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.

Troubleshooting Lawn Problems

Is your lawn having problems and not sure where to start? In this blog, we look at troubleshooting common lawn care problems to help you get your lawn back on track and in good health.

Step 1 – Is your lawn getting the amount of sunlight it needs?

Different types of grasses need different amounts of sunlight to thrive. If your lawn isn’t getting enough sun, it can become thin and sparse, and will eventually die out.

Buffalo grasses have a high shade tolerance needing a minimum of 3-4 hours of direct light or scattered light.

Couch grasses require at least 5-6 hours of direct light.

Kikuyu grasses love full sun areas, needing direct light throughout the whole day.

If your lawn isn’t getting the amount of light it needs, regularly prunes back any trees, bushes, and other foliage. This will help increase sunlight to the lawn. If your lawn is shaded by the house or other structures, choose a shade-tolerant variety that will be suited for your area.

For more information on why your lawn needs sunlight, check out our blog here.

Step 2 – Is your lawn getting affected by wear or a compacted soil base?

Does your lawn get lots of foot traffic either from pets or kids? When the soil base underneath your lawn becomes compacted, it can be difficult for the grass to grow its roots deep into the soil, affecting the lawn.

To help the soil deal with a compacted base, aerate the soil. Aeration is best done with a garden fork or tyne aerator. To aerate your lawn simply insert the fork into the lawn and give it wiggle back and forth. This will help fracture the soil profile, allowing air, nutrients, and water to flow better throughout the soil and allow the grass to grow a deeper root system.

Check out our blog on aeration for more information here.

aerating

Step 3 – Are you watering too much or not enough?

When watering an established lawn, it is best to only give it water when it needs it. Usually, you will only need to water when there is not enough rainfall to meet your lawn’s needs. The tell-tale signs your lawn needs water are:

  • If the leaf is wilting or losing colour
  • If your lawn leaves a footprint behind when you walk over it
  • During hot weather, if your lawn is dry and crusty, and taking on a brown colour.

If you do need to water your lawn, it is best to water in the morning before the heat of the day. Avoid afternoon and evening watering as the lawn will sit damp overnight as this can cause fungal diseases to develop.

sprinkler

Step 4 – Does your lawn need fertilising?

Is your lawn lacking the nutrients it needs or is it in need of a boost? If so, a well-rounded fertiliser with a balanced ratio of nutrients may be needed.

For fertilising we recommend using our Lawn Solutions Premium Fertiliser this 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 also a great option for liquid fertiliser. Exceed will give your lawn a quick boost as it is absorbed by the leaf of the grass.

exceed liquid fertiliser

It is best to apply fertiliser around 2-3 times a year, once in Spring, Summer, and Autumn.

Step 5 – Is your lawn being mown enough?

During the hotter weather, warm-season varieties like couch, buffalo, kikuyu, and zoysia will be growing at a fast rate and will need to be mown more frequently.

For mowing, it is best to ensure you are mowing frequently enough so you remove no more than one-third of the leaf with each pass.

If your lawn has become overgrown or you are wanting to reduce your mowing height, mow a notch or two lower than your preferred mowing height. After this, the lawn won’t look great for the first few weeks, but the lawn will be able to recover and grow back at a lower height. Then on the next mow, you can raise your mower to your preferred mowing height and continue to mow regularly. This is best done when the grass is actively growing in spring and summer and should be avoided in the cooler months.

mowing height

Step 6 – Is your lawn affected by grubs?

Has your lawn become dry and straw-like? Are their brown patches gradually spreading throughout your lawn? Common signs of a grub infestation include brown patches, increased bird activity and a spongy lawn.

If you are unsure if your lawn is affected by grubs, it is best to do a grub test. To do this, mix a bucket of soapy water and pour it over the edge of an affected area. Keep an eye on it and after about 10 minutes or so, usually, if there are grubs there, they will come to the surface. This is best done at dawn or dusk when grubs are most likely to be active.

