[dropcap]E[/dropcap]ven though Winter 2016 was a relatively mild one, the first signs of summer have caught most of us unprepared. Spring weather in Brisbane has to be about as good as you could possibly wish for. Cool evenings and bright warm days beckon us outside to work, play and relax.
After winter, it’s a good idea to start preparing your yard for the summer by getting the lawn and plants ready with re-laying, aerating and trimming. We’ve listed a few tips for preparing your yard for the warmer weather.
Aerating your lawn involves perforating it with small holes, which then allows air, water and nutrients to penetrate the roots of the grass. This will prepare your lawn well for summer and help it to flourish and grow, producing a stronger and more vigorous lawn. To carry out this task, you can use a lawn aerator.
One of the most common questions from home owners is whether they need to aerate their lawn. If you answer yes to any of these statements – it’s probably a good idea.
- Gets heavy use, such as serving as the neighbourhood playground or racetrack. Children and pets running around the yard contribute to soil compaction.
- Was established as part of a newly constructed home. Often, the topsoil of newly constructed lawns is stripped or buried, and the grass established on subsoil has been compacted by construction traffic.
- Dries out easily and has a spongy feel. This might mean your lawn has an excessive thatch problem. Take a shovel and remove a slice of lawn about four inches deep. If the thatch layer is greater than one-half inch, aeration is recommended.
- Was established by turf, and soil layering exists. Soil layering means that soil of finer texture, which comes with imported turf, is layered over the existing coarser soil. This layering disrupts drainage, as water is held in the finer-textured soil. This leads to compacted conditions and poor root development. Aerating breaks up the layering,
allowing water to flow through the soil more easily and reach the roots.
Once aerated, this lawn keeper combo can help you to keep on top of your lawn maintenance.
Laying New Lawn
If you’ve lost your lawn over winter and are hoping to achieve a pleasant grassy space that you can spend time relaxing in in the summer, you might need to lay some new turf. Getting the right tools, such as a turf cutter to remove the old grass and a rotary hoe to help make the soil more workable or to blend in new soil is important.
All about Turf (allaboutturf.com.au) suggest the following process for turf laying & preparation:
“Soil and Site Preparation
Be sure to eliminate all existing grasses or weeds with a recommended weed killer and/or turf cutter. Wait seven days after the first spray and then water to germinate any remaining weeds. Repeat the spray with weed killer and wait a further 14 days. Clear the area removing all rocks, debris, dead lawn and weeds. To avoid drainage problems, ensure soil gradient slopes away from housing foundations or pathways. Add a quality soil to raise the level if necessary, blend it in with the existing soil and then rake and smooth. The final height of the soil should be at least 10cm deep and 3cm below pathways or driveways. Before laying new turf, apply a starter fertiliser which is high in phosphate or a generous layer of pelleted chicken manure. Lightly water the prepared area to settle the soil and provide a moist base for your turf. The prepared base must be firm enough to walk on without leaving deep footprints.
When turf is delivered, make sure you begin installation straight away. Make sure turf pallets are placed in the shade before installation to protect the un-laid turf from sun damage. Begin your installation by laying the turf along the longest straight line like a fence or paved area. Roll the turf making sure all joins are butted tightly together with no overlapping; knock the rolls together with the back of a rake. Make sure to avoid gaps and overlapping. Lay rows in a staggered brick pattern to reduce future erosion. Use a large sharp knife (or edge of shovel) to trim corners and excess turf. On slopes, place the turf pieces across the slope. After the installation of the turf, roll the entire area to improve turf-soil contact. Begin watering within 30 minutes of installation. During the first two weeks, avoid heavy use of your new lawn.”
Laying a new lawn as early as possible is the best way to ensure that it’s ready in time for the warmer weather.
If your yard is looking a little overgrown at the end of the winter, you’ll need to do some trimming and pruning to make sure that it’s looking its best in time for summer. Use this hedge trimmer to cut down any hedges and bushes that are particularly overgrown and neatly shape them to fit in with the landscape of your garden.
Perhaps you want to get a little more serious about trimming things back and have cut down some trees or cut out some large shrubs and are now left with the tree stump or large root cluster and are wondering how it is best to get rid of these. A stump grinder is a great machine to easily remove any tree stumps and/or shrub roots as it will take these back to ground level or even below ground level if you are preparing for turf for example.
It’s not unusual for yards to look a little overgrown and unkempt at the end of a winter season, so make sure that you have the right tools to get your yard ready for summer!
If you hire from Centenary Hire, the team on the Hire Desk are available to answer your questions and ensure you have all the information you need to achieve a good quality finish. Once you have the right equipment, all that’s left to do is follow the instructions and use some good old fashioned elbow grease.
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