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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,
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
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
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.
Lawns should not be
watered every day, except for newly laid lawns or lawns which have undergone
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
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.
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.
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
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
(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.
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.
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.
& PEST CONTROL
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
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.
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Thatch / The
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P.O. Box 353
Mobile 0418 198 148
ABN 43 560 310 649
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