If your lawn is grub affected, a fast-acting product like Grub Guard or Baythroid Advanced will provide a quick knockdown. A preventative insecticide like Acelepryn GR will help prevent another grub attack from occurring for up to 6 months.

For more information on how to stop grubs in your lawn, check out our blog here

Lawn Grubs

Step 7 – Is rain and humidity affecting your lawn?

Over the last few months, lots of areas across Australia have been facing hot, humid, and rainy conditions. This creates the perfect conditions for lawn diseases to occur.

Here’s what to do if your lawn has been affected by the disease:

  • Stop additional irrigation and only water if your lawn needs it. This will allow the lawn to dry out.
  • Give the area a good aerate with a garden fork. This will help drain away any excess moisture in the soil profile.
  • If the lawn is still showing disease after this, you can look at applying a fungicide like Mancozeb to help clear it up.

Please check out our blog on lawn diseases for more information here.

Step 8 – Do you have the best-suited type of lawn?

In certain situations, different lawn types are better suited for different areas.

If your area receives a lot of shade, a shade-tolerant variety like Sir Walter DNA Certified Buffalo (which needs as little as 3-4 hours of direct sunlight per day) is an ideal choice.

If your lawn is going to be getting a lot of traffic from pets and kids, choose grass with a high wear tolerance like TifTuf Hybrid Bermuda or Sir Walter DNA Certified Buffalo.

If you are after a high-end manicured look a fantastic grass to look at is Sir Grange Zoysia.

For more specific advice on choosing the best turf variety for your home and family, have a chat with


 

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.

Seage Weeds

Sedge weeds like Nutgrass are some of the worst weeds when it comes to their ability to infiltrate your lawn.

They are highly invasive and very difficult to get rid of, but there is a product you can use to selectively treat them on your lawn.

Sedges are part of the Cyperus genus which includes about 700 types of sedges. Sedges have triangular cross-sections and spirally arranged leaves in 3 vertical rows along the stem. A common factor in areas where these weeds tend to occur is poor soil.

For this article, we are going to focus on two in particular that are commonly found in Australian lawns, Nutgrass and Mullumbimby Couch.

Nutgrass

Botanical name: Cyperus Esculentus

Description:

  • Nutgrass gets its name from the nut-like tubers found on the roots (rhizomes) of the plant.
  • It is identifiable as it is usually a lighter green than the rest of your lawn and tends to grow taller.
  • Nutgrass has 3 blades that shoot up from the stem and has a triangular stem rather than a circular stem like most grasses.

nut grass

Mullumbimby Couch

Botanical name: Cyperus brevifolius

Description:

  • A perennial mat-forming, grass-like sedge up to 15cm high with dark green, glossy, strap-like leaves.
  • Possesses tough long, rhizomes that are red to purple in colour.
  • Grows best in areas of excessive soil moisture and humidity and can be difficult to control due to a strong network of rhizomes from which individual plants can regenerate.

mullumbimby couch

Treatment

Nutgrass and Mullumbimby Couch are incredibly difficult to eradicate so it is best you act quickly before they spread and become almost impossible to remove.

You can remove them by digging them out with a small spade. But you have to be extremely diligent with this to ensure there are no roots or bulbs left in the soil as they will reappear if left behind.

Sedge Post-Emergent Herbicides

If there is a large amount of Nutgrass or Mullumbimby Couch in your lawn, you will need to treat it with a selective herbicide such as Lawn Solutions Sedge Control or Amgrow Sedgehammer.

sedge control

Another herbicide option is Paspalum, Nutgrass and Clover Selective Weed Killer, but you can only use it to spot spray buffalo and kikuyu turf varieties as it will harm your lawn as well. It is safe to cover spray-on Couch (excluding QLD Blue Couch), Bent and Fescue turf varieties.

If you don’t treat these weeds, they will continue to multiply and infest your whole lawn, so it’s definitely worth doing in order to save your lawn from continued infestation.

Remember to always follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the pack when using herbicides. These chemicals are generally on the expensive side, but you only need a very small quantity to treat the affected area. Be aware that repeated applications may also be required.


