As we head into spring, you might have noticed that your lawn begins to show signs of recovery of coming out of winter. Several lawn species, die back completely in winter. August and September are the ideal months to get your lawn back into shape for the coming spring and summer months. Did you know that a healthy and well feed lawn will not have any weeds?
To start off, the lawn needs to be scarified. In simple terms, this means that you need to remove the dead grass. This can be easily done by dropping your lawnmower blade, which results in a shorter and browner lawn. Do not panic if the lawn appears dead and there is not a blade of green grass. This will be short lived. Next, take a rake, preferably a metal rake and uplift all the cuttings and thatch….all the dead grass.
The next step is to spike your lawn. If you do not have a spike roller, you can simply use a garden fork. Spike your entire lawn. Doing this aerates the soil and when fertlising, it allows the fertiliser to reach root level. It also breaks up compaction from the previous year. Fortunately for home gardens, this needs to be done only once annually. Thereafter, either a Lawn Dressing, or our personal best, Plant Power, need be applied. Both of these products are totally organic.
Lawn Dressing being made up of fine sifted bark and Plant Power of fine sifted chicken manure. One 30dm bag should cover up to 3m2. A light watering after applying the above is recommended. This step of replacing organic matter back into the soil is vitally important. When granular fertiliser is applied later, the results will speak for themself.
Once this has been done, you can wait about 14 days before applying a granular fertiliser. There are many fertilisers available on the market and they can all be very confusing. Fortunately the home gardener needs only to use 3 granular fertilisers to get there lawn in tip top condition.
During September and October, we recommend 3:2:1 (25). This is a well balanced fertiliser for the lawn. Feeding should take place every 4 to 5 weeks. Apply at the rate recommended on the bag. Never apply more, as it can burn your lawn. Remember to always water well after applying granular fertiliser. If possible, purchase a fertiliser spreader to get the fertiliser evenly applied. One can apply by hand as one would go about feeding chickens, but be careful not to go heavy handed or apply on the same spot again.
During November and December, we recommend either a 4.1.1 or a 5.1.5. Both of these fertilisers will feed your lawn well and get the grass healthy. For the months of January and February, we don’t recommend applying any fertiliser as the weather is far too hot.
During March and April, straight LAN fertiliser can be used. This will keep your grass healthy throughout winter. Again, for home lawns we do not recommend any fertiliser.
If you follow the above lawn programme, you should be blessed with a lush green carpet all year round.