the grass and open up bare soil patches that will quickly become invaded by, guess what? Weeds! The other advantage of a slightly higher lawn is that it will be more drought hardy, as the soil is effectively shaded by the canopy of grass blades.
Make a splash
How often you water a lawn depends a lot on the weather and how hot the summers are in your area. But the general wisdom is that a nightly sprinkle is not good practice, as it encourages a shallow root system and makes the lawn even thirstier. Rather, give your grass a deep soaking once or twice a week in the morning or evening to ensure maximum penetration. Watering in the middle of the day is wasteful as much of the applied water is lost to evaporation. If your lawn seems to dry out quickly, apply a wetting agent, which comes in granular and liquid hose-on forms.