 

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.

Helping Your Lawn Recover After Flooding

Tips, Trick And Advice

The recent rains experienced in many areas of the country have caused an extensive amount of damage to homes, businesses and to our outside living spaces.

The most important thing is the health of your families and supporting our communities, so stay safe and we wish everyone the best in the weeks ahead.

The biggest challenges faced during these times for lawns is the combination of waterlogging for extended periods, but in addition to this, once the water levels drop the soil and sediment left behind can smother lawns and are a significant barrier for recovery.

What can you do?

Firstly, make sure your lawn is safe. If rain is still coming down excessively and flowing water is still present, please wait. Make sure all hazards have been identified and addressed so you do not put yourself in harms way.

Facilitate water absorption and the draining away of excess water as best you can, as soon as possible and when safe to do so.

The best thing is for the rain to stop and for the lawn’s moisture level to return to a manageable level. Sunshine is the biggest influence on this, but you can aerate with a garden fork after a few days, divert water away from the lawn where possible and remove all debris that you can that could restrict direct sunlight to the grass.

Aeration is of particular importance for alleviating the moisture and allowing oxygen down into the waterlogged roots of the lawn. You can read more information about aeration here

We have seen in some lawns a lot of mud and river silt left behind smothering grass once waters have receded. Remove what you can by hand and make sure you are wearing gloves. Although more water sounds counterintuitive, initially it can be a good thing to try and use a hose with high pressure to blast as much of this into or off the lawn, so the grass blades are unobstructed.

Another tip for removing any mud/silt/debris easily is using an old rotary mower with a catcher if you have one, as these are great at picking up debris on a lawn.

If moss or algae are present this too will need addressing, you can find more information on treating moss in our blog here

Initially we would advise not to use any fertilisers, topdressing, or other amendments until you are certain the worst of the rain has passed, the lawn is drying out and you are seeing signs of growth. You don’t want to run the risk of wasting money on product that’s going to get washed away or could do more harm than good if likely to stress an already unhealthy lawn. You can however, hand weed, or spot treat any weeds that have popped up, as it is likely weeds will have infiltrated and it’s going to be important to address this so that they don’t get out of control.

When there is excessive moisture combined with humidity, it is common for turf disease to develop. Once the conditions that are causing the disease to develop are gone, your lawn in many cases should recover on its own. Aeration as mentioned above will significantly help with this, but if disease symptoms persist, you may need to look at doing a  to help improve turf grass health moving forwards.

If you notice the lawn is showing signs of being hydrophobic where the water is being repelled by the soil and pooling rather than absorbing quickly, then a wetting agent application will help with this. A product like Wettasoil or Lawn Soaker is ideal.

As soon as it is dry enough to do so without making much of a mess, mow the lawn at your normal mowing height. If the lawn has been left for an extended period and has some length to it, a reset may be required to bring the stem of the grass down to a lower height. This will involve taking the mower down a notch or two lower than normal (lightly scalping) before bringing the mower back up to the normal height. Getting back into regular mowing as soon as possible will be a big part in promoting healthy lateral growth for recovery. Dethatching or scarifying to remove any loose thatch or debris within the profile that has developed before or during the flooding is also going to aid significantly in recovery.

Once the lawn is showing significant signs of recovery, you can fertilise the lawn and target any weeds that have washed in more aggressively. It can be a really good time to also apply a pre-emergent herbicide like Oxafert (3kg) or Oxa-Pro (20kg) that can help to prevent the emergence of some of the weed seeds that have likely been washed in.

oxafert

We hope this information is helpful. There are no easy solutions, unfortunately, but if you address the things mentioned above it will go a long way to speeding up the recovery process.


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 Rid Your Lawn of Moss

Tips, Tricks And Advice

Moss becomes most prevalent in Winter when there is additional moisture around and a lack of warmth to dry out surfaces.

What is Moss?

Mosses are small green non-vascular plants that grow in clumps. They are generally only a few centimetres tall with extremely thin leaves.

