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LAWNMOWING is probably the most important aspect of good turf management, because it has to be carried out on a very regular basis, especially in the active growing season (August - April)(Australia). Lawns left uncut or only cut when the grass is long will develop all sorts of problems, including weeds and thatch build up.
THATCHBUSTERS strongly advocates REGULAR LAWNMOWING because it keeps the turf healthy by promoting strong growth and compacted leaf structure which in turn keeps weeds in check. Face it, weeds can't drop their seeds if you whip their heads off every week ot two.
Preferably, LAWNMOWING should be done with a cylinder (roller) mower set to around 10mm, every 1-2 weeks in Summer and 3-4 weeks in Winter. Keep your lawnmower regularly serviced with your blades nice and sharp, this prevents grass damage.
I'm not a fan of Rotary mowers, especially on couch lawns, because Rotary's tend to slash the grass leaf, instead of cutting. I liken it to trying to cut your hair with a knife instead of scissors.
If you require regular LAWNMOWING, THATCH BUSTERS can arrange a recommended professional lawnmowing contractor for you.


Lawn clippings








Lawns should not be watered every day, except for newly laid lawns or lawns which have undergone renovation.
Established, healthy lawns only need to be watered 2-3 times a week. A good soaking, say 30-40 minutes twice a week is far better than a 10 minute dip every day. This is because it allows the water to penetrate the soil which in turn encourages a deep root system which then protects the roots from drying out in the hot Perth summers.
Turf roots can reach a depth of up to 45cms (18 inches) when trained properly. This practice will keep weeds in check as well because the root system on most weeds are no longer than say 7cms (3 inches).
THATCH BUSTERS recommends starting with a weekly soaking once a week in August, and gradually increasing this to 2-3 times a week as we move into Summer. (Count a rainy day as one watering). Also you should avoid night watering, as this can cause fungal diseases which can be a major problem in Spring and Autumn.
Never water during the heat of the day, as up to 70% can be wasted due to evaporation. Also the sun can boil the water which could then burn the grass leaf.
TIP : If your lawn is showing signs of heat stress, or there is a forecast of scorching weather the next day, set your retic. for an extra soaking of about 20 minutes for around 5am the next day, and continue this until the lawn shows signs of recovery.
When a lawn starts stressing, the root system begins to draw the moisture from the grass leaf. You can notice this by the way the grass starts to turn a greyish color, then brown.





VERTIMOWING or DE-THATCHING is the physical cutting and removal of the thatch layer which has built up over time. It is an extremely important part of good turf management, and should be carried out on a yearly basis so as to promote healthy growth.
Thatch control is particularly beneficial to the warm season grasses such as the Couch lawns (GREENLEES PARK, WINTER GREEN, SALTENE, SANTA ANNA, QUEENSLAND BLUE) plus SIR WALTER & PALMETO BUFFALO & KIKUYU.
De-Thatching can be carried out any time through the growing season. Generally from early August to early Aprill. As a general rule, the warmer the soil, the faster the recovery of the grass. Contrary to popular belief, the best time to De-Thatch your lawn is in the later part of summer, say from January to March. In this time of the year, the lawns will be back to normal in about 2 weeks (Be wary that Buffalo lawns can take a lot longer), compared to around 4 to 6 weeks in early spring.
Some people may disagree with me here but, hey, I've seen the results over many years. The amount of thatch build-up can be reduced by a sensible watering, mowing and fertilizing program.
If your lawn is scalping, as shown in the photo below, you have no choice but to vertimow your lawn. You have a choice of hiring a vertimower and do it yourself (believe me, it's not as easy as it seems). Or you can organize a contractor to do it for you (make sure they are properly set up with their own machinery).
THATCH BUSTERS can guarantee you a professional service because Turf Renovation is all we do.


Scalped Lawn





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FERTILISING is also very important because without food and nutrients your lawn will become extremely sick, leaving itself wide open to all types of pest and disease problems. The best way to feed your lawn is LITTLE and OFTEN. The average size front lawn in Perth (100sqm) should take no more than 5kg every 6-8 weeks, not the economical size 40kg bag chucked on once every 6 months. Could you imagine fasting for a week or two, then sitting down and eating a 20kg steak !
Too much fertilizer can also burn the leaf and stems, not to mention the run off down the drains. If you notice the lawn getting patchy, don't put extra fertilizer on the spots because that will only make matters worse. Sort of like rubbing salt into a wound.

THATCH BUSTERS recommends the use of a proper spreader as this will deliver the fertilizer evenly. Spreading by hand can result in a patchy effect. Make sure the lawn is dry, and water immediately with a good soaking plus another soaking the next day. Always keep any left over fertilizer in an air tight container or else it will deteriorate and become useless very quickly.







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WEEDS AND PESTS are a common problem in most lawns due to the fact that they are either competing with the lawn for food, or directly feeding off the lawn itself. When lawns are patchy with uneven growth, it provides a perfect place for weeds to grow as they have no grass to inhibit them and left unchecked, they can reseed and flourish.

There's and old saying "One years seeding, seven years weeding."

WEEDS are just plants which are growing where they are not wanted. Some people call Kikuyu Grass a weed, and in some cases it is. However, I actually have Kikuyu as a lawn, and I personally wouldn't have anything else.
There are certain weeds which are a pest in the home lawn, but are used as feed in the country. However, don't worry. If you're looking out there at your lawn right now and pulling your hair out in despair, just give me a ring or email and THATCH BUSTERS will be around to fix your problem. NO WORRIES.
LAWN PESTS also prefer tired lawns with dry soil. The larvae of the Black Beetle happily munch away on the lawn roots causing the lawn to die off. The adult beetle lays its eggs in late summer / early autumn, then comes to the surface and dies. The larvae hatch in spring, with a huge appetite and start munching. The best time to attack them is October - January. However, further treatments may be necessary later in summer due to the fact that some may hatch later.

Most of these problems can be avoided by adopting good lawn care practices. If you follow The 5 Golden Rules above, you should avoid getting a visit from the nasties. However, if the problem is bad then rest assured that we at THATCH BUSTERS can remedy the problem and at the same time use the most environmentally safe products available to get the job done.


Lawn Grubs

Weedy lawn

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