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.

The Right Way To Fertiliser Your Lawn

Fertilising your lawn the right way can help improve its appearance while keeping it healthy. While fertilising is quite simple, there is a bit more to it than simply chucking it out or spraying it on.

When To Fertilise

When fertilising, you want to make sure you are applying it at the right time of year to get the most out of your fertiliser. Most common warm-season varieties like buffalo, couch, kikuyu, and zoysia love a feed around mid-spring when the lawn starts to grow again after winter. Another feed in summer around Australia day. Then again in Autumn after Easter or Anzac Day to help give the lawn a boost heading into the cooler months.

There are 2 main types of fertilisers on the market, granular and liquid.

fertilise lawn

Granular Fertilisers

Granular fertilisers are an easy and popular option to use. These fertilisers do take longer to be absorbed but will usually release nutrients over a longer period.

Before application, best to measure out your lawn size to ensure you apply it at the correct application rate. Then check your fertilisers label rate and safety instructions. With granular fertilisers, we recommend using a fertiliser spreader to apply the granules evenly or use a smooth motion when spreading by hand. When applying fertilisers, the most important thing is to evenly cover the area as best you can. We recommend walking up and back, then across in the opposite direction to get the best coverage. Keep an eye out how wide you are spreading the granules out to avoid doubling up on application in areas.

Lawn Solutions Premium Fertiliser is a professional blend of both slow and fast release granules containing all the essential nutrients and trace elements for all lawn types. It has been designed to provide the best results when applied at a rate of 20 to 25 grams per square metre. To calculate your coverage, simply multiply your lawn area (m2) by this rate (20 to 25g).

lawn fertiliser

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Liquid Fertilisers

Liquid fertilisers work faster than granular fertilisers as are applied directly to the leaf of the lawn and are absorbed quickly. This helps give your lawn a short boost.

Again, before application measure out your lawn size and apply as per your fertiliser’s application rate. When applying your liquid fertiliser, spray your fertiliser evenly by walking in an organised fashion to achieve an even application. Keep an eye out how wide your sprayer is to avoid doubling up on application in areas.

Exceed Liquid Fertiliser is a premium, professional foliar fertiliser designed to bring out the best in any lawn. It can be applied using either a knapsack sprayer, a watering can, or a 2L hose on the sprayer. When applying Exceed with a knapsack use 200-400ml with 7lt-10lt of water for 100m2.

exceed liquid fertiliser

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Irrigation

After applying your fertiliser, give any hard surfaces a sweep or blow to remove any fertiliser that may have been applied before irrigation. This will help avoid staining to your hard surfaces.

After clearing your hard surfaces, it is time for the final step, watering in your fertiliser. This is an important step to help avoid burning on your lawn. Not all fertilisers need to be watered in, but the majority do. If you are unsure, read your product’s label or check with the product manufacturer. To water in your fertiliser, you can use a hose and sprinkler or time your application just before the rain. One thing to be careful of when applying just before rain is that you are not going to get too much rain as it can wash the fertiliser straight out of the lawn. Around 5-10ml of rain is perfect.

Over the following weeks, you will be able to reap the benefits of a healthy 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.

How To Create A Home Putting Green

Are you a keen sports enthusiast and want to practice your putting skills at home? We have put together a couple of tips on how you can create a putting green at home!

Finding the right space

Firstly, check out your front or back yard. You will need an area of between 20-40 square meters that is free from shade.

Turf underlay

Construction is very important. If you get the soil profile correct the green will thrive.

Mark out the area and design of the putting green, remember it doesn’t have to be a circle or rectangle, your design will be unique for your yard. Once marked out remove current turf or vegetation from this area, it is then advisable to remove around 100mm of soil. The growing media for putting green is USGA Sand (high quality, refined sand) or similar.

Then bring in enough USGA Sand or similar to replace 100mm removed plus another 100mm. This extra soil can be used to shape your surface for ball roll and to make the putting green higher than the rest of your yard. After this, then incorporate organic material into the top 50mm of your surface (composted chicken or cow manure is ideal).

