10 easy tips to grow a lush, luxe lawn
Has the dry winter and unseasonably warm spring left your lawn looking like dried wheat and infested with weeds? The good news is that you can create a lush, luxurious lawn without regular rain or cooler weather.
Imagine transforming your prickly, crisp-dry lawn into a lush, luxe, deep-green carpet, like those that cover private golf courses, country clubs and the gardens of those who dedicate their lives to lawn maintenance. Well, imagine no more… because you don’t need a dedicated green keeper, a big budget, or to surrender all your leisure time to create and maintain a lawn that will be the envy of your neighbours.
In fact, all that’s needed is a little effort and these 10 easy tips to grow a lush, luxe lawn – as the judges on The Block might call it.
1. Water slowly, regularly, deeply
With lawns, it’s when, how and how often you water that helps create a lush lawn. Watering slowly and deeply doesn’t just revive the grass, it helps it grow deeper root systems – one of the keys to creating a lush luxe lawn. Deeper root systems can access moisture when the top soil dries out and are protected from the sun’s direct, damaging rays that hinder growth.
Be careful not to oversoak your lawn, as pools of water combined with warmer temperatures can create the perfect environment for fungal diseases and insects to thrive.
2. Water early and late
Watering your lawn during the hottest part of the day not only increases water loss through evaporation but may scald its blades and new root growth. With this in mind, water early or late in the day by hand or with sprinklers and follow the water usage rules set by your local water provider.
3. Smaller meals more often – for your lawn!
Lawn food (fertilisers and seaweed tonics) helps create healthier, denser lawns that can better retain moisture, survive dry periods and resist weeds taking hold. Regular light fertilising, according to Yates, is better for your lawn than infrequent, heavy fertilising (using too much fertiliser will burn your grass). Slow-release fertilisers are an easy way to give your lawn a light and frequent dose of nutrients; try slow-release Dynamic Lifter Lawn Food which has fine organic particles that reduce harm to earthworms – important inhabitants in any lawn as they aerate the soil as they burrow and increase phosphorus and nitrogen levels, nutrients essential for improved growth and health.
4. Keep weeds away
Pull weeds out by hand or with a weeding tool, ensuring you remove their roots. Using short handled weeding tools such as a hand fork or dual pronged tool means you’ll be on your knees close, while long handled tools such as Bunnings’ Cyclone Wonder Weeder enable you to stand as you weed which is easier on your body and quicker to cover a large area. If your lawn has weeds spread throughout it, it is faster to treat it with a herbicide or a weed and feed product such as Amgrow Bin-Die or for ease of application a product that connects to your hose such as Brunnings Feed’n’Weed Fertiliser and BuffaloPRO Hose-on Weedkiller and Yates Weed’n’Feed Hose On liquid.
5. Don’t mow too low
Mowing your lawn too short, according to Victa’s consultant, horticulturist Adam Woodhams, reduces its root system and its ability to grow and thrive and advises to leave blades 8cm tall. Keeping your grass blades longer also creates shade that helps prevent weed seeds germinating. Adam also recommends to mow no more than a third of the leaf surface at any one time, which means more regular mowing during hotter months but the reward of a lush lawn.
6. Leave clippings behind
Grass clippings left on the lawn each time you mow during the hotter, drier months act like mulch, providing shade and helping retain moisture.
A lawn ‘thatch’ is a tangled mass of grass blades and roots and aside from being unsightly it can create dead patches that welcome weeds. A rake with rigid teeth such as Bunnings’ Spear & Jackson Long Handle 14 Tine Garden Rake can remove thatches which may give your lawn a chopped up look but will be well worth the effort when it looks better than before in about three or four weeks’ time.
8. Give shade
Lawns that cop the sun’s rays for a large part of the day, particularly in the hotter months, are more vulnerable to the effect of heat and moisture loss. By growing tall plants and trees you provide much-needed shade for your lawn and your family and friends.
Aerating your lawn will help water and nutrients reach deeper and wider which in turn will create healthier denser root systems that cope better with dry conditions. You can easily aerate small lawns with a garden fork, which Flower Power recommends digging 10cm into the soil and gently moving back and forth, and for larger lawns, aerate with a spiked roller such as Bunnings’ Saxon Lawn Aerator Roller.
10. Create a smooth, even lawn surface
As well as green and lush, nothing says “luxe” like a smooth, even lawn surface. To create this look across the surface of your lawn the grass needs to grow upright rather than at angles. To encourage blades to grow upwards, DIY Network recommends ensuring your mower blades are sharp and to vary your direction each time you mow. One way of keeping track of your mowing routes is to think of your lawn area as a clock face and mow from 12 across to 6, then 3 to 9 and so forth. Your neighbours may be puzzled by your unusual mowing style but they’ll be admiring the results.
And lastly, if you’re laying a new lawn, choose a grass that copes with dry conditions
According to Yates, Couch is the most drought tolerant grass, followed by Kikuyu, Buffalo, Carpet Grass and Queensland Blue Couch.