With spring fast approaching, now is a good time to start thinking about lawn care. Spring signals the beginning of growing season for most lawns around New Zealand, with many receiving a lot less care over the dormant months of winter.
So, if your lawn is in need of a little TLC to prepare it for its biggest season of the year, here are our top tips for getting your lawn in its best shape moving into spring and then summer.
Lawn length and mowing intervals
In colder climates, your lawn may not have been mowed since late autumn. If this is the case and it is very long, don’t cut it very short when you do your first spring mow. Instead, gradually lower the height of your mower over the next two or three mows. This will prevent die-back and help stop weeds developing in the lawn.
Lawns in warmer climates will need to be mowed right through next winter, probably at longer intervals than the two weeks that is recommended.
Know when there’s too much or too little thatch
Everyone that has a lawn has most certainly had numerous opportunities to notice a kind of a dead grass between the greens part of it. Mulching when mowing is healthy for large lawns. A little bit of thatch is actually good as it mulches and fertilises the soil. It also helps retain the water and make the soil moist.
But if you notice that excess thatch prevails, then make sure it is removed as soon as possible because too much of thatch is a suitable base for bacteria and insects that destroy your grass.
For that reason, we can use mowers that mulch the clippings and leave them on the lawn. Some of the clippings will decompose, but those that will not decompose can be collected to make compost, or we can catch the grass. Using a catcher is recommended for finer turf lawns in cooler climates as there is usually far more clippings which if mulched leave an unsightly mess.
Once we hit spring, we recommend that a lawn then be mowed regularly during the growing season which is usually once every two weeks.
Save renovating or establishing new lawns until spring
New lawns are usually established in two ways – sowing with a mixture of grass seed; Kikuyu, Amenity Ryegrass or Couch in the North and Fescue / Brown top in the South.
You can also use instant turf or Ready Lawn. Instant turf is a preferred method of establishment as a good strike with grass seed can be difficult in certain New Zealand climates.
Fertiliser can be applied. A lawn with adequate nutrients will be greener, more able to resist disease and, if the fertiliser is applied in the correct rates more drought tolerant.
Spraying your lawn selectively for weeds and moss should also be considered. We recommend this be done after an application of fertiliser so that the all grasses in your lawn can be encouraged to fill the gaps left by weeds.
If you are considering selling your property you may consider that your garden, paths etc require what we describe as a ‘clean up’. First impressions from prospective buyers are important. A clean up usually only takes a day and can be concentrated on areas that either you or your consultant feel would enhance the appearance of the property.
Jim’s Mowing offers all of the above services as we are more than just mowing. Whether you need to prepare your lawn for spring, are looking for someone to help maintain your lawn during the growing season, or need to re-establish new lawns and areas, get in touch with our team on 0800 454 654 and we’ll be happy to help.