How to keep your lawn looking great without chemicals

Lawn care products in most cases are the easiest way to help keep your lawn performing and looking great. Most lawn care products available today are specifically designed to be safe to use around pets, kids, and wildlife! However, if you prefer not to use chemicals around your home, here’s how to go about it.

Mowing

Mowing is key to help keep your lawn nice and healthy. Regular mowing will help promote an even growth pattern. We recommend mowing frequently enough so that only one third of the leaf is removed with each mow. If more than this is mown, it will cause extra stress on the grass and can cause scalping. Mowing regularly will also help block out unwanted weeds.

As a general rule of thumb: mow shorter during summer and longer in winter.

Guide on ideal mowing heights:

  • Green couch: 5 to 30mm
  • Buffalo grass (Sir Walter): 30 to 50mm
  • Kikuyu: 30 to 50mm
  • Zoysia matrella (Sir Grange): 5 to unmown
  • Queensland blue couch: 5 to 30mm
  • Broadleaf carpet grass: 30 to 50mm
  • Hybrid Bermuda (TifTuf): 5 to 30mm
  • Fescue: 30 to 50mm

There is a wide range of mowers that don’t need petrol, from push reel mowers to the popular battery powered mowers. No matter what type of mower you have, making sure your mowing blades are nice and sharp will result in a better cut.

Hand weeding

By keeping a thick and healthy lawn you should be able to block out a lot of weeds before they start to appear. If there is still some weeds coming through, the best and easiest way to remove them is to simply pull them out by hand. However there are a few different weeds you shouldn’t pull out, you can find out what weeds these are here.

Using weeding tools like the WOLF-Garten Ergo Weeder will help make the task of hand weeding easier than ever. You simply need to place the weeder over the weed, push it down on the footplate and the prongs will grab onto the weed and its roots.

Boiling water works great at killing weeds, but like glyphosate, it is non-selective and will kill your grass as well. This organic remedy is a good option for concrete areas where you have weeds growing through cracks, but it’s best kept away from your lawn if you don’t want to end up with dead patches everywhere you poured it.

Organic fertilisers

Manure can be a great source of nitrogen for your lawn! If you are looking at using manure, it is often a lot easier and less smelly to use a product like Dynamic Lifter that has already been aged and is in a pellet form.

Aerate

Aerating your lawn will help assist your lawn to grow deep roots to produce a stronger, more vigorous lawn. If your lawn is commonly used by pets or kids and has developed a compact soil base it is best to do this regularly. For a normal lawn this is best done every one to two years.

Aerating with a sturdy garden fork or core aerator and wiggling it back and forth is best to help fracture up and decompact the profile. This will better allow for air, water, and nutrients to penetrate to the grass roots.

aerating

Watering

Not too sure how often to water your lawn? The simple answer is when your lawn needs it.

For the most part, rainfall will be able to produce your lawn with enough water. However, you may need to provide additional watering’s if the leaf is wilting or losing colour or if it is becoming dry during hot weather. If you are trying to repair a certain area additional watering’s can help encourage growth.

Morning watering’s before the heat of the day is best. Late afternoon watering’s should be avoided to help prevent the lawn from sitting damp overnight.

watering lawns

Consistency is key

Like with most things, staying consistent is key to maintaining a great looking lawn.


 

As always, if you have any more questions please don’t hesitate to contact us for free expert advice on 1800ALLTURF (1800255873) or 07 5543 8304.

Best Lawn for Pets and Kids

Our pets and kids are often the ones who will spend the most time out on the lawn. Finding a grass that can thrive while receiving lots of wear will ensure your lawn will look and perform great in the future. This blog looks at the characteristics you should look for when choosing the best variety.

What characteristics should I look for when choosing turf? 

When looking at varieties that are best suited for pets and kids, we recommend making sure the grass has a soft leaf that feels great underfoot for the kids to play on, has a high wear tolerance, and has a fast-repairing nature so that if damage occurs it can repair quickly.