Once you are happy with the shape and you have levelled around the edges to blend into the yard you are ready to start thinking about the next stage.

putting green

Choosing your putting green grass

The next step in creating your home putting green is to do some research on grasses that are suitable for putting surfaces, more so in the climate, you live in. Visit your local golf course and ask what varieties they use for their putting greens. Most golf courses use either bentgrass, couch, or zoysia. Some of the newer zoysia varieties are really an excellent option – less pressure from disease, fewer nutrient inputs, and superfine leaf blades for putting. Some of these zoysia varieties are Trinity Zoysia and Primo Zoysia.

golf ball

Planting your putting green

Ideally, you want to plant your green from sprigs or stolons (small pieces of grass that will grow and spread across the surface). To plant your green, you will need around 15-25kg of sprigs to cover a 50 square meter area. Once evenly spread across the surface slightly rake into the soil profile. It is important to keep these sprigs damp for the next 2 weeks or until you start to see green shoots and taking root. It is suggested to use a granular turf starter type of fertiliser weekly for the first 4-10 weeks. The NPK of an ideal turf starter fertiliser is around 12-10-9. At the 6-week mark, you can apply a granular organic fertiliser that will help with the same beneficial humus and moisture-holding capacity.

putting green

The estimated growth in the period will be around 12 -14 weeks based on the timing of planting (spring is ideal). Once you have 50% coverage it would be recommended to start mowing just to remove 1/3 of the leaf blade. This will encourage the grass to grow vertically and cover across the ground. At the 90% coverage stage, it is recommended to top dress with the same sand used in construction. This will help to finish off the surface and give a smooth putting surface.

putting green

Mowing

When mowing your home putting green, we recommend using a cylinder mower to help get a better cut. The more you mow your green, the more the playing surface will tighten and the smoother it will get.

cylinder mower

Fertilising

It is recommended you fertilise the green 3 times a year, once in April, September, and January. It is ideal to use greens grade fertiliser (low cut turf fertiliser) with an NPK 21-1-9. This can be purchased from a professional turf supply company.

With regular mowing and maintenance work, you’re at home putting green will help you up to your golfing skills ready for the course.

home putting green

 


 

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 It’s Important To Aerate Your Lawn

Your grass needs space, below ground, to take in air, nutrients and water. Your lawns’ roots need to ‘breathe’.

Ultimately, aerating your lawn and allowing it to breathe benefits you. A healthy lawn can drop the temperature of your home’s surroundings, saving energy costs. But, aerating also helps to protect your lawn against a lot of common problems due to compaction: drainage issues, bare patches, weeds, dryness, fungal disease, fairy ring

What is aeration?

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

 

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 number of nutrients and water to penetrate the roots of your lawn.

 

How do I aerate my lawn? 

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.

aerationaerating

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.

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. You can read more about core aeration here.

should I core my lawn
PULLING CORES FROM YOUR LAWN CAN BE BENEFICIAL TO INCREASE OXYGEN, NUTRIENT AND WATER PENETRATION TO THE ROOTS OF YOUR LAWN.

How often should I aerate my lawn?

Different soil types require more frequent aeration. Clay soil compacts easily and should be aerated at least once a year. You can aerate a sandy lawn once a year, or once every two years. In harsher climates, aerating twice a year will encourage turf growth and health.

In areas where there is a high amount of foot traffic, pets or even cars on the lawn, compaction is a common problem. Regular aerating will be important to ensure the ground doesn’t become too hard and help the soil to breathe and the grass to spread.

When should I aerate?

The best time to aerate warm-season grasses, such as soft-leaf buffalo, couch, kikuyu and zoysia are during spring and summer while they are actively growing. You can aerate at any time of the year, but if you do so in the cooler months just keep in mind the grass won’t cover over the aerated holes as it is dormant. Always try to aerate at the same time you are fertilising or performing any other major lawn care operation such as dethatching and top dressing. It is also a fantastic time for aeration after rainfall, as it will make this process much easier.

For cool-season lawns, such as fescue and ryegrass, the same principle applies. With proper care and a lot of water, cool-season lawns can grow all year (with the exception of very cold climates) so you can aerate all year round. Again, keep in mind the absolute best times are when you fertilise or perform any other lawn care and the following rainfall, so soil moisture levels are high.

Aerating is often overlooked, but its importance in allowing air, water and nutrients to get into the soil cannot be overstated.

