Spring is the best! Winter is finally over, there are more sunlight hours in the day, there’s a buzz in the air and you feel happier.
To help take your lawn to the next level, we’re delighted to support you with our Munns Professional Concentrate range of lawn care products that take care of not only your spring needs, but your annual lawn care maintenance needs as well. Having a regimented annual lawn care regime puts the lawn in great condition to survive and thrive throughout the year. Seasonal and annual lawn care programs can be downloaded here.
Below is our list of spring ideas to help take your lawn to the next level!
Renovate your lawn whilst it is soft from the winter weather
After all the winter rains, your soil is soft so early spring is a perfect time to core or scarify your lawn.
The biggest killer of lawns in Australia is soil compaction. Once the soil goes hard, which it generally does over a period of time with walking, mowing, and general activities, the lawn starts to thin out and weeds take over.
By removing these cores that are about 10cm in length and twig sized, you are allowing the soil to breathe again.
You can purchase a inexpensive hand corer from your local garden centre like the one pictured here and perform this process yourself or you can engage a contractor or hire powered equipment.
After coring, lightly top dress your lawn with about 1 cm of coarse sand and spread gypsum over the area. The sand and gypsum will work their way down the core holes, improving drainage and turf quality.
If you’ve had a build of up thatch on your lawn, October is the perfect time to get rid of it! Check out one of our blogs (here), it has a step by step guide to help you scarify your lawn.
Thatch is the build up of living and dead runners on top of the soil and all lawn varieties will experience this from time to time.
Now, if were just talking about a small amount of thatch then this can be ok as it can actually help prevent evaporation, aid water retention and provide an increased tolerance to wear and tear of your lawn.
But when the thatch build up reaches a point where it impedes water, air and fertiliser penetration, then it needs to be removed by scarifying the lawn.
This process involves vigorously slicing through the turf with a scarifying rake or a scarifying machine and removing the debris.
Not everyone will have access to hiring this type of machinery. If you fall into this category, you can complete the same process using a hard steel rake to remove the
Pro Tip: When scarifying you need to hit soil to make it worth it. Warm season grasses love this but for thin cool season grasses you should consider topdressing and seeding to increase density after this practice.
The easiest method of encouraging new growth is to turn the mower blades right down and “scalp” away all the old growth. This removes old leaves and the lawn will recover with nice soft new growth. The best time to carry out this procedure is from October – December on warm season grasses and September – October on cool season grasses.
Come spring, your lawn is hungry!
During winter the lawn has lay reasonably dormant but now the soil temperatures are perfect for root establishment and spreading. Your lawn will naturally start to do this but without a little helpful nutrition it is limited to what remains in the soil from when you last applied. If the last application was in Autumn than this leaves your lawn “hungry” for some food.
Spring is the ideal time to fertilise all varieties of lawns. We recommend Munns Professional Golf Course Green which can be used on all kinds of lawn varieties including Buffalo and on instant turf 3 months after laying.
Click here to view our How To video for fertilising your lawn.
Pro Tip: Water your fertiliser in with a wetting agent to make the most of your water usage
Save time by doing 2 jobs at once
After Winter your lawn can become hydrophobic in areas due to a lack of rain and watering. Check your lawn by applying water to a thinner area of the lawn, if it holds up on the surface rather than penetrating your lawn may benefit from a wetting agent.
Both fertiliser and wetting agents require watering in to work effectively, by using a wetting agent to water in your fertiliser you can complete two jobs for your lawn and save water by only watering in once.
Munns tip: Wetting agents help moisture penetrate into the soil making them a great way to prevent dry spots in your lawn.
A safe option for your lawn is Munns Professional Smart Wetter, use the concentrated product through a hose on bottle and then water in following application.
Mow, Mow, Mow Your Lawn
When was the last time you sharpened your mower blades? It’s important you keep them sharp, particularly as we go into spring and summer. You can either do this by hand with a filer, or you can take them into your local hardware store. If they are showing any wear and tear it is best to replace them all together.
It’s important to mow little but often. This helps the lawn to absorb the spring sun – encouraging a strong deep root system.
Spring is one of the best times of year to sow a new lawn or patch an existing lawn with seed. The mild weather allows a new lawn to establish itself and develop a deep root system before the stress of summer.
For cooler areas of Australia, early spring can still bring about quite cold temperatures and sometimes frost. If that’s the case, wait until mid-spring, before sowing your lawn.
Use the Lawn Seed Selector on the home page of our website to find the best seed for your situation.
Failing To Prepare Is Preparing To Fail
First up, measure the area to make sure you purchase the right amount of lawn seed and fertiliser. It’s important not to sow the lawn to heavily as this will cause problems with establishment. Sometimes more is not always better.
To get the area ready to sow, it’s essential that the first 10-15cm of the soil is well drained and sandy.
Remember how Tony Greig would always push a key into the surface of the cricket wicket? Well now’s your turn, simply push a garden fork or spade into the surface to check its firmness, if you get down 10cm then simply disturb the top part of the soil.
If you have clay-based soil add gypsum at the recommended rate and coarse sand, 4-5cm is ideal. Mix this into the top 10-15cm of the soil either by hand or by rotary hoeing. This will improve drainage and reduce soil compaction.
If you have sandy soil, either mixing or rotary hoeing organic matter into the top 10cm-15cm of soil prior to seeding is recommended.
Initial soil preparations will heavily determine your success with seed germination– the more effort you put in at the beginning – the greater success you will have and the easier it will be to maintain in the future.
Ensure your lawn is level – even the smallest slant can impact your drainage and growth.
Now you are ready to move to the next steps.
You Reap What You Sow
Start by raking the soil in straight lines from end to end - creating shallow furrows. In a large wheelbarrow, mix your choice of lawn seed with Munns Professional Buffalo & All Lawns Starter Fertiliser.
Evenly distribute all the mixture over the entire area. Lightly rake the soil in the opposite direction to the furrows to cover the seeds and ensure an even spread.
Throughout the germination period – lasting from around one week to a month depending on seed variety – the top 1cm of the soil should be kept moist at all times with a fine spray of the garden hose. This may mean watering 5-8 times a day in drier areas.
If you’ve forgotten to add a starter fertiliser at planting time, then apply Munns Professional Lift Off Lawn Fertiliser, which will help strengthen the roots.
After the second cut – around 5-6 weeks – it’s important to fertilise your lawn to stimulate growth. Try using our Munns Professional Lift Off Lawn Fertiliser which provides the right balance of nutritional elements to support the root and shoot establishment.
Now that your lawn has started to take shape, it’s important you don’t allow it to succumb to any weeds – it’s vulnerable, so don’t let your defences down.
We recommend our Munns Professional Buffalo Booster Weed & Feed for lawns over 6 months old. This will kill the weeds, while giving your lawn a good feed. The addition of the wetting agent also helps encourage even distribution of moisture.