Autumn and Winter can be optimal times for lawn maintenance and soil conditioning. Keeping turf lush and healthy as the temperature drops is easier than you think!
“The Australian backyard can still be enjoyed in the cooler months, and in fact, it requires less effort to maintain than during Summer,” says Turf Australia’s president, Anthony Muscat.
Turf Australia offers the following top Winter tips to maintain a healthy and lush lawn, particularly for those located in southern parts of Australia.
Mow it at the right height.
Lift your mowing motor up one notch, from 50-60mm to about 60mm. Turf isn’t required to be mown as often in the cooler months, and decreasing the frequency of mowing will keep it thick and healthy, and free of weeds.
Fertilise it at the right time.
Fertilise your lawn once a month from Autumn in the period leading up to Winter – once in March, April and May. This thickens the lawn up and helps the turf struggle less in colder weather. Anthony suggests lawn liquid fertilisers and spray-on frost protection to strengthen the roots of your turf.
Lawns prefer a slightly acidic or neutral soil. Use a simple pH test kit available from garden centres and hardware stores to check the acidity – the ideal range is 6.5 to 7. If the results are less than 6.5, consult your local expert on solutions such as garden lime and dolomite.
Ensure good drainage is available in the yard to prevent water logging during excess periods of rain.
Turf still needs watering during Winter. Watering irregularly, but deeply, is a good tip at keeping your turf healthy. The best time to water is early in the morning. Once every two weeks for particularly dry gardens is ideal.
Aerate your lawn.
A pitchfork, or garden fork, worked into the soil a few centimetres leaving small holes where water and fertiliser can penetrate does the job. This opens up the soil and allows plenty of oxygen in, which is great for the roots. Once in Winter and once in Summer is all it takes for a healthy lawn.
Make it over.
Winter can be a good time to consider a complete lawn replacement and see it established and thriving by spring. If you are considering a lawn makeover, make sure you get a professional consultation to consider factors such as climate, usage and budget.
For more information on how to get the most out of your turf or visit www.turfaustralia.com.au