How to take care of your lawns in autumn
After yet another searing summer, it’s now the season where we greet cooler evenings and begin to get ready for the cold winter. Your grass will be relieved as summers can be lengthy and challenging. But with winter comes its own set of challenges. So here are our tips on how to care for your lawn in autumn, before it goes dormant in winter.
Address the impact of summer into winter on your lawn
In numerous regions, summer’s climate conditions can go from one extreme to the next within a day, or sometimes within hours. Hot days combined with times of heavy rainfall were no doubt valuable to your garden, decreasing the need to water as often and keeping your grass green. Now however, you might start to notice some reactions from these climate patterns, with seed heads materialising, and deterioration in both leaf colour and development.
Substantial moisture can bring about a variety of concerns. Initially, it can drain the supplements from your soil before your grass and plants have been able to take advantage of them, resulting in reduced soil richness. You can create a fertiliser to supplement this, by preparing decent NPK fertiliser with compost. To further amplify the efficiency of the fertiliser, add in kelp concentrates to bolster the nitrogen-fixing bacteria in the soil and give an immediate boost to aid in leaf development.
Soil compression is another common concern brought about by increased rainfall. Especially when in conjunction some wear and tear and a hotter climate, the ground has a tendency to solidify, diminishing the quantity of oxygen in the dirt. This essentially suffocates the root system of your garden. Address this by circulating air through via the application of a spiked roller, pitchfork, or even spiked shoes to break up the soil. Consider the use of gypsum to likewise work to separate the soil, and any clay that might be in the subsoil.
Increase your expectations of lawn mowing
Autumn is the perfect time to begin increasing the mowing height of your lawn, especially in sheltered or shaded regions of your garden. You ought to be leaving at least 50mm (5cm) of leaf on your lawn, even up to 60-70mm (6-7cm) in substantial shade. This will offer a superior leaf surface zone for your lawns for photosynthesis, allowing the grass to create essential sugars which are key for its general wellbeing.
Preserving a touch of additional length will likewise be valuable when winter approaches, as the grass leaves tend to end up less frost-affected with just the very tips dying off, leaving green growth underneath.
Getting the soil pH correct
On the off chance that you haven’t checked your soil’s pH levels for some time, pre-winter is an appropriate time to do so. Out of balance pH levels will not only diminish your lawn’s presentation, but they will also reduce the impact of fertilising your lawns. The ideal lawn pH level is 6.5, which is somewhat acidic. It may be that you must adjust a low soil pH. Generally this is achieved by utilising a nitrogen-rich fertiliser such as Sulfate of Ammonia, which will work to diminish alkaline soils.
Improve your lawn before winter arrives
You should always apply a decent fertiliser to your lawn before winter arrives. This is likely the most vital sustenance you will give your grass all year, and the Easter weekend is usually a decent time to put a reminder in your calendar. Ensure your grass is given a decent supply of nourishment with a NPK fertiliser, so that your grass will have the capacity to accomplish a tight sound matt of leaf development to hold out those winter weeds, alongside solid roots to battle the winter coolness.
There’s one word that comes to mind when you think of summer: heat. But alongside that heat also comes another word that can pose a potential danger to both your house and lawn: dryness.
February might be the last month of summer, but it’s usually our hottest month of the year. Even in years where we can expect more rainfall, the sun will be shining brightly, drying up the earth underneath your lawn.
While long, dry grass is an obvious fire hazard during summer, stirring up the dust underneath your lawn can also increase the risk of fire as it spreads. So, to help protect your lawn and home this summer, our experts have put together a few tips for mowing safely during the hottest months of the year.
Keep your lawn watered
Especially in years when it’s particularly dry, keeping your lawn watered during summer is a great way to reduce how much dry dust gets into the air and into your home. Not only that, but it can also protect your lawn from heat stress and hopefully help reduce some of that dreaded yellowing grass.
Provided your area isn’t experiencing water restrictions, we recommended watering your lawn deeply and infrequently throughout the week. Watering every 2-3 days in the early morning can be highly beneficial, as it helps the water soak into your lawn to prepare it for the hottest parts of the day. If this isn’t possible, then watering at dusk is the next best option. Watering during late morning or during the afternoon will be less effective as the water will evaporate before it has a chance to really soak the soil.
If you are experiencing water restrictions, be nifty with your water saving to protect your lawn and garden. Saving buckets of water in the shower, using grey water from doing laundry, or utilising rainwater tanks if you have them will all help you repurpose water without letting your lawn suffer for it.
Don’t mow your lawn too low
We know that you want to mow the long, dry grass of your yard during summer. Not only does it look unsightly, but the dust can get up into the air and in your home, and the dry grass can pose a fire hazard.
