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Lawn Revival Time


Neville Passmore


3 October 2018

Why is spring the best time to revive your lawn?

Your lawn is emerging from one of the wettest winters for ages.  Weeds are an issue in many lawns.  The warm climate grasses that make up most of our lawns in Perth (couch, buffalo, zoysia and kikuyu) have been sleeping through the cooler months. Slow growing grass can be outcompeted by aggressive fast moving weeds.  As warmth comes back into our days these warm season grasses put on a massive growth spurt, turn green overnight and start to make us proud. The work you do on your lawn now can reward you for the next 12 months. 

Winter Weeds

Lower mower blades to lowest setting and scalp the lawn.  Repeat mowing on a weekly basis for a month raising the blade after week one to the usual setting. By cutting the weeds back hard you allow the lawn to start outgrowing the weeds.  Flat weeds can be removed efficiently with a The Fiskars Xact Weed Puller. My suggestion is to offer your kids or grandkids a fee per weed removed. 

Lawn colour is poor

Option One is to apply a lawn fertiliser such as Baileys Energy Turf. Organic based and slow delivery of nutrients, humus. Leaching of lawn fertiliser is a very real Perth problem so I  recommend applying only half of the lowest recommended rate at a time.  However, I suggest feeding your lawn at this low level every month.  

Option two is to spread fine textured lawn compost over the grass, once again thinly. Baileys Lawn Reviver is a mature compost ideal for this job as it works by encouraging soil living organisms to do their brilliant work supplying the turf plants with moisture and minerals for sustained growth.  The compost is spread thinly and evenly over the grass.   Next rub or massage this material into the turf using the back of a flat steel rake or a specific lawn spreader tool.  Aim to be able to see green tip of the grass poking through the compost.  Next water in the compost and expect to see more green than black as the compost settles into the body of the grass. 

Compact soil that seems to be permanently wet

Aim to open up the soil with a hollow tyne lawn aerator, a garden fork or vertimowing.  One of the most important things to do before plunging a fork into your lawn is to identify shallow reticulation pipes and pop up sprinklers.  

Dead patches 

Dig up, remove weeds then add Baileys Soil Improver Plus. Patch plant with runners or even roll-on turf.

Spongy lawn as a result of thatch build-up

Remove this thatch layer, which consists of rotting stems, leaves and clippings.  This slows the infiltration of moisture into the soil and can also be a jumping off point for fungal disease. How to remove thatch?  Three methods the first is to bring in a vertimower, which cuts vertically down into the thatch and throws it up onto the surface for removal. The second is to scalp the lawn by cutting the lawn down to the lowest setting and going over the grass two or three times.  It's important to remove the clippings.  The third method involves the most energy and consists of raking over the lawn with a fine tyne metal lawn rake with the idea of scratching out that material. 

A bumpy uneven surface

Top-dress your lawn with builders sand. Spread the sand thinly using the back of a steel rake or specific turf spreader tool. Aim to just fill depressions and ensure that you can see grass tips after you finish spreading.  Always water in well after topdressing.

Lawn mower blades are blunt or worn

This is the ideal time to service your mower before the season gets into top gear.  Sharpen your reel mower blades and replace rotary mower blades.