Get a per­fect sum­mer lawn

Ask an ex­pert... Do the right thing by your lawn now and you’ll spend the warmer sea­sons watch­ing green grass grow un­der your feet

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - Home - - ADVICE - Words Jen­nifer Veer­huis More

Tough turf

For home­own­ers with chil­dren and pets, Adam sug­gests buy­ing a lawn that can han­dle wear and tear.

“If you are go­ing to have any re­ally y vig­or­ous ac­tiv­ity tak­ing place on the lawn, you need lawns that are gen­er­ally lly de­scribed as self-re­pair­ing,” he says. “They’re very good at repatch­ing them­selves. “There are two types of lawns that are the best at self-re­pair­ing — the ones that are very vig­or­ous grow­ers, which ob­vi­ously means more main­te­nance and time on the mower, and the ones that have a ten­dency to be hor­i­zon­tal rather than ver­ti­cal grow­ers.”

Grass roots move­ment

s Adam says prepa­ra­tion is key when it comes to turf.

“Turf tends to have its roots very much in the top five cen­time­tres of soil,” he says.

“Most turf grasses aren’t deeply rooted and that’s why a lot of them re­spond badly to dry conditions, be­cause their roots are sit­ting close to the sur­face and they quickly get scorched.

“In clay sit­u­a­tions I rec­om­mend peo­ple lay a qual­ity soil down and then put turf on top of that which gives the grass some­thing de­cent to grow into.” He says sandy soil can be eas­ier to grow grass on. “It’s very easy for the lawn to get its roots down in and the un­der­ly­ing soil doesn’t be­come de­pressed over time,” he says.

“It does tend to lose wa­ter very quickly, but if it stays dry for too long it can be­came wa­ter re­pel­lent.”

Start­ing out

If you’re start­ing out, Adam gen­er­ally rec­om­mends lay­ing down a qual­ity turf mix soil. “There are lawn es­tab­lish­ment fer­tiliser blends that are de­signed for spread­ing un­derneath turf and they help the root get started,” he says. “Spre “Spread those and then wa­ter it in with one of the sea­weed s so­lu­tions that come in hose-on pa packs be­cause that will stim­u­late the m mi­cro­bial ac­tiv­ity in the soil, which then helps to re­lease lots of nu­tri­ents and it forms good as­so­ci­a­tions with the grass and the grass es­tab­lishes faster. “The big­gest thing when you’re get­ting new turf down is to en­sure you’re a ap­ply­ing the right amount of wa­ter for th the conditions. You don’t want it wet and you don’t want it to dry out so it is very much a juggl jug­gling act for the first two to three weeks.” Ad Adam says us­ing a slow-re­lease fer­tiliser with an in-built soil wet­ting com­po­nent a cou­ple of times a year can help grass es­tab­lish re­ally strong roots which can help it sur­vive ad­verse conditions.

Cut­ting edge

Adam says there’s no need to mow the lawn at all when it’s be­com­ing es­tab­lished.

“You don’t need to do any mow­ing gen­er­ally for the first three to four weeks,” he says.

“The give­away is you’ll start to see def­i­nite growth in the lawn it­self and gen­er­ally the big­gest sign is that the joints be­tween rolls start to dis­ap­pear and that means the turf is start­ing to knit to­gether,” he says.

“Give it a light hair­cut for its first few mows and let it set­tle in prop­erly.”

A lawn that’s in great con­di­tion can en­hance your life­style.

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