Best practice tips for spring turf maintenance
Springtime in Australia means that it’s time to fertilise your lawn. Fertilising the lawn speeds up growth and will allow the grass to grow stronger roots for the hotter months to come. To get your lawn looking its best throughout the spring season, you need to take action now to make sure your soil stays in tip-top shape.
As Australia’s leading supplier of turf machinery, Fieldquip is in the business of knowing just what you need to do to grow and maintain pristine green turf. To make your life easier, we’ve put together this essential list of spring lawn maintenance tips.
Location-based lawn maintenance
The soil around Australia changes immensely from state to state and region to region, so just be aware that specific soil treatments that need to be performed will vary depending on location.
If there is a clay base beneath your soil, it will work its way up through the soil over time. This process is called bioturbation. Periodically aerating the topsoil and applying gypsum will ensure the soil doesn’t compact too much and gets the oxygen it requires to stimulate root growth. On the other hand, if your soil is sandy, then adding a wetting agent to the turf will ensure the soil can hold onto moisture.
Test your soil
Testing your soil’s pH level is essential regardless of the soil type. Incorrect pH levels in your lawn means that specific (and important) nutrients will be missed and overall performance will suffer. The optimum pH level is 6.5 and can be tested with basic testing kits. If your levels are higher, you’ll want to use sulphate of ammonia to lower it down. If your levels are lower than 6.5, a 50:50 mix of lime and dolomite will raise it back up.
Aeration is often overlooked, yet it is one of the most vital parts of lawn care. Aeration is essential for long term lawn health, as loosening the soil allows for more oxygen, water and nutrients to reach the soil past the grass blade.
Fertilising will depend on the climate zone of the lawn. Liquid fertilisers are ingested through the leaf or grass blade and will give noticeable results very quickly. However, now that the weather is starting to heat up again, granular fertiliser is the way to go, as it’s more stable and offers a more long-lasting solution. Don’t forget to aerate your soil before you use a granular fertiliser!
If your lawn seems ‘spongey’ to touch, this means you need to dethatch. Essentially, your lawn needs a haircut. Don’t go over the top when cutting either, as this can be a shock to the plant and kill it in the process. We always go by the rule of thumb of never trimming more than ⅓ off the length of the blade.
If your turf is uneven and it’s been bugging you for a long time, there’s no time like spring to fix it. Firstly, mow and fertilise your lawn. This will ensure that the topdressing has the best possible chance to do its job correctly. We like to use coarse river sand when we topdress, which allows the leaf to poke through when necessary and be ready for the summer heat.
Prevention is better than a cure. Spring is the perfect time to make sure that your watering regime is on point, especially for when summer rolls into town. A thorough watering once a week will train your root system to grow deeper into the soil where the moisture is. If you only ever lightly spray the grass blades, it has no reason to search for water anywhere else.
Fieldquip is always willing to share the tricks and tips about lawn care that we’ve developed over decades of working in the field. We supply a wide range of turf machinery for any turf maintenance application. For more information contact: