Love your lawn

<p><em>From GARDENA and YATES Brand Ambassador Sarah the Gardener</em></p><p>Lawns are often given no more thought that the carpet in the living room and mowing is considered a chore up there with vacuum cleaning. But the quality of the lawn can make all the difference for how you enjoy your backyard over the summer months.</p>

A lovely, lush lawn makes the backyard feel welcoming for picnics and BBQs, but a lacklustre threadbare lawn can be less inviting as a space to hang out in.

The important thing to remember is the lawn isn’t just a big green thing lying on the ground but is made up of thousands of small plants that need care and attention like the plants in your gardens.

Here are some tips for getting a better lawn this season:

BASIC LAWN CARE

Feeding

Grass appreciates a feed from time to time and benefit the most from being fed when it is actively growing – in early spring, early summer, and early autumn. It is best to use a specific lawn fertiliser that has just the right nutrients for a greener, thicker lawn that crowds out weeds and promotes a strong deep, root system.

Weeding

Lawn weeds are referred to as broadleaf as they have a different structure to grass. This means they can be targeted specifically with a lawn weed spray that will shrivel up unwanted plants and leave the blades of grass untouched. You can combine feeding and weeding with Yates Weed ‘n’ Feed hose-on to add nutrition and control weeds in one easy step. The granular version is also easy to apply directly to the lawn without risk of overspray onto precious plants nearby.

Watering

As do plants, the lawn also needs regular watering to remain healthy. The best time to water is once or twice a week in the morning. Give a long deep watering to encourage the roots to go down deep, making them more resilient to dry periods or when there is a hose ban.

Mowing

Don’t scalp your lawn. This doesn’t mean you get longer between mows but puts the grass under stress, lets weeds get in and reduces the lawns energy production for healthy growth. 3 – 4 cm is a good height to set the mower during the growing season. Once a week should have your lawn looking lovely but don’t mow when it’s very hot or very wet.

FIXING PROBLEMS

Just by the nature of things up to a quarter of grass plants in the lawn die every year, add to that wear and tear in high traffic area and those dead spots that dogs can cause, and a lawn can easily look half dead. Now is a good time to sort many lawn problems.

Oversowing

Loosen bare soil with a rake, add a light layer of compost to give the soil a boost and then sprinkle a grass seed such as Yates Quick Fix lawn seed following the directions on the packet. Water the area for several weeks until the new grass establishes.

Dethatching

Over time a layer of dead grass can build up. A good layer feeds the soil and softens the impact of wear and tear. A thick layer can clog up the lawn. Give the lawn the once over with a rake to scratch up the thatch layer. You can hire a dethatcher to scarify your lawn.

Aerating

The soil can become compacted in high traffic areas or if it becomes hard during the summer. Now is a good time to aerate the soil to improve compaction. Go all over the lawn with a garden fork poking holes least 10cm deep or hire a coring machine.

Prickles

Nothing ruins a summer lawn like prickles. Take care of Onehunga Weed, now while it is actively growing, with a targeted prickle killer.

Moss

Over winter moss can grow on lawns with too much shade, poor drainage or has poor soil and is slightly acidic. Remove the moss by raking it out or for larger areas using Yates Weed ‘n’ Feed Mosskiller. Fixing drainage issues, improving the soil with compost, or an organic lawn food that benefits the micro communities, and increasing the sunlight can improve the situation.

Shade

A poorly growing lawn might not be getting enough sun, so trim back trees to let in more light or take the opportunity make a shade garden or shady seating area.

Pests

There are creatures that will want to eat your lawn. The most common pests are Grass Grubs and the Lawn Armyworm. The Grubs eat the roots, and the Armyworms eat the leaves. It is best to treat these pests in Autumn to break their lifecycle.