Moss enjoys conditions that are wet, shaded and compacted. It is important to understand that moss itself isn’t the problem, it is the favourable conditions that the moss enjoys growing in. Turf on the other hand generally hates these conditions, so you need to act quick before the moss continues to spread.

How to Remove Moss

If you are already plagued with Moss, then you will need to remove it to enable your lawn to repair and spread back into the affected area.

  • You can do so by physically removing it with a spade or rake, being sure to get underneath it and remove the roots from the ground as you do.
  • Moss Killer usually contains iron sulphate. Iron can be good for your lawn when it is deficient. But Moss doesn’t like it too much, so an application of iron sulphate will usually cause the moss to die off.
  • Mixing water and dish soap and spraying the Moss with it, is also another method often used to kill Moss.

How to Ensure Moss Stays Away

The key is to focus on the cause of the problem so that moss doesn’t keep growing back again.

Aeration – Aerating compacted ground will help the area drain better and allow oxygen and nutrients to the roots of your lawn allowing it to fight back against the Moss.

Improve drainage – If there are substantial drainage issues, you may need to look at putting in a drain or ag pipe to drain the water away and stop it from pooling.

Reduce shade – By reducing the amount of shade where possible, you will help the sun to dry the area out much quicker, which will ensure it doesn’t stay wet for long enough to be favourable for Moss to grow.

Check your soil pH – Make sure the area has a pH level optimum for your grass to grow. You may find an application of lime is required if the soil is too acidic. Moss prefers acidic soils, but it will also grow fine in alkaline soils. Grass prefers a pH somewhere between 6 to 7.5.

After removing the Moss and addressing the causes of the problem, it is a good time to give your lawn a fertilise and encourage your grass to repair.


 

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.

12 Mowing Tips for the Perfect Cut Every Time

12 Mowing tips For the Perfect Cut Every Time

A few simple tips on mowing your lawn will go a long way to ensuring you get a nice even cut, without ripping, scalping or smothering the lawn each time you give the grass its regular haircut.

  1. Healthy mowing height for your lawn

Don’t mow your lawn too short, as this can put your lawn under extreme stress. It can leave brown or bare looking patches on your lawn, and if cut too short regularly, can seriously deplete the lawn’s energy reserves and is an open invitation for weeds to invade and seed. A good guide is the ‘one-third rule’ – only remove one-third of the leaf each time you mow.

mowing height

Guideline for ideal mowing heights

(General rule of thumb: shorter for summer, longer for winter)

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

  1. Don’t let your clippings build-up

It is ok to leave your clippings on the lawn every now and again, as clippings are a great source of nitrogen and can act as a natural fertiliser for your lawn. Recycling your grass clippings back into your lawn can actually account for 25% of its annual nitrogen requirements.

If you are using a regular mower you should only be leaving small amounts of clippings every so often. If you have a mulching mower that cuts the clippings up much finer, then it is ok to leave the clippings on your lawn, so long as they aren’t left in clumps and they are evenly distributed.

You definitely need to take the type of grass you have into consideration when deciding whether to catch your clippings. If you have a couch lawn and are looking for a manicured finish, it’s always best to catch your clippings. If you have a buffalo or kikuyu lawn, you can generally follow the instructions provided above.

grass clippings

  1. Change up your mowing direction

Mowing in different directions not only minimises ‘mownotony’, it also contributes to a healthy lawn by encouraging the individual blades to grow straight, which in turn provides more space for new blades to grow. Ultimately, this gives you a thicker lawn.

  1. Avoid cross-contamination

If you have a different grass in one area, say front to back, wash or clean down your mower before transitioning to the other grass type. Some grasses like kikuyu for example can be easily transported into other varieties where they can quickly start to invade and spread. Ideally, you should try to install the same grass in all areas if you are looking to keep your grass variety clean.

  1. Keep a consistent pace

If you want a consistent cut, you need to stick to a consistent pace when mowing. If you race over one area and are much slower in another, the grass is likely going to be cut inconsistently with bouncing and movement creating differentiation in the height of cut.