But did you know that mowing your lawn too low could actually lead it to dry out quicker? Like with any other plant in your garden, pruning, cutting, or propagating too much means that the plant can no longer focus on growing where it needs to survive, such as down in the roots.
Your lawn won’t need the same short mow that it requires during times of lush growth, such as spring. So, lift up your mower and cut a little longer to make sure you’re not stifling the necessarily, but slow, growth that your lawn needs during summer.
Keep the soil as healthy as possible
Summer can be harsh on the soil underneath your lawn, and it might need a little more TLC than it usually does. Aside from trying to keep it watered, also try to avoid compacting the soil of your lawn where you can.
Of course, we know that you want to get out and enjoy your yard in summer, so keep an eye on areas of high foot traffic such as outdoor sports or outdoor furniture areas which will likely suffer more during summer. If you move games or walkways to different areas throughout the season you may find that one particular part of your lawn doesn’t deteriorate more than the rest.
If you think your lawn does need more than the occasional water, then fertilisation can also help to give your grass and soil the extra boost of nutrients that it needs. Keep away from mulching while mowing though, as this leaves more dry grass on the lawn and creates further risk of fire.
Check your machinery
Lastly, whether you’re a homeowner taking care of their own lawn, or a professional mower tending to the lawn of a client, it’s important to make sure your machinery is operating properly. This should be done throughout the year regardless, but is particularly important during the hot weather of summer.
A sharp mower blade will help keep your lawn healthy, making a cleaner cut and allowing the grass to heal faster to promote further growth. Clean air cleaners will help ensure that your equipment doesn’t fill up with dry dust. And a spark arrestor that is clean and fitted correctly mean less risk of a spark escaping and leading to fire, or a carbon-clogged arrestor acting as a fuel source.
Is your lawn looking a little brown this summer? Our experts at Jim’s Mowing can help nurture it back to health. Give us a call on 0800 454 654 or contact us online to find a professional mower near you.
It’s cooling down, meaning winter is just around the corner. Now is the perfect time to prepare your lawn for the cold months ahead, but just what does that entail? We’ve got a few pointers below that can help you ensure your lawn is at its strongest and healthiest for winter and the months to follow.
Autumn is a great season for fertilising your lawn as it can give it a boost of strength for the colder months. Applying a quality, slow-release fertiliser in autumn can help to fortify your lawn over several months. Just be sure to ensure it is spread evenly across the lawn, and watered in well so that the nutrients can be easily absorbed.
Fix bare patches
If your lawn is looking a little patchy, Autumn is a good time to get to fixing. Many variables can cause a bare and patchy lawn, from frequent use and wear and tear to pet urine or excess shade. Before fixing the bare spots, it’s important to figure out why they occurred. For example, if there is a spot where grass has died due to trees or structures preventing it from getting enough sunlight, it may be worth re-sowing that area with more shade-tolerant grass. If the patches are caused by pet urine, it might be worth training your furry friend to use a specific area to do their business, or keeping and eye out and watering down the areas where it is done, to dilute the nitrogen content that causes grass to die. Once the issue has been identified, grass can be replaced either by transplanting runners from other areas of the garden, or by sowing grass seed in the affected area.
Collect leaves and debris
Autumn signals the shedding of leaves for many trees, which can mean more leaf litter and debris ending up on your lawn. The accumulation of leaves on a lawn can prevent it from getting much-needed sunlight. They can also become damp, leading to fungal diseases for your lawn, which is something nobody wants to have to deal with. When you notice leaves have started to build up, rake them into a pile and add them to the compost bin or use them as mulch for the veggie patch!
Get Onehunga Weed under control
Onehunga Weed is annoying, and having a lawn full of it can make the prospect of walking barefoot in the yard an unpleasant act. While they are often painfully noticed by bare feet across the country during the Summer months, these weeds begin to germinate during the colder months, making this a great time to keep an eye out for the fresh shoots and nip them in the bud before them become an issue. There are many herbicides created to be used on onehunga weed, and these can be applied during the late-autumn and early-winter months to stop the weed before it becomes painful. If you only have a few of the weeds present, and wish to avoid the use of herbicides, an alternative method is to wait until the end of winter and remove them by hand before they flower.
Mow the lawn higher
Like most plants, grass needs the sun for photosynthesis, and the longer the grass blade, the more sun is cast on the plant. Raising the mower blades in winter gives your lawn a more generous cut, allowing the grass more area to collect sun, which can lead to a healthier lawn. Colder months can also cause a lot of grasses to become dormant, so it’s likely you won’t need to mow as frequently as is needed in warmer weather.
Winter doesn’t have to mean a bad time for your lawn. With a little bit of effort you can help your lawn stay happy, healthy and strong during the winter.