FAQ – Lawns
Below are some common questions we receive. If you would like advice please contact us.
Q. Should I fertilise my lawns?
We recommend that lawns are fertilised at least twice a year. This would be in the spring (late Sept-Oct) and again in the autumn (April-May). Note that lawn quality will improve with more frequent fertiliser applications, for example another couple of applications over the summer period.
Q. What fertiliser should I use? Is slow release fertiliser best?
There are a wide variety of fertilisers available that are suitable for putting on your lawn. They tend to supply different amounts of Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium – which are the major nutrient (or food) needs for the grass. The other main difference is in how long the fertiliser is active or available in the soil. Typically they range from one month through to some of the slow release fertilisers that can last up to three months. The longer lasting slow release types will cost more initially –but for the longer term supply of nutrients, they can be cost effective. Note, almost without exception, fertiliser needs to be washed into the soil after it is put on to avoid “burning” the grass.
Q. How do I get rid of weeds in my lawn?
Weed control begins with growing healthy grass. Do everything possible to achieve this – regular watering, applying fertiliser and regular mowing. Healthy grass will help to out-compete weeds. When you do get weeds in the lawn,your first option is to dig them out or manual removal. If that is not possible or there are too many weeds, chemical control may be the required action. The actual chemical to apply would depend on what weed species are present in the lawn. Typically chemical weed control is undertaken in the spring or autumn.
Q. What are de-thatching and scarifying?
These terms are used to describe the removal of “thatch” material from a lawn. Thatch is the accumulated dead leaf material and clippings that fall into the grass canopy. This is the material that makes a lawn feel spongy to walk on. A small amount of thatch is okay but, left unchecked, it can build up a thick layer that is detrimental to the lawn health, as well as preventing short enough mowing.
Q. How regularly should I mow my lawn?
Regular mowing is one of the keys to a good lawn. The frequency will vary throughout the year based on temperature and growth rate of the lawn. The best rule of thumb is never to remove more than one-third of the leaf when mowing. Cutting height of 25mm is about right (this is about 6-8 on the height setting of most domestic rotary mowers).
Q. Should I mow with the catcher on or off?
There is no right or wrong answer; it is personal preference. Environmentally it is better to return the clippings to the lawn by using a specific mulching mower and using mulching blades. Be aware though that thatch will build up quicker. Removal of clippings will generally result in a nicer looking lawn. Be careful not to compost clippings if the lawn has been sprayed with broadleaf weed sprays.
Q. Are sharp lawnmower blades important?
Regularly sharpened blades are important to get the best quality of cut as well as being more fuel efficient for the mower. Mowing damages the leaf blade so a cleaner cut from a sharp blade causes less injury to the grass. Blunt blades just shred the leaf and can lead to an increase in grass diseases and general grass decline.
Q. How much water does my lawn need?
Regular watering is the most important way to keep a healthy, good looking lawn. Water should be applied in the evening or early morning when conditions are a bit cooler. Ideally, watering should take place two or three times a week during the heat of summer. In the Nelson and Tasman regions we all have to pay for our water. This is one of the main reasons we hear from customers for why they don’t regularly water their lawns. It is a personal choice we all have to make but the majority of poor performing lawns we visit are a result of not watering enough.
Q. Does my lawn need aerating regularly?
Aeration and other specialised renovations are not regularly needed for home lawns. Aerating is normally undertaken when soil compaction is a limiting factor to a lawn draining well and performing as expected.
Q. What can I do to get a better lawn?
The top priorities: water regularly, good mowing practices and applications of fertiliser during the year. Shading too causes a lot of problems for grass. Moss is generally the result of shading and cold, damp soil in winter. While you can’t move your house or the neighbours’ –consider any tree trimming that would allow more sunlight onto the lawn. Also try to mow any of these areas a little bit higher to help the grass survive.
Q. Why should I use a profession lawn care team?
We have the skill, experience and knowledge that enables us to identify what will make your lawn perform as well as it possibly can. We also have access to the specialised equipment that is needed for some of the renovation or rejuvenation practices such as de-thatching.
Q. Can you give advice about a specific issue in my lawn?
We can meet with you on-site to help provide advice if you have a specific problem that needs solving. We are also able to assist you in setting up a maintenance regime for you to follow throughout the year.
We can help answer any lawn care questions you may have. Just remember, there are no dumb questions. We get a lot of pleasure, too, out of seeing our customers achieve the lawn that they desire.
Contact us today for a free on-site quote.
Lawn Services | FAQ – Lawns