Lawn Maintenance

How to Keep your Lawn Looking Great

Keep that lawn in good shape. Lawns are a feature in many South African gardens but they are also rather thirsty so keeping them in good condition entails providing adequate water at the right time.

Watering

  • One way to tell if your lawn needs watering is by simply standing in one position for a few moments. If your footprint remains then it’s probably time to water.
  • Don’t over-water your lawn or water too frequently. Depending on where you live in the country, you’re probably looking at giving your lawn about 20 to 25mm of water a week, in two cycles. If it rains, then you probably won’t need to water. The key is to watch the grass; if it starts to turn brown, then watering is most likely in order. Avoid watering too frequently for short periods each time as this encourages poor root formation as the roots do not need to penetrate the soil deeply due to the water always being on the surface.
  • Once you have decided on a particular schedule for a particular time of the year, try to stick to it as far as you can; not doing so will result in the lawn alternately getting too much water and then too little.
  • In order to measure how much water you are applying to the lawn, place a roasting pan in the garden and see how long it takes for the sprinkler to fill it to about 20 to 25mm. This is not as precise as a rain gauge but is sufficient for our purposes. Just make sure you place it near to the middle of the sprinkler’s spread so you get a reasonable result.

How Low Can You Go?

  • Do not mow your lawn too low; the lawn should be about 50mm in height. How often you mow will depend on how fast the lawn is growing. This depends, naturally, on the time of the year, how much water the lawn is getting, the temperature and the general climate.
  • Aerating the lawn in spring or autumn will provide a number of benefits: it will improve the soil’s quality and reduce compaction which, in turn, helps the roots take up water and nutrients more efficiently.
  • The best time to apply fertiliser, such as a slow-release nitrogenous product, is when the grass is growing actively.

Shopping List

  • Fertiliser
  • Hose Pipe
  • Hose Fittings
  • Sprinkler

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