  1. Keep your mower blades sharp

Keep your mower well maintained; sharp blades are crucial for a good cut. Blunt blades tend to tear, rather than cut the lawn.

  1. Cylinders or reels will provide a cleaner cut

Reel mowers, cylinder mowers, in particular, will have a better quality of cut due to the slicing ‘scissor’ action. This action is superior to that of the chopping action of a rotary mower, when comparing both with sharp well-maintained blades.

cylinder mower

Having said this, a rotary mower with sharp blades and decent power produces a good enough cut that most people would be happy with.

  1. Mow when the lawn is dry

Rain is great for fertilising, but not ideal for mowing. Mowing when the grass is wet can damage the leaf blades as they will tear rather than cut, leaving an uneven edge. This can give a ‘chopped’ look to your lawn. Wait until the lawn has dried out after rain or irrigation before you mow.

  1. Don’t mow during the heat of the day

When mowing, do so earlier in the day or as the sun has started to go down again. The hot sun in the middle of the day is more likely to do damage to the freshly cut lawn, so doing so when it is cooler will cause less stress to the leaf.

  1. Mow your lawn regularly

Avoid long periods between mows – regular mowing is best. Keep in mind that your mowing routine may also need to change with the seasons. Warm-season varieties like Kikuyu and Couch, for example, love hot summers and will have vigorous growth during this time. Regularly mowing your lawn promotes lateral growth and allows more of the sun’s rays to get amongst the leaf of your lawn.

  1. A bumpy lawn will be an uneven lawn

If you have lumps or depressions in your lawn it can be a good idea to top-dress your lawn. The active growing season is the best time. Information on topdressing can be found here. Levelling and topdressing will help to ensure a more even cut with less scalping.

  1. Consider mowing frequency when selecting a turf variety

Consider the amount you are willing to mow when choosing a turf variety. Some types of grass will require more frequent mowing than others. Mowing frequency will be an important aspect of maintaining a healthy lawn.

grass types

Anything we have missed?

Let us know what mowing tips you have found work best on 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.

What Should I Top Dress My Lawn With?

What should I top dress my lawn with?

When looking to top-dress your lawn you first have to ask yourself what it is you are trying to achieve. In most cases, top dressing is undertaken to correct poor soil preparation, improve deteriorated soil quality or permeability, or fill in low spots and correct uneven areas in the lawn. If your lawn is well fertilised, healthy and even, then it’s likely you don’t need to worry about top dressing.

Top dressing brings many benefits to a lawn that is looking a little lacklustre, including helping to reduce the accumulation of dead grass clippings and stems, known as ‘thatch’. It helps to increase nutrient retention, improves drainage and increases disease and pest resistance.

Top dressing should only be completed during the growing season (this is when you need to mow your lawn weekly) and the earlier in the season the better. Generally, late spring to early summer is best.

Topdressing to Improve Levels

For a top-dressing material for level improvement, we always like to use washed plasterers’ sand. It doesn’t compact quite as hard as brickies sand. It is generally easier to screed and level due to the lower clay and silt content and reduces the likelihood of the surface crusting and becoming hydrophobic.

If you are wanting a really flat lawn surface and intend to mow your turf variety quite short, then straight sand is the go. Just be sure that within your broader lawn maintenance schedule that you include the addition of fertilisers and nutrients that your lawn needs. Lawns that are cut shorter will generally require additional inputs to help them perform at an optimum level.

Topdressing to Improve Soil Profile

Your lawn needs a firm base that allows water movement downwards and allows for water retention, so the turf roots system can develop and establish. The aim is to promote a healthy root system that will protect the turf from weather conditions such as droughts and winter frost.

A good soil base for most turf varieties should consist of the following:

  • Washed river sand, medium to coarse particles – some % of clay is present which helps to compact and form a base.
  • Some heavier soil is generally added which helps to hold moisture and mixed with the sand creates a free-flowing profile for water movement.
  • A composted material is then added – again generally this can be a green waste, chicken or animal manure and some natural nutrients to help balance your pH levels.