Sir Walter Buffalo kid friendly grass

Sunlight and turf

Sunlight is another crucial consideration when choosing the best turf variety for your area. If your area receives quite a lot of shade, you will need to make sure you are choosing a shade tolerant turf variety. On the other hand, if the area you want to install turf gets plenty of sun, you will have more options.

grass in shade

TifTuf Hybrid Bermuda 

TifTuf Hybrid Bermuda is an excellent choice for high-wear areas due to its fast-repairing nature. This means if it gets damaged by pets, kids or general wear and tear it can repair itself quickly. This grass is loved not only for its fast-repairing nature but its beautiful soft fine leaf that feels great underfoot.

Not only does this grass perform well, it also looks fantastic! TifTuf is a well-known grass in the turf industry for looking great, especially where other grasses fail! TifTuf can be mown as short as 5mm for a manicured look. For this reason, it has been the grass of choice across many sporting fields not only in Australia, but across the globe!

It is the only grass in Australia to be awarded with the Smart Approved Water Mark for its water saving abilities both throughout establishment and after. When choosing TifTuf Hybrid Bermuda we recommend that your area receives at least 5-6 hours of direct light. This varieties fast repairing nature can require a few extra mows throughout the warmer months as it grows at a quicker rate.

You can find more information on TifTuf Hybrid Bermuda here.

greener environments

Sir Walter DNA Certified Buffalo 

Sir Walter is the grass of choice for many Aussie families. This is a versatile grass with a beautiful low allergenic soft broad leaf well suited to the Australian climate.

This grass has a soft leaf that can stand up to wear and tear from pets and kids. Sir Walter has a lush green leaf and a dense growing nature giving your lawn look lush! This dense growing nature can also help block out many weeds from growing in your grass.

Sir Walter DNA Certified is a versatile grass that can handle full sun and shaded areas. It needs a minimum of 3-4 hours of direct light per day or scattered light throughout the day. This variety is low maintenance grass. It is best mown between 30 to 50mm high, shorter during summer and longer in winter.

Sir Walter DNA Certified has stood the test of time since it was introduced to the market in 1997. It has remained Australia’s best buffalo grass.

You can find more information on Sir Walter DNA Certified Buffalo here.

Sir Walter Buffalo DNA Certified turf


 

As always, if you have any more questions please don’t hesitate to contact us for free expert advice on 1800ALLTURF (1800255873) or 07 5543 8304.

How to edge your lawn

Which of these edgers is for you?

Six words deflated me like a bindii in a bike tyre: ‘why don’t you do the edges?’ My lawn was looking terrific, but my edges were as fuzzy as riding in the rain wearing glasses. I can’t recall my answer to the question, but a star-wheeled edger soon found a home next to my bike in the shed and lifted my lawn to the next level.

The star-wheeled edger is a manual type, while others are powered. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, which we’ll discuss to sharpen your edger knowledge and your edges.

Manual edgers

Manual edgers are available in four types – hand shears, spades, half-moon edgers and rollers. They best suit smaller areas because they rely on your physical effort. Top tip: use them when the ground is damp! The advantages these edgers provide is they don’t release emissions, they’re low cost, require virtually no maintenance, and they’re easily stored.

  • Half-moon edger – These edgers are like a spade in that they require you to push the blade into the ground with your foot. You’ll achieve the best results by rocking the tool back and forth as you proceed along the edge.
  • Roller edgers also require foot power. They have a metal or wooden pole with either a star-shaped or disc-shaped wheel attached at the bottom. You place the wheel on the hard surface and the cutting edge into the ground, then push with your foot. These are good when they’re used frequently on edges that aren’t too overgrown.

Powered edgers

Powered edgers have a blade that cuts through the edge. The blade height is often adjustable so that you can cut just above ground or to several centimetres below ground. These are great for larger areas and long stretches of edging.

Petrol

Petrol models can have single or multiple wheels; the multiple wheeled types are the most stable.

These edgers can also go around trees or garden beds. There are variations among manufacturers, so you need to read the instructions related to the specific model.

The disadvantages of these are they are relatively noisy, they may need replacement parts (e.g. blades), they take up greater storage space, and they release emissions. Having said this, they will provide a nice straight deep edge that will look great and the more you practice the straighter and cleaner the edge will look.

