MARCH TIPS FOR YOUR LAWN
What should I be doing with my lawn?
This month will see grass starting to grow more quickly, depending on rainfall and rising temperatures. Work, called spring renovations, will need to be done so that your lawn looks its best for the summer.
. Our resident tuf expert Andrew Turnbull highlights some tips for you. Read on….
Mow at a height of cut that is longer than you would in the summer. For instance, if you have an intensively managed lawn that is cut at 5-8mm, mow at 12-15mm, or if a well cared for lawn that your kids use then mow at 25-30mm.
How often? Allow only sufficient growth so that you take off no more 1/3 of the height of the leaf when mowing. How often you mow will be dictated by the rate of growth as temperatures increase.
Apply a low nitrogen granule fertiliser, e.g. NPK 6:1:4. This will provide nutrients but not over feed the grass and force growth that produces soft leaves that are open to disease and damage if the weather turns cold again. Apply TurfSolv liquid at 2ml per m2 of lawn to help make the fertiliser work better.
Apply a lawn moss killer when the grass is growing, and mowing is taking place once per week. Applying moss control products too early will also damage the grass before it can recover. Fertilising a week or two before scarifying will help the lawn to recover, but TurfSolv will help your lawn to recover.
Scarify when the moss has turned black from the treatments. This can be carried out using a springbok rake, or with a machine. Scarifying also removes surface organic matter, called Thatch. When in excess, thatch retains moisture and nutrients and hosts turf diseases. Be prepared for a lot of organic matter to come out of your lawn and, no – you will not have killed it! It WILL recover!
Opening the lawn surface with a spiker will help air to go further down into the soil and help dry the surface. Machines can be hired, or a local lawncare company can do this for you. There are two types of aeration:
- Hollow coring: a core of soil is removed, 75-100mm long, which also helps to remove thatch. The soil surrounding the hole will collapse into the hole and reduces compaction in heavily used lawns.
- Solid tine: Depending on how energetic you feel this can be done with a garden fork or a machine. Penetrate the soil 75-100mm deep to allow air to get into the lawn surface.
Feeding: This mentioned again as an application of fertiliser after scarifying will help the grass to recover quickly. Use a higher nitrogen fertiliser, e.g. 12% or 14%. TurfSolv will supply micronutrients, which are low in number but vital for many metabolic and physiological processes in grass and will help your lawn to start looking good again.
TurfSolv: Regular applications of TurfSolv, as well as helping to keep your grass healthy by optimising fertiliser use, will help to keep turf pests at bay as they also respond to the warmer weather and drier soils.
March weather can range from mild and wet to freezing with snow. Monitor the weather forecast and try to only carry out spring renovations when there is a period of mild weather.