Your lawn, just like many of your garden plants, behaves and grows differently across each of the four seasons.
Understanding a little about its habits and knowing the simple tricks that will help it flourish can assist you in having a lawn that looks its best year round.
Feeding across the seasons
Lawns require regular feeding with a quality fertiliser to keep them looking good and growing strong.
The ideal is to fertilise three times a year – spring, summer and autumn.
Watering across the seasons
A well fed, maintained and loved lawn will withstand dry conditions better than a neglected one.
If your lawn is larger than a courtyard and your suburb’s water restrictions allow sprinkler systems, then consider changing from hand watering. You’ll save yourself loads of time and looking after your lawn becomes quick and easy.
Use a quality lawn sprinkler:
- With an adjustable pattern that can be set to avoid watering hard surfaces.
- Put a timer on your tap so you don’t forget to turn it off.
Autumn, along with spring, is the ideal time to do any maintenance on lawns, including patching and re-sowing.
- Fertilise. Feeding now will green your lawn up ahead of winter also make it stronger and better able to resist damage from extreme cold, even frost.
- Watering. It can be easy to overlook the lawn drying out at this time of year. Windy weather can be just as drying as a hot day.
- Mowing. Mowing frequency will decrease as growth slows. In autumn, your lawn is storing energy for winter so and growth/mowing frequency should drop. Ensure you clear leaves to allow your lawn as much sunlight as possible leading into the harsh winter.
Lawn maintenance over winter is limited, as growth slows in the cooler period.
- Fertilise. Fertilising in winter is not generally recommended, especially if you have already fed it three times since the start of spring. There is little point in feeding because growth has slowed and the lawn will not take up nutrients.
- Watering. The need to water over winter will be low, take care not to over water because a lawn that stays wet can rot when it’s cold.
- Mowing. In most places, you’ll probably not need to mow too often over winter. Keep the lawn clear of fallen leaves and trim back overhanging branches that may be restricting light.
- Weed watch. Most weeds are dormant over winter but try to remove any that do crop up, to get a head start for spring!
Spring is a great time to get your lawn in tip top shape for the upcoming summer bbq season! If your lawn is looking a bit lacklustre after winter, the following tips will help you whip it into shape.
- Rake vigorously to not only clear fallen leaves and twigs but more importantly; to strip out dead and brown grass (“thatch”) to allow more light through to new shoots.
- Fertilise. This is the critical time of year to give your lawn a balanced, slow release feed. Fertilising now provides the nutrients to reinvigorate the lawn so it can power into summer. If you only fertilise once a year, do it in spring!
- Watch watering. This can be a tricky time of year for watering. The soil hasn’t warmed and nights may still be cool, so a deep watering may last for longer than expected. Burrow your finger down into the lawn. If it’s damp, don’t water.
- Mowing. Now’s the time to get your mower serviced and the blades sharpened or changed.
- Weed watch. Weeds are coming to life too! Fertilising the lawn to thicken it up will help keep weeds at bay. Very sparse areas are the most likely to become infested with weeds.
This is potentially the most challenging time of year for your lawn, with extreme heat, wind and dryness all getting thrown at it. While you can’t do much about the weather, you can make sure your lawn is well set up to survive these trying conditions.
- Fertilise. Apply slow release fertiliser again in early summer – three months after the first feed.
- Get water-wise. Lawns can dry out very quickly in summer. Water early in the morning while it’s cool so your lawn gets a chance to absorb the maximum amount of water. Late watering may induce overnight humidity resulting in fungal problems.
- Mowing. Growth usually slows down in hot, dry weather due to stress. Raise the cutting height of the mower to leave the grass longer, providing shade and natural cooling to the roots and soil.
- Weed watch. Weeds may continue to thrive in summer. Remove by hand or try a suitable lawn weed product.