ATOM PROFESSIONAL LAWN EDGER
OZITO 2 STROKE PETROL EDGER

 

Electric

Electric edgers are cord or battery powered and lighter than petrol models. They are quieter than petrol models, though they don’t have as much power. The benefit of these over the petrol models is there are no emissions and they’re a bit smaller, allowing easier storage.

RYOBI 18V ONE+ CORDLESS EDGER

 

What about a trimmer?

Whipper snippers or trimmers aren’t dedicated edging devices; however, they’re often used for this purpose. A rotating flexible nylon line cuts grass, weeds and small unwanted plants. On some models you can rotate the heads so they’re in a vertical position for edging.

Whipper snippers come in several versions: straight shaft or curved shaft with 2- or 4- stroke petrol motors or battery-operated models. They’re especially good for working at an angle.

The main types are corded, battery and petrol-powered trimmers. Petrol trimmers have more power and are much better for larger areas. Trimmers with cords will probably require an extension lead, so are only useful for small areas. They also aren’t as powerful.

If your lawn looks a bit scraggly around the edges, the overall appearance of your lawn is definitely diminished. Most people tend not to have a dedicated lawn edger, so if you are using a Whipper snipper/weed whacker/line trimmer or whatever it is you call it, it is important that you know how to use it to get the best results.

Here’s some tips for getting a great finish every time with a whipper snipper – 

Speed – Your trimmer will work best when at full speed. So, keeping your trimmer line away from the edge and working your way in, is key to maintaining speed. Avoid starting the line trimmer already in the grass you’re cutting for the quickest, cleanest cuts. It’s the tip of the line that is cutting, so keeping the majority of the line clear will result in a cleaner cut.

Spin direction – Depending on which way your trimmer spins, you need to make sure you are cutting with one side and the material is being ejected to the opposite side. So, if your trimmer spins counter clockwise, you need to keep the right side closer to the edge so that material is being ejected away from it. This will keep the cutting path clear and allow you to achieve a much better result.

Edging and tapering – Edging will be important for driveways and paths where you are after a clean edge to something parallel. This is where you hold the edge of the trimmer so that the string is vertical. This will provide a crisp cut line where you want the grass to end. Tapering is used for fences and retaining walls where you hold the edge of the trimmer so that the string is at a slight angle. This will ensure you don’t scalp a full run of grass by trimming parallel and get a nice gradual blend between the object and the grass.

Regular trims – The best edges are ones that are kept on top of and not allowed to get out of control. So, the more you do it, the more likely your edges will stay uniform and the easier they will be to tidy up, and the better you will get at it.

The finish line

Each edger has its place, depending on the size of your yard and your needs. You may need a couple of types to get the look you want and get the edge on your neighbours!

Now you’re a little clearer on the edger(s) you need, get on your bike and get the one you like – chances are you’ll get a few more ‘likes’ for your lawn.

Remember, edgers are just one type of lawn care tool you need to maintain your yard. Head to this blog post for more great information on other tools.


 

As always, if you have any more questions please don’t hesitate to contact us for free expert advice on 1800ALLTURF (1800255873) or 07 5543 8304.

Pre-Emergents | Winter Grass

Winter Grass is one of the more frustrating weeds to remove. As winter grass grows it produces triangular shaped seed heads. These seeds make the weed easier to identify but are a sign that it has already started spreading for next season. In this blog, we look at what winter grass is and how you can stop it from spreading throughout your lawn.

Winter Grass

Winter Grass, botanically known as Poa Annua is a low growing weed that has soft, drooping green leaves, and grows in tufts with white seeds. This weed will start to appear when the average soil temperature drops to 16 – 17 degrees. For most areas, this is around mid to late Autumn or when you start to notice the cooler temperatures. When the soil temperatures drop below this, the winter grass seeds that are in the soil will start to germinate and grow.

How Does Winter Grass Spread?

As Winter grass continues to grow, it will produce triangular seeds heads. These seeds are then dropped into the lawn, or spread by wind, birds, underfoot… and will grow a new winter grass weed/plant.

winter grass

Prevention

Pre-emergent herbicides like Oxafert and Oxapro target seasonal weed seeds that are already in the soil, stopping them from germinating, before the weed starts to appear! Pre-emergents are best applied in mid to late Autumn, or when the temperatures start to drop in your location. This is when the seasonal winter weed seeds that are already in the soil will start to germinate.