This is where topsoil or sandy loam topdressing soils are necessary. If your lawn is lacklustre, compacted and lacking in nutrients, then you are best looking at applying a sandy loam. This is recommended for most lawn situations. These top-dressing soils are much the same as the soil or turf underlay that is spread prior to laying turf. These usually consist of a blend of 80% washed sand, combined with 20% black soil or organic material. If you have sandy soil, a higher proportion of organic material is a good idea.

It is also recommended to aerate your lawn prior to spreading topsoil, specifically core aeration. Removing cores from your lawn will create a space for the new topsoil material to fall into, helping it get deeper into the soil base where it is needed.

How to Lay Turf – Preparation and Underlay

How to Top Dress

Topdressing should only be applied at no more than 5-10mm in thickness at a time. The sand or sandy loam should be rubbed in evenly using a lawn level bar, working the sand down into the turf thatch layer.

Preparing your turf for topdressing – if possible, apply a general-purpose fertiliser, wetting agent and water in well a couple of days prior. This will give your turf the growth required to surge through the topdressing sand.

For more information on top dressing click here.

Need fertiliser and wetting agents to assist your lawn in recovery?

lawn 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.

Why Regular Mowing Is Important

Why regular mowing is important

Sometimes there’s always something better to do than spend a portion of your weekend mowing the lawn.

There are those that are die-hard lawn fanatics who love mowing regularly and those that just simply find the thought of having to mow the lawn all the time as a massive annoyance.

If conditions have been ideal, you might be cursing the dreaded growth rate of your lawn. During times of rain, combined with high humidity, you might also find that you have been unable to get out and mow for weeks, even if you wanted to.

mowing

If your lawn is growing rapidly, it is important that you get out there and get on top of it regularly. Just remember it’s only a short amount of time before it will slow down and you can get back to the odd mow here and there when it needs it.

 

Here’s why you should keep to a regular routine and mow your lawn when it needs it.

  1. Consistent mowing heights allow for consistent nutrients within the grass, helping your lawn look the same throughout.
  2. Leaving your lawn too long can block out the sun from reaching the undergrowth and can lead to dying off from below.
  3. Letting your lawn get too long actually ends up causing you to mow your lawn more often! When you do finally mow, you are taking off more of the leaf which will stress your lawn. Once the lawn gets quite long, don’t take more than a third of the leaf off at a time. You have to mow off a third, wait a few days and then mow again to get it back to the optimal height. So, sticking to the one-third rule is extremely important in maintaining a healthy lawn.
  4. The mower may have difficulty cutting down the tall grass even with an increased blade height, so it will be a much more difficult task.
  5. A lawn that isn’t mowed regularly to the recommended height is often less healthy than a manicured lawn.
  6. A lawn full of weak grass is more susceptible to disease, pests and weeds.
  7. Mowing your lawn encourages lateral growth. It’s this lateral growth that helps your lawn become thicker.

By sticking to a regular mowing and lawn maintenance routine, your lawn will be healthier and be less likely to develop problems that will only cost you more time and money in the long run.


 

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.

What Are Plant Growth Regulators?

Stadium quality turf with PGR’s

We know many of you are always looking for ways to take your lawns to the next level. One way to do this is by using what the turf professionals use, Plant Growth Regulators. Used on golf courses and sports grounds across the world, Plant Growth Regulators known as PGRs, are now available in an economical size to use in your own back garden.

In this article we focus on the benefits of plant growth regulators, Primo Maxx by Syngenta specifically, that can help your lawn perform like stadium-quality turf.

What is a Plant Growth Regulator or PGR?

A PGR is an innovative solution that influences a plant’s growth and development.

Recent types of PGRs, such as Syngenta’s turf growth regulator Primo Maxx are formulated as a microemulsion concentrate that quickly enters the leaves and shoots before systemically moving throughout the entire plant.

