Merry Month of May!
Winter is Coming
Winter will soon be upon us, meaning the days are beginning to shorten and cool down. It is important to spend time now preparing your lawns and gardens for a cold, wet winter to give them the best chance to come out the other end to a colourful spring. Read on for some essential tips and advice to keep your garden thriving throughout May.
Installing Instant Lawn + Lawn Seed
Time has almost run out to seed new lawns, as when winter sets in the soil will be too cold for quick germination. Most lawn seeds will still germinate but will do so a lot slower. If you are wanting quick results but are not ready to plant in early May, it would be best to leave it until spring when the soil warms up.
Instant lawn can still be planted through late autumn and winter, especially cool season grasses such as Kentucky Bluegrass and Fescue. Other lawns such as Kikuyu and Tiftuf Bermuda can also still be planted, however they will take longer to establish than they would in the warm weather.
This is the time of year that deciduous trees drop a large amount of their leaves. The autumn colours may look beautiful strewn across your lawn and garden, but they can do some damage if left too long. Large patches of leaves can block sunlight from reaching the grass, leaving patches of damaged lawn. Leaves can also start sticking together while decomposing, trapping water, and causing a moist and humid environment that is perfect for fungus.
If you are finding leaves on your lawn, we recommend to regularly rake or blow them off.
If you have not already – now is the time to fertilise your lawn!! This is especially important if you have a couch lawn as it is not recommended to fertilise them while they are dormant during winter. If your couch lawn starts to brown off as it goes into dormancy, we recommend using Lawn Solutions Colour Guard Plus, a liquid fertiliser and natural grass pigment, to instantly restore your lawn’s colour.
Fertilising during autumn encourages prolonged growth, thick coverage, and extended colour. The thicker and stronger a lawn is, the less susceptible it is to weeds and shade issues.
Things to consider when choosing a fertiliser:
- A Liquid Fertiliser can give a quick green-up and health boost as it is absorbed by both leaf and soil. It is easy to apply, gives a uniform application, and is a good source of essential nutrients. Liquid fertilisers can also be more effective in cooler months when lawns are slowing down and not taking up as much nutrient from the soil. We recommend using Akers Turf Tonic to help strengthen the lawn’s roots, followed by a treatment of Akers Kelp a month later.
- A Granular Fertiliser injects all the essential nutrients needed into the soil, to be absorbed by the lawn’s roots. As the granules gradually break down and dissolve, they deliver small but constant feed over 6-8 weeks. We recommend using Akers Organic Based Granular Fertiliser, ensuring that it is spread evenly and watered in well.
- What nutrients your lawn and soil need, or may be lacking in. As discussed in our last Akers Monthly, doing a Soil pH Test can help you know how healthy your lawn and soil is. Different fertilisers contain different levels of each macronutrient and micronutrient, so knowing what your lawn needs more of can help identify which fertiliser to use.
One of the essential nutrients needed for lawns to sustain their beautiful green colour is iron. Iron is important for the formation of chlorophyll, which helps feed plants and produce a strong green pigment. It also keeps lawns strong against frost and moss, common problems found in the cooler months.
If your lawn needs a bit of colour choose a fertiliser with higher iron content such as Akers Turf Tonic or Lawn Solutions Premium Lawn Fertiliser, or a specialised iron-based product such as Baileys Turfect Rapid Green or Lawnporn Green Light
You may have noticed your lawn’s growth has started to slow down significantly. You can now reduce the frequency between mows, but do not stop mowing completely.
If you have a cool season grass such as Kentucky Bluegrass or Fescue, make sure you are continuing to mow frequently, as they grow faster in the cool temperatures.
If you have a warm season grass, and if you haven’t already, we recommend adjusting your mowing height up a notch until the soil warms up in spring. A longer leaf will help the lawn to absorb more sunlight, allowing it to produce more food for itself and stay strong, particularly through the shade that the cooler months bring.
Reminder: Do not remove more than one-third of the grass blade length at a time, and do not mow while your lawn is damp or wet. This can damage the lawn by tearing and bruising the leaf, and if wet clippings are left on the lawn, they can smother the grass. Mowing when the soil is soaked can also lead to ruts forming and an uneven finish.