You can also apply a pre-emergent in early to mid Spring, or when the temperatures are starting to rise to help stop seasonal summer weeds, like Summer Grass and Crabgrass/Crowsfoot.

How Pre-Emergents Work

Pre-emergents work by forming a barrier at the soil level, affecting the germination of any new seedlings. This prevents any new weeds from growing and spreading throughout your lawn for up to 12 weeks.

It is important to note, pre-emergents will only stop weeds during germination and won’t stop any existing weeds that are already in the lawn. If you are wanting to target weeds that are already growing in your lawn it is best to use a post emergent herbicide for control.

pre-emergent

How to Apply Oxafert

When applying Oxafert and Oxapro, spread out the granules evenly by using a sweeping hand motion or apply with a fertiliser spreader for even coverage. Oxafert and Oxapro are best applied to dry foliage and watered in immediately after application.

oxafertoxa-pro

Winter Grass in Your Lawn Already?

If Winter Grass has already infiltrated your lawn, it is best to use a selective post-emergent herbicide. Amgrow Winter Grass Killer is a selective herbicide safe to use on most varieties including Blue Couch, Common Couch, Bent, Buffalo (including Sir Walter DNA Certified Buffalo) and Brown top lawns. This is not safe to use on Kikuyu or Fescue lawns. Another post-emergent herbicide that is safe to use on Kikuyu lawns is Munns Winter Grass Killer.

winter grass killer


 

As always, if you have any more questions please don’t hesitate to contact us for free expert advice on 1800ALLTURF (1800255873) or 07 5543 8304.

Back to Basics | Wetting Agents and Soil Amendments

Wetting agents and soil amendments are commonly used terms when it comes to lawn care. In this blog we will look at exactly what wetting agents and soil amendments are, when they are required and the different types available.

Wetting Agents

A wetting agent is like a detergent or surfactant that attracts water to the soil’s surface. Applying a wetting agent will help the water soak into the soil, making the water available to your lawn’s roots. It will help increase the soil’s ability to hold nutrients and help increase the drought tolerance of your lawn so it can sand up to the hot summer days.

Different types of wetting agents

Soil wetting agents are available as granules, liquid concentrates, and hose on bottles.

Most granular and liquid concentrates need to be watered in well, but it is always best to check the product label.

When do I need to apply a wetting agent?

If your lawn is suffering from dry patches or is hydrophobic a wetting may be needed.

Hydrophobic lawns will pool water at the soil’s surface and will struggle to let the moisture soak down into the soil base. Dry patches or heat stressed turf can present in patches rather than across the whole lawn.

Wetting agents are best applied when the temperatures are cooler, either in the morning or afternoon. Repeated applications can be made every few months on an as needed basis.

Product recommendation

We recommend using our Lawn Solutions Lawn Soaker. Lawn Soaker comes in a 2L clip on ready to use bottle, treating up to 150m2.

Soil Amendments

By having the correct soil base your lawn roots will be able to grow and thrive. If you have a good soil base where water can flow through the profile, is free from compaction, and has a good amount of nutrients your grass has a higher chance of being healthier. Soil amendments are best made before laying your lawn down, however they still can be corrected after a lawn is laid.

Compacted soil

Soil compaction can occur as a result from high foot traffic in an area, from kids or pets, or in other frequently used areas. Heavier clay soils are very tight and bind together making compaction a common problem.

When compaction occurs, it can hinder the lawns’ ability to grow deeper into the soil. It can limit the amount of nutrients and water that can reach the root of your lawn.

To help alleviate compaction aerate with a garden fork, aerating sandals or a tyne aerator. For more information on aerating your lawn click here.

aerating

Soil pH

Ideally, a soils pH should be somewhere between 5.5 and 7. An acidic soil will be below 5.5 and an alkaline soil will be over 8. To test your soil, use a soil pH testing kit. We have an easy-to-use soil pH testing kit available here. Soil pH kits are also readily available from nurseries and garden centres.

