Seasonal Lawn Care
New Zealand Spring - September, October, and November
New Zealand Summer - December, January, and February
New Zealand Autumn - March, April, and May
New Zealand Winter - June, July, and August
- Make sure that your newly laid lawn is never short of water. This is most crucial for new instant lawns, particularly during summer. Water daily until the turf is firmly rooted (about two weeks). After this period reduce the frequency of watering’s to encourage the development of deeper and stronger roots. Check that the underlying soil is moist and that rooting is progressing well by lifting the corner of a turf. Weather conditions will dictate the amount and frequency of watering. Be certain that your new ready lawn has enough moisture to survive hot, dry or windy periods. Water areas near buildings more often where reflected heat dries the turf.
- Avoid walking on your newly laid lawn where possible especially after watering. This gives the roots an opportunity to knit together and will ensure that the surface remains smooth until the area is established.
- Begin mowing once the turf is well rooted. Make sure ground conditions are firm so as to maintain a level surface. Set the mower high so as to remove no more than 5mm of the overall height for the first few mowing. Then gradually reduce the mowing height to the desired height. We do not recommend mowing lower than 25mm. Have your mower serviced prior to your first mowing and then at least once a year.
Established lawns mowing
- Mow regularly and as often as necessary to maintain a neat appearance. The closer you cut, the more often you should mow.
- For most lawns the mower should be set to cut no lower than 25mm and should be used at least once a week, depending on the growth. Try to avoid leaving the lawn unmown for periods of weeks when the grass is growing fast.
- When reducing the height of cut never remove more than 1/3 of the length of the grass.
- It is best to mow when the grass is dry, but in prolonged wet weather mow when it is wet rather than let the grass grow too tall.
- Mow in winter if mild periods have encouraged growth.
- Lawns growing on poor soils need more feeding than those on rich soils.
- Feed your lawn each spring, summer and autumn with a proprietary slow release lawn fertiliser at the recommended rate. A slow released fertiliser will slowly release essential nutrients to produce and maintain the green colour for months.
- Rolling should not be necessary on most soils.
- A roller should never be used to put right surface irregularities, possibly caused by subsidence. These should be corrected using compost top dressing.
- It is inevitable that weeds appear from time to time in the new lawn, spreading from other parts of the garden or from further afield. Remove these by hand or by using a weed killer specifically for lawns.
- Make sure that the weeds you want to control are specified by the weed killer you choose.
- Always buy a proprietary brand of weed killer and follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.
- If you use a 'weed and feed' product, check the instructions in case there are special recommendations for recently laid turf.
- Moss will develop in a lawn only if the grass is too weak to compete with it. The reason for the weakening of the grass may be waterlogged, compacted soil, mowing too close or too infrequently, inadequate feeding, and shading or very dry conditions. The cause should be identified and corrected.
- For short term control, various chemical treatments are available, but moss will reinvade if the grass is not invigorated.
- Some people like moss in lawns.
- The removal of the brown fibrous "thatch" layer which develops between the soil and the grass shoots is not always necessary. Only if the dead material is more than 15mm thick should any attempt be made to remove it.
- Scarifying can be beneficial to a lawn if done sensibly. It can also be very harmful if overdone.
- Some types of turf need less scarifying than others.
- Light raking by hand to raise horizontal shoots is worthwhile from time to time in the mowing season.
- Using a garden fork or a special spiking tool relieves compaction and helps surface water to drain away. It also allows more air to reach the roots of the grass which aids healthy growth.
- Make sure the holes are at least 75mm deep - the deeper the better. On heavy soils a sandy top dressing should be brushed into the holes.
- Autumn is the usual time for this operation.
- Pay attention to gateways and other areas of concentrated use.
- On an established lawn watering is only necessary if you need to maintain a green colour. Established turf will not die if you do not water it, unless your lawn is on thin or very sandy soil.
- If you intend to water the lawn it should be done deeply and infrequently. Water the soil until it is moist to a depth of 150mm. If water runs off the surface before this depth of moist soil is achieved, switch off the hose or water another part of the garden before resuming. Water again when the soil dries out to this depth.
- A light shower of rain may not soak through to the soil and may have to be added to by watering.
- The most common disease: Red thread disease makes bleached or pinkish patches on the lawn surface. Very often bright red "needles" are also formed at the tips of the leaf blades. Red thread is often linked to low soil fertility and can be discouraged by speeding up grass growth by giving a feed. Alternatively, use a proprietary fungicide at the recommended rate. Fusarium patch disease tends to occur when the air is mild, still and damp. It causes the leaf blades to collapse and yellowish-brown patches appear on the lawn. This is often a symptom of over-feeding in early autumn. This disease is usually more harmful than red thread and speedy attention with a fungicide (at the appropriate rate) is needed.
- Small toadstools often appear in the year after turf is laid. They are not damaging to the turf and will die out.
- Decreased light intensity by tree shading weakens turf grasses, not only by reducing the quality of light but also by competing for nutrients and moisture.
- Prune lower limbs and thin crowns of trees to allow more light to penetrate.
- Increase the mowing height.
- Water deeply and infrequently.
- Adequately fertilise shady lawns but don't be too excessive with nitrogen.
After Care Monthly Maintenanance Schedule
Click here to view and download our Easylawn_Maintenance_Schedule.pdf