Australia’s garden expert, Victa, offers these top tips to take care of the lawn and put the spring back into the garden.
1. Clear debris
Start by clearing the lawn of any fallen leaves and branches. It is best to do this when conditions are dry as moisture will make leaves and debris stick to the lawn. While a good ol’ rake will do the job, a leaf blower or vacuum will speed up the process. “Make sure the lawn is clean from anything that’s too large for the leaf blower or vacuum to handle, such as larger branches and sticks,” Joel Hawkins, Victa Category Manager, Lawn and Garden Products, said.
2. Tackle weeds
It’s best to get rid of weeds while they’re young and their roots are still weak; at this stage they can be removed by hand. Once weeds have taken hold they have to be dug up, leaving unsightly, grass-free patches in the lawn. A light application of weed killer is a good idea to prevent further sprouting, but be careful not to overdo it as this can burn the grass.
3. Aerate the lawn
Aerating promotes new root growth as air, water and nutrients can circulate freely. As a result, the plant roots will be strengthened and will grow more vigorous and dense, helping the lawn withstand the warmer temperatures to come. “Aerating can be done using a garden fork. Dig the fork 10cm into the soil and gently move it back and forth. For larger lawns, save time by hiring an aerating machine,” Joel said. Avoid aerating during high heat as this will dry the soil and stress the lawn.
4. Mow the lawn
It is advisable to cut the grass regularly with a mower that has sharp blades to keep the lawn looking healthy. Joel recommends mowing the lawn at least once a fortnight. “Infrequent mowing can cause a lawn to become stalky and less attractive,” says Joel. “Use a line trimmer for garden borders and hard to reach places.” Look out for any problem areas, such as bare spots where new lawn needs to be planted or high-traffic areas where fertiliser can be used to improve the grass.
Apply fertiliser to the lawn to break winter dormancy and give the lawn a helping hand. A slow-release fertiliser will help the grass grow stronger and healthier in preparation for stressful summer conditions. Know which fertiliser will work best with the lawn and soil type. Visit a local garden centre to choose from many different fertilisers including organic, chemical, granular or liquid.
6. Tools at the ready
Gardening equipment and power tools should be maintained to function at their best for easy and fuss-free gardening. Joel suggests sharpening the lawn mower blades to ensure a clean cut and to help the grass recover after every mow. Replace the mower oil to keep the engine running smoothly and to extend the life of the machine. Check the cutting line of the trimmer. Over time the line will weaken, causing it to break easily. Joel recommends visiting a Victa Gold Dealer for expert lawn care advice and all lawn mower servicing needs.