The lawn is an essential part of many Australian gardens. While it may take some effort to keep it looking its best, it is worth it. We’ve put together a maintenance guide or, if you don’t have the time to do it yourself, you can hire a lawn mowing or maintenance service.
If you are short on time but still wish to enjoy your lawn, there are lawn mowing services available that will keep your lawn looking well groomed and maintained. Lawn mowing services can do things such as:
To have a healthy lawn, you should feed it in spring. Spring fertilising will help to make the grass look greener, as well as strengthen the lawn against diseases, patchiness, moss and weeds. The lawn needs a different type of fertiliser to other plants as it does not flower. There are many lawn fertilisers on the market with some of the most common including:
Before you apply the fertiliser, you will need to prepare the lawn. Ensure that it is well aerated, and that weeds have been removed. If there are any bare patches of soil, cover them with sand or lawn dressing. Then spread your fertiliser, being careful not to go over the same area more than once, as over application will actually burn your lawn. You can spread the fertiliser by hand, or use a spreader for a more even distribution. Read the instructions when fertilising as some will require you to water the lawn beforehand while some will require you to water after.
The secret to a good lawn is to not mow it too short. Never remove more than one third of the height of the lawn when it is mowed. Mowing too often can also weaken the lawn. Weeds are also a problem in most lawns at some point or another. Lawn weeds can be removed by hand or you can choose to apply a selective lawn herbicide – products that will kill the weeds but not the grass. Moss may grow in poorly drained areas, so ensure that the soil is well aerated, and use a wire rake to remove the moss.
Many people think that lawns require a lot of water but if you do not over fertilise your lawn, or mow it too short, you can reduce the amount of water it needs. Reduce the water requirements even further by applying a wetting agent to the lawn and keep it well aerated. There are aerators available from most gardening or hardware suppliers. While there are water restrictions in place, you can still water your lawn. Simply check with your local authority to find out what levels of restrictions are in place. Alternatively, a rain water tank can store water specifically for use on your lawn or garden, and these have no restrictions on how they can be used.
If your lawn feels “spongy” underneath your feet, you may have a thatch build up – thatch being the layer of dead grass that lies at the base of the lawn. This needs to be removed as it stops air and water from getting to the root system of the lawn and can also cause fungal disease. Thatch can be removed with a de-thatcher or scarifier. If it is just a small area, you can use a metal rake to remove the thatch.
Lawns may also become compacted over time and will need to be aerated. Aeration can be done using a corer, hollow tine machine, or simply a garden fork.
Expect to be charged in the region of $35 per hour for a lawn mowing service, though this figure can vary based on location. This will typically be a service that you engage on a regular basis, say fortnightly or monthly depending on how often your lawn needs attention.
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