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A combination of lawn thatch build-up and compaction can reduce water, fertiliser and even air from reaching your lawn roots, so no matter how much you feed and water it, the lawn continues to suffer in silence. Don’t fret! There are ways to fix this and get your lawn looking lush again.
Remove the thatch
What is it, you ask? Thatch is the build-up of living and dead runners on top of the soil. Throughout the life of your lawn, new runners grow and the old runners die off underneath this new growth. After a while, this can build up to form a thick layer. While a small amount can be beneficial to the lawn (it helps with general wear and tear), when it becomes a thick spongy layer, it needs to be removed.
You can use a rake, but when it’s too thick, you will need to scarify the lawn. This type of mower is generally hireable from your local Hire Shop.
To do this, mow the lawn multiple times and lower the mower on each subsequent cut across the entire area, until you have removed most signs of green growth. You may need to lower the mower and cut your lawn 3-5 times in one session – don’t be tempted to lower your mower too much on the first cut as this will clog the mower and be difficult to cut. Once finished, feed well with Yates Dynamic Lifter Organic Lawn Food and water in well.
The best time to do this is from October – December on warm season grasses (kikuyu) and September – November on cool season grasses (fescue types,brown top, perennial & Stadium rye)
Aerate the soil
Heavy traffic areas – like where your kids frequently play or the track from the laundry to the line – frequently become compacted, which prevents water and nutrient uptake.
For small areas, use a garden fork to help aerate the soil. Simply push the fork in to at least 10cm and move it back and forth to create large holes. Do this every 10-15cm.
For heavily compacted soils, coring needs to be undertaken. This can be done by a hiring a coring machine, which removes ‘plugs’ of soil from the ground. While it can look a little unsightly, after a couple of mows, your lawn will thank you for it! For compacted and heavy clay soils it is also benificial to apply Liquid Gypsum to your lawn. This helps break up the clay and improves drainage and improves your soils porosity or ability to breath.
Once your lawn is looking fresh, now it’s time to take care of it. . .
Mow high, not low
Mowing will keep your lawn healthy and thick. As a guide, it should be mowed once a week during summer and roughly every 1-3 weeks in the cooler months. Look for a mulching mower, Look for a mulching mower, which helps recycle the grass clippings back onto the lawn, providing valuable nutrients for sustained growth. And if you find that you have enough mulch, catch it and add it to your compost heap (Sparingly and in a structured maner for good compost ) (compost note)
Caution: This should only be done if your Lawn is relatively weed free as this can add weed seed to your compost. Take care not to mow it too low – you don’t want to scalp it! It’s best to mow high and mow often to help maintain a thick, green lawn.
The need for feed
A good feed will work wonders for your lawn. Apply Yates Dynamic Lifter Organic Lawn Food over your lawn (as per directions) and water in well. Other Yates Lawn Fertilisers include Yates Lawn Fertiliser Hose On, and Yates Granular Lawn Fertiliser and the Thrive Granular Lawn Food ( choose the best for your type of lawn and budget).
Broadleaf weed control