Better looking lawns, faster:

  • Reduces grass growth: reduced mowing.
  • Less bare patches: improved aesthetic.
  • Greener grass.
  • The best-looking edges with less work.

Once absorbed, the active ingredient works to temporarily block the plant’s ability to produce a growth hormone called Gibberellic Acid. This suppresses the plant’s vertical growth while allowing normal processes like photosynthesis and respiration to continue.

Energy is diverted into the plant’s lateral growth, resulting in smaller and finer leaves, increased tillering, and a larger, deeper root mass. The turf becomes denser with a more vibrant colour.

Save water with PGRs

Regular PGR application ticks a lot of sustainability boxes, the biggest one being greener grass with less water requirements.

PGRs like Primo Maxx improve water management efficiency by encouraging the stomates (pores) of a plant to close for longer periods, which slows down the rate of water lost through transpiration.

Control growth and mow less

Slowing down turf growth also decreases the need to mow, which in turn reduces waste and makes maintenance practices far more sustainable. Applying Primo Maxx to turfgrass effectively holds back vertical grass growth within 3 to 4 weeks of initial application.

Stand up to turf stress and extreme heat

Increased temperatures add to turf stress in all situations, resulting in an undesirable loss of colour, turf density and quality.

Build a tougher lawn:

  • Increased root density: drought resistance & improved lawn resilience
  • Increased density: improved shade tolerance
  • Increased durability: hardier under children and pet use

The main reason is that PGR applications like Primo Maxx increase the level of bioactive cytokinins in the plant, improving its tolerance to heat and drought-induced stress. This allows the turf to recover faster from drought effects, extreme heat, or stress from high traffic and heavy play.

PGR TIP:

The right application is always key to achieving good results with a PGR, so it’s important to track the growth rate of your turfgrass alongside the rate of PGR application. When using Primo Maxx for the first time leave an area to the side untreated so you can compare the results of your application.

What does Primo Maxx do?

Primo Maxx forces the grass to grow thicker instead of taller. The lateral stems become fuller as the colour of the lawn becomes a nicer shade of green. Your lawn will not only be lush and attractive, but it will also have what it needs to stay that way.

plant growth regulators

Primo Maxx Promotes deeper, stronger roots

Instead of using energy on growth, it uses it on creating healthier roots

Primo Maxx Improves water use efficiency

The grass makes the most of the water it receives, whether rain or irrigation, less water use

Primo Maxx helps turf tolerate shade

Shady areas naturally grow thin; Primo assist with this.

Primo Maxx creates stronger, denser turf

Stronger, denser turf resists wear and disease better and helps suppress weeds.

  • Promotes denser, healthier turf that is better able to withstand a variety of stresses including heat, drought, diseases and traffic.
  • Slows the production of gibberellic acid, a plant hormone that promotes cell elongation. Vertical shoot growth is slowed, while lateral and below-ground growth of rhizomes, stolons, tillers and roots is stimulated.
  • Reduces mowing by up to 50%.
  • Is claimed to suppress Winter grass growth.
  • Cuts mowing in half, reduces seed head production, fertilizer use, watering and clipping yield, makes lawns look great with half the work or for less than 3 cents a square metre.

 

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.

Summer Grass Weeds

Summer Grass Weeds

Not all weeds can be easily treated with common broadleaf herbicides. Some, mainly summer grass weeds, require a specific herbicide product for treatment.

In this article, we talk about summer grass, paspalum and crabgrass/crowsfoot.

Summer Grass

Digitaria Sanguinalis and Digitaria Cilaris

summer grass

Summer grass is an annual weed that appears in the warmer months of the year. It will then go to seed into autumn where it can emerge over several years. There are two varieties of Summer grass that are very similar in appearance. If left untreated, it can grow as high as 30cm and 1m wide, thrive in conditions of high temperatures and high humidity.

Description

Summer grass is an annual weed that has soft hairy leaves that grow close to the ground in clusters. The grassroots at the node (joint) and the sheathes of the leaf are usually purple-tinged in colour at the base. Because Summer grass spreads by seed, it is extremely important that you act before this happens.


