Getting Turf Care Right
Have you ever looked into your neighbour’s garden and wondered why they are lucky enough to have a good lawn? If you said yes, you are not alone, but you should also know that a healthy lawn has nothing to do with luck. Conditioning your soil and using watering, fertilising and mowing techniques in your regular turf care will improve your lawn.
Essential tips to follow for turf care
- Water, water, water your new lawn.
- Good soil preparation is important and will determine the success of your new lawn.
- Lay the turf as soon as it has been delivered, this avoids pallet burn and heat stress.
- The turf must have a good soaking as soon as it has been laid and rolled in.
- Turf roots must be kept damp till they have taken root into the soil, and the turf edges cannot be lifted. (Approx. 2-3 weeks)
- Continuing to water your lawn regularly after the first month.
Turf Care Step 1 – Prepare your area
Get rid of all existing grass and weeds, spraying weed killer over the desired area. Wait for a few days and then water to germinate the rest of the seeds that lay in the soil and spray area again. Remove all building materials, buried stumps, rocks and debris. To avoid drainage problems. Rough grade the area, ensuring the soil gradient slopes away from building foundations and pathways. If your levels need to be raised fill with a good quality top soil. Use a rake to evenly spread 10-15 centimetres of top soil. Water the prepared area to create a moist surface for the turf.
Turf Care Step 2. Lay the turf
Lay turf around the border of your area first and then run strips across the slope starting at the top, continue to fill each row at a time. Ensure there are no gaps between any pieces of the turf. It’s important not to kneel on the turf or stretch it. Butt the heels of each piece of turf hard against each other to avoid air pockets and drying. To avoid lines lay each piece in a brick pattern. Use secateurs to cut turf to fit at each end.
Turf Care Step 3. Water in the new turf
Use the hose to water in the new turf. Give it a good soaking to encourage the roots to settle in. You need to keep the turf wet for the first 4 to 6 weeks. After that water less to encourage deep rooting. Keep foot traffic off the area for the first 4 weeks.
Watering and Fertilising for Maximum Results
It is best practice to fertilise turf grasses with small amounts regularly, but that can be time-consuming, so the best option is a good quality, slow-release fertiliser that feeds your lawn and promotes steady growth.
Your new turf requires a great deal of water in the first couple of days and will die if not properly watered. Your lawn is made up of living plants that need to be properly cared for. It needs the proper watering, mowing, fertilisation, and chemical applications (when required) to become a beautifully established lawn. Your lawn will only look as good as you allow it to look, so the proper maintenance is essential to having a beautiful lawn.
- New turf should be watered as soon as possible after being installed.
- When watering, the new turf should be thoroughly soaked so the turf is wet but also so the dirt below is soaked allowing for the roots to grow into soft dirt.
- The turf should be thoroughly soaked for the first couple of weeks.
- During hot weather, frequent light watering is suggested until when you pull at the turf you can see that the turf has rooted down.
- After the turf is rooted down it can be watered as normal lawn would be watered.
The best time to water is in the early morning so less water is lost by evaporation. The worst time to water is in the evening because the lawns stay wet at night, which encourages disease and fungus development. Lawns that are watered too frequently tend to develop shallow root systems which make them susceptible to grub damage and heat/drought stress.
Lawn Mowing Tips
The height you mow your lawn depends on the health of the turf and the amount of hydration available. If you are in drought conditions or your lawn is suffering, raise the height of the mower. As a rule, you should mow regularly in summer to promote green leaf and suppress weed growth.
Albert Valley Turf has an experienced landscaper on-site who is happy to offer advice to our clients to ensure your garden looks fantastic all year round.
Keeping Weeds out of your Lawn
Herbicides are available that will kill the weeds in your lawn. The range is voluminous and covers pre-emergent, post-emergent, selective and non-selective applications. Exercise caution and read instructions, or you may end up killing your lawn. The best defence against weeds is a thick, healthy lawn, but if you do get weeds, here are some quick eradication tips:
- Minimise soil disturbance – sever the roots of single plants, rather than digging them out of the turf
- Remove weeds when they are young, or after a soaking rain.
- Remember; regular turf care will reduce weed infestation
Dealing with Lawn Grub
A lawn grub can eat up to thirty centimetres of lawn every night, so do not ignore. If you want to treat with an insecticide, we can advise on the best one for your turf variety. As a rule, lawn grub treatments should be applied late in the day and watered in if the grass is dry. It is a good idea to treat again in two weeks.
Organic options include mowing grass higher, as beetles and moths prefer to lay their eggs close to the soil, and regularly aerating to encourage deep, strong root systems. The best organic method of lawn grub control is Bacillus Thuringiensis, a bacterial control that is available from garden suppliers.
‘Pallet burn’ is a form of severe heat stress that affects turf stacked on a pallet. Most common in warmer months leading up to and throughout summer – pallet burn is caused by exposure to extreme heat or extended periods of time stacked on a pallet. Consequently, the turf is overheated and begins to burn from the centre of the slabs.
Just like an already established lawn in the ground, freshly harvested turf is easily effected by heat stress. Leave any freshly harvested lawn out of the ground for too long and the quality can deteriorate very quickly. Install as soon as possible and soak with water to restore and maintain the health of your new lawn. High soil temperatures cause reduced root production, minimal new roots production, faster maturation and die back of the roots. Eventually, the turf thins and become more spindly.
During the hot summer months, there are 3 main issues that MAY have a detrimental effect on the quality of your lawn. They are:
- Heat (during hot summer days)
- High Soil Temperature
- Lawn Grub (especially after rain)
Contact us today for an obligation-free quote on turf supply and delivery in the Gold Coast, Ipswich and Brisbane area.
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