If your soil is outside a pH of 5.5 and 7 you may need to look at making adjustments. If this is the case, check out our blog for more information here.

Clay soil

A clay base can make it difficult for the roots of your lawn to grow down into the soil profile. Clay soils will often struggle to drain water away, especially if it is compacted.

To help improve a soil with a clay base, you can apply a clay breaker like gypsum. Please have a look at our blog for more information here.

Healthy soil

Making amendments before laying a lawn

If you are looking to lay a new lawn it is best to make any soil amendments before installation. In most cases, if you are bringing new soil in amendments shouldn’t need to be made.

best soil for turf

 


 

As always, if you have any more questions please don’t hesitate to contact us for free expert advice on 1800ALLTURF (1800255873) or 07 5543 8304.

Who is Lawn Solutions Australia?

We love sharing our knowledge of lawns, providing advice on the different turf varieties available and explaining the different lawn care products and how best to look after your lawns. But who is Lawn Solutions Australia?

Lawn Solutions Australia

Lawn Solutions Australia, known as LSA for short, is a national network of locally owned, and mostly family operated turf businesses.

lawn solutions australia

To become an LSA Member you must grow turf to a very high standard and be approved by the Australian Genetic Assurance Program for turf called AusGAP to grow the certified grasses that LSA Members supply.

Lawn Solutions Members grow the LSA range of lawn varieties including Sir Walter DNA Certified soft leaf buffalo, TifTuf Hybrid Bermuda or hybrid couch and Sir Grange Zoysia, plus some other grasses that are available specifically for different climates.

LSA Research

These turf grasses were introduced from LSA’s extensive turf research and development program. This program has the largest turf research facility in the Southern Hemisphere.

As part of this turf research program, we work with some of the world’s best turf breeders and scientists. We are wanting to find new and improved grasses that provide consumers better choices when looking for a new lawn variety.

Turf Trials

Thousands of grasses are bred and tested before a short list of elite performers. They are then put into further trials testing how they perform under wear, shade, and drought conditions.

If the grasses are successful in those trials, they will then undergo further trials. These involve herbicide resistance, establishment, and recovery speed and harvestability.

We trial these grasses in a range of climates right across Australia. This helps us see how they will handle the Aussie conditions. LSA will also compare them against existing turf varieties to see how they stand up.

We are looking for grasses that don’t just perform or survive. We are looking for new grasses that provide a point of difference, show exceptional qualities, new qualities unseen in the marketplace before. The cream of the crop.

It is not until or if we find this new grass that we will release to LSA Members for turf production.

The results of this program are represented in the successes achieved by each of the grasses released.

 

Sir Walter DNA Certified

sir walter dna certified

Sir Walter DNA Certified soft leaf buffalo has led the way as the most successful commercial turf grass in Australia history. It has a great shade tolerance and is incredibly versatile across a range of climates.

Sir Walter Buffalo DNA Certified turf

TifTuf Hybrid Bermuda

tiftuf hybrid bemuda

TifTuf Hybrid Bermuda is a somewhat newly introduced grass compared to Sir Walter, that has become the first and only turf grass in the world to be awarded the Smart Approved WaterMarkfor water efficiency and drought tolerance.

Bred out of the famous Tifton University in Georgia by the world’s best. TifTuf has shown superior qualities to that of over 30,000 different varieties. It is an absolute stand out when it comes to not just this variety of grass, but all grasses.

The History of ‘Tif’ton Turf

Sir Grange Zoysia

Sir Grange Logo

Sir Grange Zoysia – A grass like no other, Sir Grange can be kept at a range of heights. It’s a slow growing grass that is providing an alternative lawn option. This had never been available at this quality to consumers before.

Originally bred for golf courses, so you know it’s impressive. Sir Grange known as BRF Zeon Zoysia in the US, was used on the Olympics Golf Course is Rio.

Zoysia turf in Australia - Sir Grange

We can’t wait to share with you some of the exciting new grasses we currently have in development.

 


 

As always, if you have any more questions please don’t hesitate to contact us for free expert advice on 1800ALLTURF (1800255873) or 07 5543 8304.