After aerating in spring is a perfect time to fertilise your lawn.

Lawn Solutions Premium Fertiliser

lawn fertiliser

Test your pH 

After aerating, it is a good time to test your pH and take action if required. pH affects your lawn’s ability to absorb the minerals and nutrients needed, in order to thrive. A pH that’s less than ideal can mean your lawn isn’t absorbing the minerals and nutrients it needs.

The ideal pH range for your lawn is somewhere between 6 and 7. You can purchase a pH testing kit here at the Lawn Care Store.

If your pH is not where you need it, now is also the time to apply soil additives and conditioners to improve your soil type. A few additives and conditioners are listed below. For the best advice talk to your local Lawn Solutions Centre or closest Lawn Solutions Australia Turf Grower for specialised knowledge.

PH Testing Lime for Healthy Lawns

Tips to improve your soil type:

Lime (calcium carbonate) helps raise pH and neutralise acidic soil.

Gypsum is calcium sulphate dihydrate and helps break down clay soils.

Fertiliser – Because aerating allows nutrients to better penetrate, straight after aerating is a perfect time to fertilise your lawn as well.


 

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.

Water Saving Tips For The Lawn And Garden

With the warmer weather well on the way, many of us will start to use more water for our lawns, gardens, and pools. By making sure we are smartly using water, your garden can still thrive, while reducing your water usage!

Only water your garden when it needs it

Regular rainfall is usually enough to meet your lawn and gardens water requirements. If there is an extended period without rainfall your lawn may need water. Your lawn will start to show signs that it needs water when the leaf curls up, is wilting, or losing colour.

Water for longer less frequently

If your garden is needing water, water for longer less frequently. By watering your garden and lawn less frequently for longer, the roots of the plant will be encouraged to grow deeper into the soil base. This will help increase the drought tolerance of your lawn and plants.

grass sprinkler

Water early morning to prevent heat-related evaporation

The best time to water your lawn and garden is early morning when there is no wind and less chance of water loss due to heat-related evaporation. Watering in the mornings is also best to help stop fungal diseases from growing in your lawn and on your plants.

Rainwater tank

Rainwater tanks are a great way to save water. By having your tank collect water from the roof of your house you can have a handy supply of water to use in and around the garden or top up your pool or spa. These tanks can save the rainwater and is store it ready for you to use. There is a range of tank sizes available to suit all houses.

water tanks

Use leak-free hoses with a trigger hose nozzle

Make sure your hose is free from any leaks. A quick tightening of a loose hose connection is often the fix. If the hose or fitting is looking a bit worse for wear it might be time to invest in a new hose or connection. Trigger hose nozzles allow you to have complete control when watering. This helps you avoid spraying out water to surfaces like concrete and footpaths.

Choose hardy drought-proof plants

When looking at putting in new plants, look at plants that are well suited to your natural environment that won’t need much additional care once installed. This can help reduce the amount of watering your plants need.

For drought-resistant turf, you can’t look further than TifTuf Hybrid Bermuda. TifTuf has a superior drought tolerance compared to other turf varieties. It is the only variety to have the Smart Approved WaterMark. This grass can take root in less than 7 days during the growing season, reducing the amount of water needed during establishment. Once established, TifTuf can better withstand longer periods without water than other varieties.

greener environments

Mulch in garden beds to reduce evaporation

Did you know that mulch can reduce evaporation by up to 70%? Mulch also helps stop weeds from growing in your garden beds! Wood chips, pine milch and hard-bark mulch are best for stopping evaporation.

Use mats and covers for pools and spas

Pool mats and covers are great at helping reduce evaporation. Evaporation will usually occur early in the evening when the air cools down and the water is still warm. Simple leaf cover pool blankets can reduce around 40% of evaporation and thicker blankets can reduce evaporation from around 90%. These can help reduce the number of times throughout the year you need to top up the pool with water.

Make sure your sprinkler goes on your garden

When putting out a sprinkler in the garden, watch over the area to ensure the sprinkler is reaching where you want it to go and not out any concrete paths or on paved areas. This will help increase the amount of water your lawn and garden receive while stopping water from running off.

 

sprinkler

 


 

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.