Love Your Lawn

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Lawn seed is an economical way to start a fresh new lawn, helping to create a lush green space that will be an area of enjoyment and fun for years to come. Here’s how to start a new lawn from seed and some extra tips to keep your lawn looking great.

Seeds of success

October is a great time to start a new lawn from seed. The soil has warmed up, which encourages lawn seed to germinate, and the lawn will have time to start establishing before the heat of summer arrives.

To get the best possible results from sowing your new lawn, there are a few important steps to follow:

  1. Weed control – weeds will compete with the new lawn so should be controlled 2 weeks before sowing lawn seed (this allows the weeds to die completely). Yates Zero Weedkiller can be used a general spray over the area to kill any weeds and existing grasses.
  2. Soil preparation – lawn seed should be sown into well drained, firm but not compacted soil that is rich in organic matter. Yates Dynamic Lifter® Lawn Food contains composted chicken manure blended with blood and bone, fishmeal and seaweed and mixing this into the existing topsoil will help to create an ideal environment for lawn seeds to grow. An application of lawn top dressing can also benefit lawn establishment where the existing soil is heavy clay or poor and sandy or the surface is uneven.
  3. Measure – measure the area and calculate the correct amount of lawn seed.
  4. Sow – rake the soil surface in straight lines to create shallow furrows. Broadcast the seed evenly over the area. It helps to halve the seed and sow half in an east west direction and the other half in a north south direction. After sowing, lightly cross rake the area to mix the seed into the topsoil.
  5. Water – water the area with a fine mist spray. It is very important that the top soil remains moist for the first 14 – 21 days to complete germination. This may require watering several times a day if the weather is hot or windy. As the grass establishes, the number of waterings can be reduced but increase the volume of water at each watering.
  6. Mow – mow the grass when it is 5-6cm high so you just cut the top 1cm off the top. This will help to encourage root growth. As the lawn matures, lower the blades of the mower on successive cuts.

Choosing the right lawn seed

There are so many different kinds of front and back lawns all around New Zealand, including lawns in sun or shade and areas that are a playground for pets and kids. People also have their own preferences for the type of lawn they want, including soft and upright grasses to tough and running varieties.

To help you choose which lawn seed to use, here are some details about Yates’ most popular lawn seed varieties:

Yates Mow it Less – a beautiful, lush green, hard wearing and drought tolerant lawn that requires less mowing. The seed is quick to germinate and contains a mixture of turf type perennial ryegrass and creeping red fescue.

Yates Luxury Lawn Seed – a low growing, neat and compact lawn seed mix containing creeping red and chewings fescue. This grows a lawn with an excellent deep green colour and the fine leaves can be mown closely, creating a luxurious looking lawn.

Yates Tuffgrass – a value for money lawn that’s resistant to wear and tear, so it’s great for areas where pets and kids play. It combines perennial ryegrass and chewings fescue and is easy to establish, germinating in around 7 days.

Yates Mow it Less, Luxury Lawn and Tuffgrass are coated with ‘Active-GRO’, which is the latest lightweight seed coating technology that helps protect against fungal disease and bird theft.

Controlling grass grubs

Grass grubs are the larvae of tan coloured shiny bettles that lay their eggs in the soil during spring and summer. They are creamy white grubs with a brown head and a darker bottom.

When disturbed they curl into a C shape. They damage the lawn by eating the roots, just below the soil surface.

Symptoms of grass grub damage are yellowing patches in the lawn with grass being able to be lifted up like a carpet. The best time to start controlling grass grub is from mid spring, which is when peak egg hatch begins and continues until early summer.

An application of Yates Insect Killer for Lawns: in October will control grass grubs and help minimise the damage they do.

Controlling broadleaf weeds

Weeds like clover, dandelions, chickweed, onehunga, capeweed and thistles are opportunistic and will invade even the smallest bare spots in the lawn. If weeds are allowed to flower and set seed they can create future generations of weeds, so controlling them early not only helps to keep the lawn tidy but also reduces future weeding.

A quick hose-on application of /products/weed-control/lawns-selective-control/yates-weed-n-feed-liquid-hose-on/ will control common broadleaf weeds like clover and onehunga. Yates® Weed’n’Feed® is also now available in a 1L concentrate, which treats 65 m2 of lawn.

Lawn feeding tip: the healthier and thicker the lawn, the less likely that weeds will be able to establish. Feeding your lawn with an organic lawn fertiliser like Yates Dynamic Lifter® Lawn Food will help grow a thick, deep green lawn and nurture the soil at the same time.


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