Spring has finally arrived, which means lawns around Australia are slowly re-emerging from their winter slumber and mowers are being resurrected from the shed.
But before jumping in too fast, Toro Australia is offering some important tips to help home gardeners get the best out of their lawns to ensure they thrive during spring and are ready to take on the predicted summer heat.
Toro Australia’s senior marketing manager equipment, Elise Willemsen, says that turf is a delicate, living organism and a ‘set-and-forget’ approach with the occasional mow will not result in a healthy, lush lawn for all to enjoy.
“There are many common mistakes and misperceptions when it comes to lawn care, but with some timely advice and the right equipment, your lawn will be rivaling the manicured greens at the golf course in no time.
Toro Australia provides the following tips to home gardeners looking to achieve the perfect lawn:
1. Best turf for the conditions
The right turf for the right soil and climate cannot be underestimated. If they are not compatible, then no matter what you do, it’s likely to be an uphill battle, which will take more effort than is necessary. If you’ve inherited your lawn, do your research and find out if it is in fact the best lawn for your environment and if not, consider a change. It will save you a lot of time and headaches in the long run.
2. Right ‘tools’ for the job
It’s important to choose the right mower to suit both you and your situation, with factors such as landscape and property size having an influence. For example, a ride on mower may be more suitable if you have a large property with a lot of area to cover. If you have hilly areas, consider a mower suited to undulating areas as they provide better traction. It’s also important to ensure you keep your mower blade sharp to avoid tearing the plant, which leads to a brown appearance and makes the lawn more susceptible to stress and disease.
3. Mow right
Cutting grass too low risks stunting root growth and increases the need for watering and fertilising. Depending on the lawn variety, the average height should be between 40mm and 70mm. You can also apply the ‘one-third’ rule – never remove more than one-third of the grass height at any one time.
4. Dress for success
Spring is a good time to fertilise, either through compost and/or chemical fertilisers, bearing in mind a lighter feed during spring so as not to encourage too many weeds and disease.
It’s also important to aerate the soil which may have become compacted in high traffic areas and rake away any dead grass blades from the winter months. Top dressing is also recommended by adding soil or other organic material, such as lawn clipping from a mulching mower directly over the top of your lawn. In addition to improving soil conditions and breaking down of thatch, it can help smooth out rough or uneven areas in your lawn and set the stage for seeding bare patches.
5. Water watch
Despite popular belief, loading water on your grass constantly is not always the answer to the perfect lawn – in fact, it can have a detrimental effect. Generally speaking, turf does better managed on the dry side rather than wet where it can cause physiological problems for plants and soil. Overwet conditions encourage disease. It’s better to water infrequently but deeply so as to wet the entire root zone and then not water again until the soil shows signs of drying out. Lawns only need around 25mm of water each week, including rainfall, so manage your (automatic) watering system and save yourself some money in the meantime!
Toro Australia has recently introduced to its range the Toro TimeCutter zero turn tractor, which combines the manoeuvrability and time-savings of a zero-turn mower with the familiar ease of a steering wheel and speed control pedal of a lawn tractor.
In addition, the new Toro Personal Pace Recycler All-Wheel Drive walk behind mower is ideal for climbing hills and power through rough terrain with front and rear wheels engaging independently and distributing the right amount of traction when needed.
For great deals on Toro mowers go to torocatalogue.com.au