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.
New gardening techniques, tips, products, tools, and equipment are introduced on a regular basis. Although many of these have been proven to be effective, you can be sure that you will have a healthy, lush lawn by knowing and applying the basic yet most helpful gardening tips and tricks.
Here are five simple and effective tricks and tips every good gardener needs to know about:
- Make sure your soil is conducive for growing plants.For your plants to grow and thrive, your soil must have the right pH level and the right amount
- and quality of micro-nutrients. You can use a soil testing kit which you can buy at gardening stores to do this, or send it to a company that offers this service. If you are already certain that you have the ideal soil, you can help make it even more nutrient-rich and “friendlier” by adding compost, manure or dried peat moss. Keep in mind that amended soil is lighter, drains well, allows roots to establish themselves quicker, and makes for easy weeding.
- Water deeply and in the morning.By watering deeply, you ensure that the plants’ deep roots get enough water which they need for healthy growth. Also, always water your plants in the morning to avoid quick water loss from evaporation. In addition, when you water early in the morning, you ensure that the plant’s leaves dry up before evening, which helps restrict the development of fungus and mealybugs.
- Control the weeds.Cudweed, dandelion, clover, and creeping oxalis are some of the most common invasive weeds you can find in New Zealand. To prevent any of these weeds from invading your garden, whenever you see one, pull it out from the moist soil so that you can be sure you remove the whole plant, including its roots. If you already have a weed invasion, cover the weeds with black plastic, tarpaulin, or newspapers for at least 15 days so that they don’t get any sun light and eventually die.
- Prune regularly.Trimming a plant makes it healthier and controllable. In addition, you can give it the shape you want. You don’t have to use a motor-powered tool every time you trim; removing a few centimetres off the plant, which is called pinch pruning, can do wonders for your plants.
- Keep your garden pest-free.Lastly, although small, caterpillar worms, beetles, slugs, and aphids can easily and quickly destroy your precious plants. Some simple DIY pest control tips include placing saucers of beer around as bait for slugs and snails and applying crushed tomato leaf or garlic spray on stems and leaves to control aphids.
Whether you’re a beginner or already a pro at gardening, sticking to tried-and-tested techniques and tips and trying new proven effective hacks and tricks can help you get the healthy, lush garden you’ve always wanted.
For all of your gardening requirements, call Jim’s Mowing on 0800 454 654 or Book Online for your free, no-obligation quote today!