AUTMUN LAWN CARE
After another hot summer, it’s now the time of year when we welcome the cooler nights and start to prepare for the frosty winter chills. Your lawn will be breathing a sigh of relief too, as summers can be long and stressful, particularly with the extreme weather conditions we have experienced in parts of Australia in the past few months.
COMBAT THE HOT WET SUMMER SEASON
In many areas, the summer’s weather conditions went from one extreme to the other. Hot days coupled with periods of high rainfall were beneficial to your lawn, at the time, reducing your watering and keeping your lawn green. You may, however, now begin to notice some side effects from these weather patterns, with seed heads appearing, loss of leaf colour, and even thinning of the leaf growth.
Heavy rainfall can cause a number of issues. Firstly it can leech the nutrients from your soil before your lawn has been able to utilise them, leaving you with poor soil fertility. To replace the nutrients you will need to fertilise with a good NPK fertiliser such as the Lawn Solutions Australia Premium Fertiliser. To further increase the effectiveness of the fertiliser, an application of a product containing seaweed extracts such as Lawn Lovers Lawn Rescue, will help to feed the nitrogen-fixing bacteria in your soil and give an instant boost to the leaf growth.
Soil compaction is generally the second issue caused by high rainfall. Particularly when followed by a bit of wear and tear plus warmer weather, the soil can tend to harden reducing the amount of oxygen in the soil, which basically chokes the root system of your lawn. Aerating with a spiked roller, pitchfork or spiked shoes can help to loosen the soil, and the application of gypsum will also work to break up the ground and loosen any clay in the subsoil.
RAISE THE BAR ON MOWING
Autumn is the ideal time to start raising your mowing height, particularly in shaded areas. At a very minimum you should be leaving 50mm of leaf on your lawn, even up to 60 – 70mm in heavy shade. This will provide a greater leaf surface area for your lawn for photosynthesis so that it can produce much needed sugars essential for its general health. Keeping a bit of extra length will also be beneficial come winter, as the leaf blades tend to become less frost effected with only the very tips browning off, leaving green undergrowth beneath.
SOIL pH IS IMPORTANT
If you haven’t tested your soil’s pH levels for a while, autumn is a good time to do so. Incorrect pH will not only affect your lawn’s performance, but it will also affect the results you achieve from fertilising. The optimum level is 6.5, which is slightly acidic. If you need to correct a low soil pH, use Dolomite Lime. Dolomite Lime has the added benefits of Calcium and Magnesium which increase your lawn’s ability to take up the other macronutrients it needs. Correcting high soil pH can be done using Sulphate of Ammonia, which will work to neutralise alkaline soils which are particularly prevalent on the west coast.
PRE WINTER BOOST
Regardless of whether you are experiencing any issues from the effects of summer, you should never miss giving your lawn a good fertilising in autumn. This is probably the most important fertilising you will give your lawn all year, and the Easter Weekend is generally a good ear-mark to remember. Make sure you give your lawn a good feed with an NPK fertiliser such as the Lawn Solutions Australia Premium Fertiliser around that time, so that your lawn will be able to achieve a tight healthy matt of leaf growth to hold out those winter weeds, along with strong roots and runners ready to combat the winter chills.