Why throw away clippings when your lawn will gobble them up? Invest in a mulching mower. These machines cut clippings down to a fine state and distribute them evenly back onto the lawn, where they work as instant mulch. The clippings break down quickly to add nutrients and organic matter to your soil. Mulch-and-catch mowers are the best choice, giving you the option of collecting clippings when you need to.
When and how to water
Lawns are best watered early in the morning, in the first couple of hours after sunrise. This reduces the risk of fungal problems that may arise from the lawn remaining damp overnight.
With water restrictions and reduced rainfall in much of the country, one aspect of lawn care becomes critical: ensuring that every drop of available water is put to the best possible use.
Fungal problems appear as circular dead spots in your lawn. Over-watering and humidity can bring them on. If incorrect watering is the cause, reduce the water. Most fungal problems abate when dry. Army worms feed on the foliage and shoots of grass - mainly paspalum, kikuyu and couch - leaving bare patches. These 45mm-long, greeny-brown grubs hide in the lawn thatch during the day.
Look for small moths over your lawn at dusk. These are the adult army worms mating and laying eggs.
Get the rake out
A brisk going over with a lawn rake will collect the worms. Then, drop them in a bucket of soapy water. For a serious army-worm invasion, a chemical treatment may be required. Seek professional advice on the right product for your situation. Curl grubs live in the soil and chew the roots off your grass. A sure sign of their presence is dead patches that lift away from the soil when picked up. To treat them, reduce outdoor lighting, as the adult black beetles are attracted by lights when mating and laying eggs. Low-tox products are available to treat serious infestations. Hose-on Confidor treats a number of lawn grubs.