Four Frequent Fertiliser Fails

Now is a great time to fertilise your lawn and for the most part, is a pretty straight forward thing to do. Buy fertiliser, spread it out and depending on whether it’s granular or liquid, water in or dilute and apply. You have gone down the path of fertilising your lawn, so you have the best of intentions to start with which is great. But a few days later you check on your lawn and it’s not what you expected!

But where could it possibly have gone wrong? Here’s some of the usual mistakes…

Too much N

That’s N for nitrogen. Lawns love it and need it, but too much produces burnt grass and/or too much leaf growth, and not enough root growth.

What happens when you over fertilise your lawn?

Over fertilising your lawn will cause sudden plant growth, particularly leaf growth and thatch. The problem with this is that the roots won’t experience the same amount of rapid growth and will then be unable to supply the amount of water and nutrient that your grass needs.

As fertiliser is primarily made up of mineral salts, excessive fertilising will cause salts to build up in the soil making it difficult for water to be absorbed, which dries out your grass causing discolouration and possibly even plant death if bad enough.

Signs you may have over fertilised your lawn:

  • Fertiliser burn on the grass leaf
  • Browning leaftips and yellowing of lower leaves
  • Darkened and weakened roots
  • Salt like crust of fertiliser on the soil surface

Too erratic

The method of application is just as important as the fertiliser choice. Chucking fertiliser about willy-nilly produces lawn that looks like it’s maintained by a goat. Walking systematically back and forth across a lawn with a spreader is a good way to apply granular fertiliser. For liquids, a similar orderly approach can be adopted.

fertiliser spreader

Too keen…

… can lead to ‘This fertiliser does nothing!’ Wrong. It’s probably not the fertiliser but the date of application. Apply fertiliser too early, that is, before soil is consistently above 14°C and good lawn food and good money goes to waste. Grass must be actively growing and out of its winter dormancy before it will benefit from a dose of fertiliser.

Applying fertiliser at the right time of year will ensure you get the most out of your lawn. Seasonal fertilising information

Too little water…

… can lead to burnt grass, due to the fertiliser. Once granular fertiliser is applied it must be well watered to solubilise it. This is one of the reasons those in the know fertilise just before a dump of rain. But be careful not to spread it out if a deluge of rain is anticipated, too much rain and the fertiliser will wash away, which doesn’t help your lawn and isn’t good for the environment.

While many fertilisers are similar, not all fertilisers are the same. Make sure you always follow the label instructions for the specific fertiliser that you are using.

What should I use for fertilising?

For fertilising we recommend using our Lawn Solutions Premium Fertiliser. This fertiliser contains a combination of slow and fast release granules that will give your lawn a quick initial boost and will continue to feed the lawn for up to 12 weeks. This is a well-balanced fertiliser that contains all the essential nutrients your lawn needs to stay healthy and is suitable for all lawn varieties.

lawn fertiliser

Exceed Liquid Fertiliser is a great liquid fertiliser option. Exceed will give your lawn a quick boost as it is absorbed by the leaf of the grass.

exceed liquid fertiliser


 

As always, if you have any more questions please don’t hesitate to contact us for free expert advice on 1800ALLTURF (1800255873) or 07 5543 8304.

Earthworms and Your Lawn

Earthworm Castings

Have you noticed little mud balls sitting on your lawn recently? These mud balls or castings are an eyesore when there’s lots of them, particularly if you like to cut your lawn nice and short. We receive many enquiries relating to this annoying earthworm activity but it’s actually one lawn issue that we do not recommend treating. With changing conditions and a bit of patience, these castings will stop appearing and your lawn can reap the benefits of the earthworms presence in your soil.

 

Earthworms

These pleasant creatures are actually brilliant for your lawns health and they are busily working away beneath the surface. If earthworms are present in your soil, it means you have healthy soil that contains a good amount of organic material, so there is no reason to worry about them. If anything, you should be more worried if they are not present, as this will likely mean that your soil is lacking in nutrients and a good amount of organic matter.

These mounds can seem like a bit of a nuisance to deal with, but they are a sure sign of success. Here’s why:

Earthworm benefits

  • Aeration of your soil
  • Breaking down of thatch
  • Increased decomposition
  • Creation of usable nitrogen in the soil

worm castings

Why would earthworms be considered a problem for your lawn?

