For the Love of Lawn

It’s not easy to cultivate the perfect lawn – but let us walk you through how you can be the focus of your neighbourhood’s lawn-envy in 5 easy steps!

Everyone loves a good-looking backyard; and none more so than us kiwis.  But maintaining a lushly emerald green lawn that’s the envy of all your neighbours can be a tricky task.  We’ve checked in with the experts and have put together the below pointers to show how you can minimise your lawn damage, and maximise results – giving your property the best-looking lawn in Canterbury this summer.

pH Testing

There are two simple tests to see if your lawn needs assistance. First get yourself a pH kit and check the acidity level of your lawn – grasses tend to like the pH of soil to be about 6.3-6.8.  Next dig out a sod of earth roughly 30cm by 30cm and about 20cm deep. In here you should find a good handful (at least) of earthworms. If not – then your soil needs aeration plus organic matter such as compost, mulched grass clippings to get it back underway again.

 Grass Length

A contentious subject at best, as everyone has their own idea when it comes to the acceptable length of the grass in a backyard!  However, to get that soft green carpet look, set that mower up high.  Let grass grow to 5-7cm in length and only ever cut it back by a third.  Longer grass means weeds will struggle to get a hold and your grass will look a deeper green as the leaves have enough surface area to produce chlorophyll.

Managing the Over-Grown

Make sure if you’re heading off on holiday to cut your lawn before you go – but not too low (see point above) as this will give your grass a fright and allow weeds to invade those bare patches whilst you’re not around.  Tackling it on your return means the same principle applies.  Cut off just a third, no matter how high, then leave for a week.  Cut again by another third, leaving for a week again and continue until you’re back at the height you like.  Doing it this way means you’re giving the grass a chance to receive and won’t end up with a stalky-wet looking front yard.

Sharp Blades = Sharper Lawn

Having sharp, balanced blades is a no-brainer.  Blunt blades just rip and tear out your lawn making it look messy and open to disease.  If you’ve a ride-on mower, talk to your dealer or check the machine manual as to how best to sharpen the blades.  Another tip is to make sure you clean out the underside of your mower after each use, as a build-up of old grass will affect your machine’s cutting ability.

If in doubt – consider synthetic

The rise in demand for an artificial lawn has increased dramatically in recent years and why not?  The product can look immaculate, is cost-effective and incredibly durable – as well as being low maintenance.  For those that have a garden area which doesn’t support strong grass growth due to poor natural light or soil conditions, this is serious consideration.  Not to mention for those that may suffer from on-going grass allergies.  Once installed, its relatively easy to maintain and can look fabulous all year round, leaving you more time to enjoy the rest of your garden and backyard living area!

For more lawn and landscaping ideas and answers, come and talk to the backyard and landscaping experts at the Canterbury Home Show, 13th – 15th October at the Horncastle Arena, Addington for helpful tips and inspiration.  See www.canterburyhomeshow.co.nz for ticket details!