The hot, dry Australian summer generally wreaks havoc on lawns and gardens alike, but it doesn’t always have to be like this. To combat the many issues, you may encounter coming out of spring – compaction, growth and running - there are many ways to ensure that your space thrives through the summer.
Compaction is one of the most common issues in lawns through and coming out of winter into the warmer months. With the lower angle of the sun and the cooler days, it is easy for your lawn to stay wet after rain or even the lightest of waterings. Too much water in the soil will lead to waterlogging and therefore compaction, especially in high traffic areas or regular foot holds coming off and leading on to paths.
It’s best to leave these areas until the weather warms up, as any repairs in cold or wet weather will suffer the same problems. For areas of high wear, it’s best to decompact them first before you look to replace the lost turf. The easiest way to decompact smaller areas is with a garden fork. Dig the fork into the soil and wiggle slightly to create a series of holes. You can then either fill in the holes with sand or a topsoil or leave them open for the soil to “breathe”.
If you look around your lawn you’ll surely see places where your lawn has encroached the surrounding garden beds and pathways, even growing over itself, with large ‘runners’. ‘Runners’ occur due to a lack of garden/lawn boundaries, or if it has grown straight over the top of the edging. Sometimes this can happen when your shrubs are touching the lawn, forming a bridge. To avoid an invasion, it’s vital to remove these runners and take measure to prevent them returning.
For this, it’s best practice to keep your plants from touching your lawn, so simply give them a regular shape or trim.
Another way to counter the problem is to install a physical barrier in the form of an edging.
There are dozens of different edging systems on the market in several different materials, with the majority of them user-friendly – meaning you can DIY!
Everyone loves when daylight savings kicks in, however the longer days can leave your grass looking patchy and unsightly. Indeed, certain types of grass like Buffalo are more resilient to warmer weather, however extra care needs to take place in order to leave your lawn looking full and lush – a summer picnic dream!
MOW: The easiest way to ensure that your lawn has a thick leaf layer is to mow it more frequently and at setting that is 2-3 times higher than usual. Using the same principle as pruning or hedging – regular light maintenance encourages thicker growth - the higher setting will mean that everytime you mow you will be merely tipping the lawn.
WATER: It is important to remember that leaving more room for the leaf to grow up top, will help to promote a thick and healthy root system. Having a strong and deep root system is vital to lawn longetivity, especially in summer. However, deep roots means deeper watering is necessary. Shallow watering only nourishes the roots near the surface, and once that first heatwave comes along, your lawn will die. Try deeper watering at intervals to make sure that when that first heatwave comes along, although the leaves will burn the root system is protected and new growth will come along.
FERTILISE: The other obvious practice to ensure thick and healthy leaf and root growth is to fertilise. Good soil quality is the backbone of any healthy lawn, so it is crucial to find the right product for your lawn. For Sir Walter, Munns Professional Buffalo Booster is specially formulated for buffalo lawns to promote rapid greening and improve soil health. Another great option is to choose a fertiliser with a slow release like Munns Professional Green Keeper Fertiliser which has a 6 month controlled output. This means you only need to fertilise your lawn twice a year!