Well the main reason you tend to notice that there are worms in your lawn is when they come up to the surface. During Spring and again in Autumn, or times of increased moisture, earthworms will rise to the surface and start leaving castings also known as mud balls. Castings are small mounds of worm excrement or digested organic matter, which is beneficial for your lawn. The only issue here is the appearance of these castings on top of your lawn, particularly if there are heaps of them.

earth worms

What you can do about earthworm castings

  • When the castings are dry, you can rake or brush them across the lawn. Much like an organic fertiliser this will then settle the castings into the roots and provide nutrition for your lawn.
  • During wet periods when there is no break in rainfall, instead of waiting weeks for the castings to dry out, in some cases you can simply pick them up by hand. These castings are then best added to a compost bin.
  • As worm activity is a sign of higher moisture levels, you can limit the amount of water your lawn is receiving to try and lessen their activity. When you do this, the worms will delve deeper into the soil in search of moisture. If rain and wet conditions have been persistent, then this can be particularly frustrating and the castings may stick around for an extended period. A very quick blast with a hose will help wash the castings in, lessoning their appearance on the lawn. The addition of even more water can obviously be somewhat counterproductive, so we only recommend doing this when castings are particularly bad and the additional water is minimal compared to the rain already being received.
  • Mow your lawn on a higher setting to lessen the appearance of castings in your lawn.

Limiting worm activity

  • Earth worms can rise to the surface to look for additional food sources like lawn clippings or leaves. By raking up leaves and mowing with a catcher you will reduce their food sources above the surface, letting them go back beneath the soil to look for food.
  • Top dress your lawn with a high sand content top dressing. This will help lower the moisture levels closer to the surface, encouraging them to go down into the soil. This is best done in the warmer months while your lawn is actively growing.

So next time you see these little mounds in your lawn, try not to cringe – give yourself a pat on the back, reduce their appearance as best you can and enjoy the benefits they are providing to your soil and your lawn.


 

As always, if you have any more questions please don’t hesitate to contact us for free expert advice on 1800ALLTURF (1800255873) or 07 5543 8304.

Should I core aerate my lawn? Or are solid tines ok?

Your aerating questions answered

What is aeration?

Perforation of the soil to allow air, water and nutrients to penetrate the grass roots.

aerating

Why do I need to aerate my lawn?

Aeration helps the roots grow deeply and produce a stronger, more vigorous lawn. The main reason for aerating is to alleviate soil compaction. Soil compaction limits the amount of nutrients and water to penetrate the roots of your lawn.

What is solid tine aeration?

Solid tine aeration involves the punching of holes into the lawn with solid metal spikes.

aeration

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A smaller area of lawn can be aerated manually with aerating sandals (sandals with spikes that aerate the lawn as you walk) or a sturdy garden fork. Simply insert the fork into the lawn and wriggle it back and forth to fracture the soil profile. Aim for a spacing between the holes of around 8 – 10cm. In order to achieve adequate aeration, you may need to go over the area twice in a different direction each time.

You can hire specialised aerators if you have a large lawn. A spiked roller is also useful for lawn aeration for incorporating lime, gypsum, or coarse sand into the profile to improve drainage or pH.

Solid tine aeration does not involve the removal of soil, so if the ground is particularly hard and compacted, we recommend you look at core aeration.

What is core aeration?

Unlike regular aeration, where solid tines simply punch holes in the ground, core aeration removes a plug of soil from your lawn at the same time. Plug or core aerators do this by using hollow tines that puncture the surface and then pull the plugs from the ground on their way back out. The process of coring helps create more space in the soil for your lawn to breathe, absorb nutrient and increases soil permeability.

core aeration

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Core aeration can be done with manual hand tools but is much easier to undertake with a specialised coring machine. The primary reason we need to undertake aeration, core aeration in particular, is to alleviate issues related to compaction. 

For core aeration, we recommend using the Reel Solutions 3 Tyne Aerator.

When should I remove cores from my lawn, rather than solid tine?

