Immediately following planting of your turf or sowing seed is important for the survival and success of your lawn or turfed area. Turf management practices including watering, mowing and fertilising need to be undertaken differently to standard practices to make sure your turf obtains the appropriate level of care. Carrying out these simple techniques will make sure your turf is on the right track.
Mowing should be as easy as watching grass grow. However, make sure you have the appropriate serviced mower, the correct cutting height applicable for different turf species and seasons, conduct routine mowing practices, do not scalp or mow more than one third (1/3) of the turf's leaf blade off at any time.
Healthy and attractive turfgrass can be achieved with the combination of correct turf management practices including fertilising, irrigation, mowing and pest control. Without adequate fertiliser, turfgrasses will tend to look thin and have poor colour; they may not respond to irrigation or mowing; and they can suffer more severely from pests and diseases. Weeds will also establish more easily into a under fed turfgrass, compared to an actively growing turfgrass.
Correct identification of a pest, disease or weed is essential. We need to ask ourselves why we have this problem. Often there may be reasons for this occurring. After all prevention is better than cure. You need to identify is the problem at a damaging level to the turfgrass or are they in numbers that we are not prepared to accept? These arbitrary levels are often called thresholds and differ based on turf species, usage, available integrated pest management (IPM) techniques etc.
Establishing a new lawn is not hard if you break this down into a series of logical steps. You also need to plan ahead to make sure that you have everything you need on hand for each stage of the process. Site preparation will vary depending on if you are purchasing turf for the first time or replacing turf. Turf replacement requires additional processes to make sure your new turf looks good and any remnants of your old turf does not show through.
Right at the outset, you need to decide whether to lay turf or plant seed. While it costs more to lay turf, it immediately gives you a full coverage of grass, which should be rooted down and useable with care within a few weeks. Seeding is cheaper, but requires a longer period of time before your lawn will have a complete grass cover. Seeding also carries the risk that bare soil could be washed away by heavy rain or eaten by birds before the new grass seedlings have had time to germinate and cover.
There are several factors that influence irrigation requirements in lawns, including the turf species and variety planted, soil type, depth and quality, environmental parameters and the level of maintenance available. Most home-owners drastically over-water their lawn which causes more problems than under-watering. Overwatering is also wasteful, costly and damaging to the environment.
Turf maintenance is not just mowing! Here we detail the recommended turf management practices that will help you manage and maintain your lawn. This may include topdressing, aeration or decompaction and dethatching.