How to undertake a lawn overhaul

How to undertake a lawn overhaul

By Charlie Albone

charlie albone

Like everything in the garden regular maintenance and the occasional overhaul is the best way to keep things looking their best – This includes lawns too.

There are several ways you can keep your lawn looking in top shape and regular maintenance is top of the list, cutting your lawn little and often is the best way to have a lovely deep rich green lawn.

Lawn Maintenance

Keeping on top of weeding is also a good way to ensuring your lawn looks more like a golf course than council park in the middle of summer!  Weeds are often an indicator to underlying issues with your soil so have a chat with your local Lawn Solutions grower as they can advise on how to keep them at bay and stop them from returning.

Dethatching and Aerating are also jobs that are great for maintaining air in the soil and fungus free foliage, if you are unsure about when and how to do this, again talk to your local accredited grower.

aerating

Top dressing is the practice of spreading a sand rich soil on the surface of the grass to remove divots and to fill any holes, not to be done all the time but a great way to even out an aging lawn after aerating and dethatching.

Fertilising a lawn ensures the grass is getting all the nutrients it needs but make sure you do a PH test before applying as if your PH is out no matter how much fertiliser you put on your lawn it simply wont be able to take it up.

autumn fertilising

Lawn Replacement

Sometimes though a complete lawn overhaul is needed to achieve the green carpet you have been dreaming of.  Think of it like ripping out an overgrown shrub that’s not flowering any more and replacing it with a newer, better suited, variety.

A lawn overhaul can be done at anytime of the year but its important to understand the pros and cons of installing in the warm month’s vs the cool months.  Lawns may establish quicker in the warmer months but they will take a lot more water to do so. Whereas in the cooler seasons, establishment is slower but the water to do so is much much lower – if you are unsure about ripping up and starting again get some advice from your local Lawn Solutions Australia grower.  These guys love turf and like all gardeners are more than happy to impart their knowledge to you so you can enjoy what they love too – TURF!

The first step of a complete lawn overhaul is to remove the old lawn, including the weeds.  Non-selective herbicides are an easy way to get rid of old lawn and weeds as they kill everything they come in contact with.  If you are not experienced with applying them I suggest asking somebody who is, as misuse can be more damaging for the garden and your health than its worth.  If you are not scared of getting a bit sweaty then hand removal is an option too, ensuring you take roots and all.

herbicides

Soil Preparation

Soil preparation is next on the list.  Lawns love free draining soil so free up soil by using a rotary hoe or by turning the soil over with a fork.  This is also the perfect time to ensure you have removed all the old grass and weeds.  It’s a good idea to add some organic matter like compost to the soil to aid in the retention of nutrients and turn this through as well.  If you have heavy clay mixing through some sand is also beneficial and if you have an unstable clay soil add some gypsum or clay breaker to help with drainage.  (Unstable clay soils can be tested by putting a piece of soil in some distilled water over night, if the water is cloudy in the morning Gypsum will help to bind all these small particles together).

A PH test here doesn’t go astray either, as compost can be slightly acidic to your soil its important you haven’t gone out of the magic zone of pH 6-7.

You then need to level your ground leaving the soil around 30-40mm lower than the finished turf height.  I then roll over the soil with a water filled roller to ensure it doesn’t drop in spots overtime – these can be hired or bought from the local hardware or nursery.

Turf Installation

You are then ready to install the turf of your dreams and this will come down to a swath of variables including amount of sun light, the time you can give it, budget, how much wear you’ll give it and how much water you have.  Lawn solutions Australia grow a grass variety for every scenario or combination of these variables, so if you don’t know which direction to go in, talk to an accredited grower for advice.

The actual laying of the turf is the easiest part and it’s so satisfying seeing it go down and completely transform your garden back into an oasis, keep your joints between rolls of turf tight and take your time to ensure contact between the turf and the soil is achieved (don’t leave it all bumpy and raised up).  Finish it up with another roll from the water filled roller and water it in well.

With a new lawn in your garden you will be surprised at how much time you spend staring and admiring it!  Follow my maintenance tips and it will be a long time before you need to head down the overhaul path again.

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