Spring is a busy time in the garden. Now’s the time to fix any problems with your lawn, so it’s healthy, green and ready to enjoy to the max during the summer.
Lawns can struggle through the winter period as they aren’t able to grow quick enough to deal with the damage occurring from football practice or the like. So, spring is a great time to restore the lawn with a renovation.
Image above: avoid driving or parking on the lawn as this causes major soil compaction
How to Fix Compacted Lawns
Compacted soil limits the amount of nutrients and water that can penetrate the grass roots. By aerating an established lawn, it can loosen the soil and allow water, nutrients and air to be absorbed more deeply. This allows for deeper root development and a healthier more drought tolerant lawn. Aeration can be completed using a mechanical or inexpensive hand corer. Hand corers are great for small lightly compacted areas, but it is highly recommended to use mechanical methods for areas that are large or heavily compacted. Mechanical corers can be hired, or a contractor organised to do the job. Cores should be made every 2.5 x 5 cm.
Following an aeration, it is good to top dress the lawn to level out any low areas and then fertilise to encourage new blades of grass through the topdressing. Be sure to use a fine material for topdressing to ensure it filters through as the leaf pokes through.
How to Fix Bare Patches & Patchy Lawns
Early spring is a great time to fix damaged lawns, because new grass seedlings will have time to establish before the hot weather arrives. Before planting new seeds, remove any dead grass and loosen the soil. Lay a layer of turf starter fertiliser such as Yates Dynamic Lifter Organic Lawn Food then scatter Yates Lawn Seed Repair - this premium blend of grasses has a built-in slow release lawn fertiliser specially formulated to repair bare or patchy lawn areas. Water thoroughly and regularly for a few weeks until grass is established. Make sure you don’t let the seed dry out.
Tip: When using Yates Hose-On products, keep the bottle level so the spray is mostly horizontal to the ground.
How to Get Rid of Weeds in Your Lawn
Ideally you used a weedkiller in the winter months to kill weeds. It’s okay if you forgot, it’s not too late, but make sure you move fast as many weeds will be starting to flower, set seed and these will germinate in your lawn next autumn. Yates range of Lawn Weed Control products can help eradicate widely growing weeds and are available as granular, ready-to-use spray and hose-on formulas to suit your lifestyle. Yates Weed’n’Feed Hose-On* and Yates Buffalo PRO Weed’n’Feed Hose-On** will get rid of common broadleaf weeds as well as give your lawn an extra dose of nutrients to promote healthy green growth.
How to Feed Your Lawn in Spring
Grass needs a readily available fertiliser during late winter or early spring to break it out of dormancy and begin the growing season. A healthy lawn won’t need feeding again until late Spring but if you have started the season off with your lawn in a below average condition, a second application can be made 8 weeks after the first. Yates Dynamic Lifter Reduced Odour Concentrated Lawn Food is a concentrated lawn fertiliser that provides both fast acting nutrients and slow release organics and will set your spring grass up for strong green growth as the weather starts to warm up.
Image above: Lawn Armyworm
How to Prevent Common Lawn Pests Attacking Your Lawn
Curl grubs are common lawn pests that often arrive during mid-spring and summer. They damage the lawn by eating the roots just below the soil surface. This creates brown patches and eventually grass can start rolling back like a carpet. Monitor your lawn for curl grubs and take note if large birds such as magpies are pecking at the ground. Yates Grub Kill & Protect for Lawns can give up to six months protection against Curl Grubs, as well as control other common lawn pests such as Argentinian Scarab larvae and Lawn Armyworm. Curl Grubs are the larvae of African Black Beetles, however, if you notice the adult beetles, you will need to use Yates Baythroid Advanced Insect Killer for Lawns to control them.
How to Sharpen or Replace Mower Blades
For the first mow of the spring, make sure your mower has sharp blades, to give your turf an even, crisp cut.
What Height to Mow Your Lawn in Spring
If your lawn has grown long over the winter, don’t cut it extra short just because it’s spring; this can damage the grass and make it turn brown and patchy. Wait until the soil has warmed up and grass is noticeably growing before you cut it. For the first cut, don’t cut more than a third off its length. For cool season grasses such as Bent and Fine Fescue, aim for around 2-3 cm, and for warm season grasses such as Couch, Kikuyu and Buffalo, cut to around 4 cm.
How to Water Your Lawn in Spring
If it’s been a dry winter, it’s important to get plenty of water into your soil during the spring so your lawn has enough resources for a dry summer.
How to Ensure the Water Gets into the Soil
To ensure water penetrates the soil properly so the grass roots can absorb it, add a soil wetting agent such as Yates WaterWise Soil Wetter Concentrated. This will help break down the waxy, water repellent soil layer and make the most of any rainfall or watering. Applying this at the same time as watering in your fertiliser can aid nutrient uptake and the combination can really boost your lawn.
How to Water Your Lawn to Encourage Deeper Roots & Get it Ready for Summer
Now is the time to start training your soil for the hot summer ahead. During spring the lawn is producing roots, it knows based on the soil temperature what is coming for it, the summer heat. Keep watering to deep infrequent soaks so that the lawn’s roots develop as it chases the moisture, setting it up to get through the summer months.