If your lawn is anything like our lawn at home at this time of year, it’s probably hard, dry, full of weeds and in desperate need of a mow. But imagine your lawn at home being the even, lush, green lawn that the RUC bowling greens are.
Hopefully we can help – The RUC’s greenskeeper, Mr Terry Doyle, is an expert in all things green, so read on for his top tips to get your grass looking its best:
- Prep, prep, prep. Two weeks before planting any lawn, give the area a good watering if there hasn’t been a good fall rain.
- Warm season grasses should be planted in mid spring to mid summer when temperatures are at optimum for growth.
- Get your PH sorted. Somewhere around the 6.5 mark is the best for turf grass and a testing kit is the easiest thing to use once you give it a go
- Get your hands on a good fertiliser and apply while the area is still damp. What does a good fertiliser look like? It should contain around 18 nitrogen, 2 phosphorus, 16 potassium & trace elements.
- Once the fertilizer is on the area, be sure to apply a good wetting agent to assist the water and the fertilizer get right down to the roots of the turf.
- Got weeds? Spray them about four days after fertilising with a broad spectrum and more specific herbicide.
- Four days after that, cut the lawn as close as possible, and boost up the moisture with another good water.
- Make dethatching and coring machines your friends. Dethatching is like vertical cutting your turf – it removes the mat and thatch that can harbour insect and disease. It also helps up your root-to-leaf ratio, giving you a stronger and finer grass.
- Coring will aerate the soil and help root development. This allows the water to work its wonders more effectively. Leave the cores on the surface and run the mower over it without a catcher. Use the flat side of the rake and go over the area until you’ve broken down the cores. Then, you guessed it, fertilise and water again.
- Ready to top dress? Use a sandy loam – about 70% sand, 30% loam is a good mix. Cut the lawn as low as possible, spread the soil evenly over the surface, then push the soil down with a “dummy” (flat sided) rake. Fertilise and water.
- Your first post-top-dress mow should cut the grass a little bit higher til the mat covers the area, then you should be good to start cutting the lawn to your heart’s desired length.
There you go Canberra, follow Terry’s tips for a lush lawn your neighbours will envy.