How To Guides

How to maintain your natural turf

An important part of having a new lawn is keeping it in great shape. Here are the simple steps to success.

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Fertilising

In early April each year, apply a fertiliser with higher potassium (NPK 5:10:25) to stimulate root growth and to “winterise” or prepare the grass for its dormant season. Label rate is 25g per square metre.

Your warm seasons grasses (Kikuyu, Kings Pride Soft Leaf Buffalo and Santa Ana Couch) will go into dormancy just like a rose or a deciduous tree. It will lose colour and vigour but it is not dying.

Warm seasons grasses need to be fed to remain strong and healthy. The quantity and frequency of feeding needs to have regard to the plant’s growth and dormancy periods. A complete lawn fertiliser (NPK 16:8:9) should be applied every 4-6 weeks throughout the growing season, commencing early September.

Mowing

Mowing frequency and height are the two most important aspects of turf maintenance. 

A good rule of thumb is to cut often enough so that no more than 30% of the leaf is removed at each mowing. 

Removing more than 30% will impede the grass’s ability to photosynthesise and stunt its growth for several days. Frequent mowing will also promote root development and the proper storage of carbohydrates in the plant.

It is recommended that the mowing height be reduced early in the growing season (during October) to remove organic build up and encourage density in the Warm Seasons Grass. 

At other times of the year grass clippings do not need to be removed. To do so would remove 50kg – 60kg of nitrogen from the soil (one quarter of the turf’s annual nitrogen). Mowing height should also be raised 30-50% in shaded areas to compensate for weak, spindly growth.

Watering

Watering in Winter can be reduced right back. Simply monitor your lawn on very windy days in late Winter into Spring. A hand-held trigger hose will be suitable for Winter watering.

If you are installing a new lawn, keep your lawn moist only to keep the sod moist. Warm seasons grasses will not actively grow until the soil warms up.

After establishment, introduce deep watering as required to promote a deep vigorous root system (10mm per application).

WEEKLY WATERING GUIDE (For most turf varieties)

Dec-Feb       Twice per week

Mar              Once per week (If required)

Apr-Sept       Nil per week (Tall Fescue may need some water)

Oct-Nov        Once per week (If required)

Aeration

Aerate your lawn during Winter to make sure water drains freely through the soil.

Use a garden fork or aeration shoes. It’s great exercise to get into aerating your lawn!

HG Turf Group_How to maintain your natural turf_aeration
Controlling pests, diseases and weeds

Pests and diseases

Monitor your lawn for pests and diseases. Chemicals can be used as a preventative but it is better to keep your lawn healthy and this will combat many pests and diseases. 

If you need to spray, consult the Yates website for specific product advice.

Weeds

The best method of weed prevention is good turf maintenance. 

Weed seeds germinate quickly in bare soil; a thick, healthy turf will decrease the chances of weed seeds establishing themselves in your lawn.

Where practical, weeds are best removed by hand prior to the development of a seed head. A selective weed spray may also be used to remove weeds but care must be taken in its application; i.e. technique, rate and timing.

Generally warm seasons grasses are susceptible to most weed sprays hence, it is important to carefully identify the weed and select the correct spray.

Immature weeds are best sprayed in the winter (during warm seasons grass dormancy) or in the summer (during warm seasons grass activity) when drought stress can also be used to weaken cool seasons weeds.

WARNING: Broadleaf chemical sprays containing Dicamba must not be used on Kings Pride Soft Leaf Buffalo.

Our staff are experts in the turf industry and are ready to discuss your requirements for your next project with you.

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