5 tips to help you maintain your lawn in dry months

4 Nov

Yesterday Aaron, the kids and I went to Bunnings in search of something to help our lawn.  We spent ages each week out the back before spring manually pulling up all the bindii plants so the kids would be able to run around outside sans shoes, without getting bindiis embedded in their feet.  We could have used herbicides, but I don’t like them, so we went the manual route.

But it’s still hard to run around out the back without shoes because the lawn is so dry that it pokes our feet.

This is our front lawn, very brown except for the very edge, but at least we have a family of ducks that likes to visit

This is our front lawn, very brown except for the very edge, but at least we have a family of ducks that likes to visit.  I will definitely be using the tips in this post!

Needless to say, I was a little excited when I was asked to put up this guest post about maintaining dry lawns.  If only I’d read it yesterday before our trip to Bunnings:
During the summer, most of us wouldn’t even try to maintain our dry, colourless lawn. You may think what’s the point? Well, you’d be surprised to hear that you don’t have to slave over your lawn during the dry months to make it healthy. Here’s some easy tips to make your lawn postcard picture perfect.

Weeding

As pretty as dandelions are, they are still a pest that will quickly chew through your grass. Before you think why bother? Know this; a single weed will produce as many as 250,000 seeds. The best way to combat the enemy? Grow yourself a thick and vigorous lawn. That’s easier said than done, of course. So where to start? First thing you need to decipher is what kind of weed you are actually dealing with. There are generally two types; ones that are deep rooted perennials and the others are shallow rooted. The deep rooted weeds are harder to combat as you don’t know how far they have spread. A good rule of thumb is to dowse the weed in water or wait for a downpour. The wetter the soil is, the easier it will be to pull the root out intact. For younger weeds, drier months are the perfect time to take care of them as they would have started to die off.

Mowing

You may have thought your neighbour was crazy to be out every Sunday morning mowing the lawns. The funny thing is, he was actually onto something. If green grass is what you are after, the key to this is frequent cutting. It forces it to grow thick and keep out the weeds. Keep your mower blades sharpened if you intend on doing this as blunt blades will damage the grass and make it vulnerable to disease. Tip: Don’t mow the lawn when it is wet as it will not allow the roots to breathe. The lawn will eventually die off and you’ll be left with bald spots. Visit http://www.stihl.com.au/ for more ideas on how to effectively mow your lawn.

Watering

Before you think about investing in a high tech water sprinkler, think again. The most common way homeowners spoil their lawns is if they overwater. When you water every day, you encourage shallow roots and your monthly water bill skyrockets. Instead, water deeply and infrequently.

Fertilising

During the summer months, your lawn still needs a food source to maintain healthy levels of growth. It is also that time of the year when insects and lawn disease become present, so it is more important than ever to fertilise during the dry season. Apply a slow releasing and eco-friendly fertiliser to give the grass a constant nutrient source while safeguarding against the hot glare of the sun.

Traffic

No one wants to be that person that yells at everyone to get off the lawn. However wear and tear from animals, workers, kids, and vehicles can damage the structure, turning it brown and eventually wearing to dirt. While a mud puddle may be fun for some, it starts to become an inviting place to spend your time. Be aware of where the frequent areas of traffic are and give that space some extra attention. Tip: over-seeding at the beginning of autumn is an effective way to toughen up your lawn for the next year and will be easier to repair during summer.

Have any more tips on how to maintain your lawn? Tell us in the comments below.

*This post was brought to you by Stihl.

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