Paspalum

Paspalum Dilatatum

This is a perennial grass weed that is found mostly in the South Eastern states of Australia.

It will start out as clumps and then will spread throughout sparse and poor performing lawns.

Description

This weed has a purple tinge at the base of broad grass leaves that stem from a central crown. It primarily grows throughout the warmer months from late spring to early autumn. This weed spreads through the transportation of sticky seeds. These seeds easily adhere themselves to pets, shoes and objects before falling off in a new location.


Crowsfoot or Crabgrass

Eleusine Indica or Digitaria (Finger-grasses)

crowsfoot

Crowsfoot is known by many names, but one it sometimes goes by here in Australia is Crabgrass.

Description 

Crowsfoot grass is a summer annual that grows in easy to identify tufts, staying fairly flat to the ground with almost white flat sheathed stems and smooth strap-like leaves.

This weed is difficult to control as can tolerate low mowing and will thrive in nutrient-deprived and compacted soil conditions. It will begin to germinate in the soil when temperatures reach above 15°C and can grow extremely quickly once active.

Seed heads appear usually from late spring or early summer. These seed heads can have as many as ten spikelets on each long stem. In an unhealthy lawn, if left to seed and spread, Crowsfoot will quickly infiltrate right through the entire lawn. Crowsfoot is commonly found throughout most Australian states including Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia and the Northern Territory.


Prevention

The best way to control these types of weeds is to maintain a healthy lawn where they are unlikely to infiltrate and spread. Being proactive and removing them as soon as they appear and before they go to seed will be the key to preventing them from spreading out of control. It is always easier to control weeds from the outset rather than to try to remove them once they get out of hand.

By choosing a suitable lawn species for your area, keeping it healthy and well maintained and at the right mowing height for your chosen variety, you’ll have a leg up on any potential weed invasions.

Treatment

Hand removal

All of the above grass weeds can be removed by hand, but they will continue to re-emerge in sparse unhealthy lawn areas. Getting your grass to spread and thicken will make it difficult for these weeds to infiltrate. Make sure you dig underneath the crown, below soil level and remove the entire root of the plant. Be careful not to spread any seeds during the process. If you act quickly you should be able to eradicate them fairly easily from your lawn this way.

Post-Emergent Herbicides

If these grass weeds have spread throughout your lawn and are out of control, you may need to look at applying a selective herbicide.

Paspalum, Nutgrass & Clover Weed Killer and herbicides formulated with the active DSMA will control paspalum, crowsfoot/crabgrass and summer grass.

These herbicides can be easily mixed in a pressure sprayer, with the addition of a surfactant or wetting agent like Sprayfix or a couple of drops of dishwashing liquid to ensure it adheres better to the leaf. For best results, spray the weeds when they are actively growing during the warmer months. Repeated applications may be required in order to fully eradicate them from your lawn. Make sure you adhere to the application rates and instructions on the product label.

*For kikuyu, buffalo lawns and QLD Blue Couch, it is advised to only spot spray and not spray the entire lawn as it can cause harm to your grass as well.

Due to a supply shortage of DSMA across the industry, many garden centres and stores have no longer been able to get stock of these herbicides.

Another option is to treat the individual weed tufts with a non-selective herbicide like glyphosate (Round Up or Zero). You will need to make sure you do so extremely carefully as it will kill everything it comes in contact with. The safest way is to use a small paintbrush or weed wand and carefully brush the glyphosate only onto the invading weeds leaf.

Pre-Emergent Herbicides

A really effective way of stopping Crowsfoot/Crabgrass and Summer Grass from germinating in your lawn again next year is to apply a pre-emergent herbicide like Oxafert.

oxafert

These herbicides act by stopping weeds from germinating from the soil in the first place. In order for them to work effectively, you need to apply them before emergence. For many of these weeds, this would mean you would be best applying it in early to mid-spring, but they can be applied at any time.


 

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.