When there is a lot of compaction or soil improvements are required. If an area suffers from heavy wear and is consistently showing signs of stress, this is where core aeration can be ideal. This is why golf courses and sporting fields undertake core aeration sometimes a couple of times a year. With the high amounts of foot traffic and wear, coring allows groundskeepers to keep their turf surfaces much healthier by creating more room for roots to grow. This combined with topdressing, helps to achieve a nice smooth putting or playing surface.

If you are looking for that perfect finish for your home lawn, then core aeration is certainly something you should also consider as part of your lawn maintenance program during spring. After coring your lawn is a great time to top dress with washed river sand. The sand will fill the holes and enable air and water to penetrate due to its free draining, open structure.

What if the ground is too hard?

A good deep watering a few hours or a day prior to aerating can help soften the soil making it easier for the tines to penetrate. It can also be a perfect time to aerate after you have experienced rain.

Think before you aerate!

Always remember when using either a solid or hollow tine to make sure that you are not doing so in an area where you are likely to hit any underground piping or irrigation. If you have an Automower with guide wire for the parameter, these too need to be avoided.


 

As always, if you have any more questions please don’t hesitate to contact us for free expert advice on 1800ALLTURF (1800255873) or 07 5543 8304.

Getting to know Sir Walter DNA Certified Buffalo

Sir Walter DNA Certified Buffalo lawns have played an important role in over 1,000,000 Aussie backyards. The household name has stood the test of time, continuing to be one of the best choices for Australian homes. This grass has thrived in the Australian climate with its drought tolerance, low maintenance, soft touch, and high wear.

But where did Sir Walter DNA Certified come from? Let’s find out…

The Sir Walter Story

Brent Redman is a second-generation turf farmer from here in the Hunter Valley, NSW, and is the owner of Buchanan Turf Supplies. Brent began turf cutting in the late 70’s. By the mid-80’s he had purchased 20 acres here in the rich river flats of Maitland.

At the time buffalo was just buffalo and Brent ended up trialling 5 different varieties within a 2-acre plot.

Many turf farmers were having struggles with their buffalo, but Brent realised he was not facing these same troubles with one of the buffalo varieties he had growing on his farm and offered some samples to trial for their farms.

As this buffalo continued to grow on Brent’s farm, a small area was found to be growing which was even better, maintaining a greener winter colour, a healthier root system and it was taking over the existing buffalo.

Brent noticed the potential of this new variety and began propagating the grass to protect the purity and integrity of the variety. A variety which would soon become known as Sir Walter.

Name Sir Walter

Where did the Sir Walter name come from?

This grass was named to reflect the qualities that the grass possesses. Initially the acronym ‘WALT’ was created, standing for ‘Winter Active, Low Thatch’.

It was also decided to add a reference to the significant environmental benefits of the grass, with the addition of the ER for ‘Environmentally Responsible’.

A grass this good needed to be anointed, with a symbolic ‘knighting’ and the Sir prefix added to honour the exceptional qualities of the grass.

S I R
W inter
A ctive
L ow
T hatch
E nvironmentally
R esponsible

The rest is history as they say, with it being expanded and produced right across Australia. Sir Walter today is an ‘Iconically Aussie’ brand and is undoubtedly the most successful commercial turf variety in Australian history.

As a result of this success deception and substitution by competitors has occurred. Many varieties over the years have claimed to be ‘just like’, ‘same as’ or ‘bred from’.

Sir Walter Buffalo grass maintenance

How do I know the Sir Walter I am buying is genuine?

Sir Walter supplied by accredited and licensed suppliers is now known as Sir Walter DNA Certified. This extension of the name was developed to provide the assurance to consumers that the Sir Walter they are buying is DNA tested.

This turf matches the original breeder Sir Walter plant material bred at Brent Redmans farm developed over 20 years ago. Only Lawn Solutions Australia turf producers can provide this ‘Original Breeder’ guarantee.

If you want genuine Sir Walter, validated by DNA testing, look for Sir Walter DNA Certified from accredited suppliers with the Original Breeder Guarantee from Mr Redman.


 

As always, if you have any more questions please don’t hesitate to contact us for free expert advice on 1800ALLTURF (1800255873) or 07 5543 8304.