Before planting lawn you will need to investigate and analyse:
- Orientation, sun and shade.
- Topography, water run off.
- Soil types, water holding capacity, compaction, water repellence, fertility levels.
- Availability of accessible ground water.
- Views both inwards and outwards.
- Utility spaces (clothes drying, compost and storage areas).
- Outdoor living spaces (barbeques, seating areas).
- Special needs (vegetable garden, swimming pool, etc).
- Functional and aesthetic requirements.
- Maintenance expectations.
- Budget available.
General design principles
- Maximise the use of non-planting treatments such as paving and mulches.
- At the same time, beware of excessive unshaded paving which can be hot and glaring.
- Plant lawn after considering your functional and aesthetic requirements.
- Lawn areas should be designed and sited to be practical, and should never be used as a 'fill in' material where nothing else could be thought of.
- Let Millers help you choose a lawn type that is water efficient and best suited to your soil.
- Prepare soil before planting new lawn. Improved water efficiency can be achieved with a small amount of soil additive added and rotary hoed to a depth of 100 mm.
Choice of variety
- Grasses such as Bermuda Couch and various cultivars or hybrids of couch sold as 'Santa Ana', 'Greenlees Park' and 'Wintergreen' have the lowest water demand. They also have a high drought tolerance.
- Other warm season grasses such as 'Buffalo' and 'Kikuyu' have an intermediate water use rate and a reasonably good drought resistance.
Methods of planting
- Turf rolls provide the most water-efficient means of establishing a lawn all year round, with an instant cover from the start. It is possible to establish during summer on one watering a day providing that the soil underneath has been well prepared.
- Fertiliser use is closely linked to water use. Cutting down on the amount of water used also means you can cut down on the amount of fertiliser. The recommendations on the bags should be regarded as maximum levels.
- Fertilisers which have some animal manure content help to maintain the organic matter level of the soil.
- All fertilisers should be applied immediately before a watering.
- Mowers should be set so that only one third of the leaf area is removed at any one time. The correct blade length varies depending on the variety of turf you plant. Consult Millers Turf for mowing instructions. This amount of leaf shadows the soil surface and thus reduces evaporation loss.
- Since the growth rate of warm season grasses slows down in cold weather the mower blades should be raised another 5 mm or so during winter.
- Only top dress to even out bumps and hollows and then only use special top dressing mixes which contain organic matter.
Your Guide To Lawns
Lawn problems associated with watering
- Brown patches in a lawn may indicate either poor water distribution or areas of non-wettable soil.
- Thatch contributes to the development of non-wettable soils and should be reduced by a hard mowing in spring or the use of a de-thatching machine. Non-wettable soils should be treated by the regular use of soil wetting agents each spring.
- Overwatering of lawns, particularly when the water is applied in the evening, can lead to the development of fungal problems. Check your application rates and timing.
- Moss growing in a lawn may indicate excess water application and/or poor drainage and/or insufficient sunlight.
Establishing a new lawn
- Organic matter mixed through with the top 15cm of a sandy soil will dramatically improve both water and nutrient holding capacity.
- Do this before a lawn is established.
- The extra organic matter enables longer periods between watering which encourages a deeper root system and a more efficient growth pattern.
Fertiliser & Laying Service
Millers Turf Supplies supply only the best fertiliser to ensure that your new lawn stays healthy. Talk to us for advice on fertilisers suitable for your lawn, lawn care tips, as well as our laying service that is available. Click here to contact us.