Lawn Care Jobs when Preparing for a Wet Summer - Lawn Solutions Australia

Lawn Care Jobs when Preparing for a Wet Summer

With Charlie Albone

There is plenty of movement in the garden this season, buds are bursting, shoots are springing to life and blossom fills the air. It is predicted that it will be a wet summer so to make the most of your garden maximise your blooms and deal with the rain you need to act now and carry out a few gardening jobs.

Weeding your lawn and garden

A job in the garden that can always be done is weeding. We get a little break over winter but really you need to dedicate some time every week to keep on top of the weeds in the garden and in the lawn, especially now. Weed seeds are germinating so rough them up whilst they are small. They should dry out and not take hold. For larger areas you can spray with a weed killer as this is more effective on smaller fresh weeds. A small screwdriver is great for prising out small weeds before they take hold. One of the benefits of a wet season is the ease in which weeds can be pulled out!

weed removal

I like to apply a soil wetter to the garden. This prevents hydrophobia in the soil as the weather heats up. It also helps ensure all the rain we are having and will continue to have will soak in effectively. The next job on the list is mulching the garden beds. You want to make sure the water that percolates through the mulch continues down into the soil and to the root zone rather than reaching the soil and running off the surface. Think of soil wetters for the soil as you would a moisture for your skin. They will allow the water in and help to retain it there. Unlike a moisturiser you should only use them once a season at most.

With your mulch apply a layer 75mm thick. This will allow water through but help to conserve water through evaporation. It will also help to suppress any weed growth and make the garden look much more presentable.

Fertilising your garden and lawn

Fertilising now is a great way to support all the new growth that is happening with your plants.  I like to take a two-pronged approach to feeding the garden. Firstly, a slow-release pelletised food such as chicken manure or blood and bone is great for all round health and will last well into summer as the heat in the soil releases the nutrients as needed. I then apply a liquid fertiliser to those plants that have buds actively forming. Reach for a fertiliser specific to fruit and flower as this is higher in potassium, which plants needs to maximise their blooms. By applying a liquid fertiliser to the leaves and root zone the plant can absorb it immediately and effectively.

lawn fertiliserexceed liquid fertiliser

The issue with lots of rain and fertiliser is the liquid takes the nutrients down and leaches them out of the soil. Try to avoid liquid feeding before rain as it is a waste of fertiliser and an unnecessary stress on the environment.

fertiliser spreader

Lawn renovation

Another great garden job to tackle now is a lawn renovation. As your lawn wakes up from winter it’s the perfect time to scarify, aerate, top dress, and fertilise. Scarification removes all the dead thatch from the lawn. This helps reduce the possibility of fungal issues (that occur in wet weather) as well as making way for fresh new growth. You can rent a scarifying machine easily and they work like pushing a lawn mower around so it’s not difficult or skilled. Aeration is important to allow air and water down to the root zone of the lawn and help to de-compact the lawn. I like to aerate a small lawn with a garden fork but again, you can rent machinery for larger lawns.

The depth of which you scarify depends on the variety of the lawn you have. For Sir Walter DNA Certified Buffalo or Sir Grange Zoysia you only want to go lightly whereas Kikuyu, Nullarbor Couch or TifTuf Hybrid Bermuda can be heavily scarified.

thatch

Top dressing your lawn will stop the new aeration holes from collapsing in on themselves. Top dressing will also help smooth out any lumps and bumps. A nitrogen rich fertiliser will boost the growth and deepen the rich green colour. Sir Walter DNA Certified Buffalo and Sir Grange Zoysia should only have a light sandy mix cast over the top and you can be a little heavier with couch, and kikuyu.

It may seem like a strange thing to do when so much of Australia has been suffering from floods but installing a water tank now will beat the rush when the drought inevitably returns and of course it will be full of rainwater too. Setting up an irrigation system off the rainwater tank is an excellent way to use the water. With internet and WIFI your system can be Smart – only watering when the garden needs it, so little is wasted.

water tanks

For more lawn care tips and advice, check out our lawn care blogs here.

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