STEP-BY-STEP LAWN RENOVATION GUIDE
Achieving a beautiful, envy-worthy lawn takes some planning and effort. Before diving into vigorous lawn maintenance activities like dethatching or top dressing, it's essential to wait until your lawn is actively growing during the warmer months. In most states, a good guideline is to start these activities around the October long weekend.
To prepare for your lawn renovation, gather all the necessary equipment in advance, so you're ready to go when your lawn starts thriving again.
DOES YOUR LAWN NEED A RENOVATION?
A lawn renovation becomes necessary when your lawn shows signs of thatch buildup and compaction, or when it looks unhealthy and requires specific soil improvements to enhance its foundation. While not all steps are obligatory, a complete lawn renovation is recommended every 3-4 years for optimal results. However, more frequent dethatching or top dressing might be needed if your lawn has been neglected, and certain turf varieties, like couch grass, may require more frequent renovations depending on maintenance and preferred mowing height.
1. WEED REMOVAL
Begin by manually removing individual weeds, especially before they go to seed. For broadleaf weeds, mowing your healthy lawn can help suffocate them. If your weed problem is extensive or persistent, consult local nurseries or lawn care specialists for advice on suitable herbicides.
If your lawn feels spongy due to thatch buildup, gradually mow it down to the runners, cutting it low. This may require multiple mowings but should be done during the warmer months when the lawn is growing rapidly. Afterward, fertilize and water it thoroughly to encourage quick regrowth. You can also consider using scarifying or dethatching machines in some cases.
Enhance your soil's health by aerating it, allowing for better air, water, and nutrient circulation. This strengthens grass roots and reduces thatch and compaction. Use a corer or aerator before applying fertiliser. High-traffic areas and hard lawns may need annual aeration, and lawns with poorer soil can also benefit. For challenging soil types, you might require a lawn contractor with specialised equipment.
4. APPLY WETTING AGENT
If your soil is sandy, ensure it retains moisture by regularly using a soil wetting agent. This coats sand grains, helping them retain moisture and nutrients. Additionally, consider treating the soil's nitrogen-fixing bacteria with a soil conditioner containing seaweed extract during the warmer months.
To promote new growth and robust summer roots, include fertilization in your spring lawn care routine. In cooler climates, liquid fertilizers can be effective when soil temperatures are not yet ideal for granular fertilizers. Apply a granular NPK fertilizer once the weather warms up. However, be sure to address weed issues before fertilizing. Overfeeding your lawn too early may not yield the best results.
6. TOP DRESSING
This is an excellent time to level your lawn if it's uneven. First, mow and fertilise the lawn, and then top-dress with coarse river sand. Avoid covering the entire leaf tip. Ensure your lawn is growing vigorously before tackling summer's heat.
7. WATERING FOR RECOVERY
During this season, your lawn typically needs minimal additional watering beyond natural rainfall, depending on soil and location. A "less is more" approach often results in a healthier lawn with deeper roots. A deep weekly soak trains the roots to grow deeper, enhancing drought tolerance.
By following these steps in the right order, you can help your lawn recover from winter and thrive during the warmer months, making it the envy of your neighbourhood.
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