Wide open spaces of lawns are lovely, but they take plenty of work and resources. They don’t just happen. In Australia, we’ve the added complication of hot dry summers which most lawns don’t like. Lawns need plenty of water, nutrients and time. Lawns are cooling, help us relax psychologically during summer and really are a great destination for a sit and have fun. Our kids and pets love lawns, especially to roll and play on.
Many gardeners dream of a soft green lawn but don’t understand what maintenance techniques are involved to make this happen look. This informative article will allow you to into the tricks of the trade and assist you to develop a beautiful green lawn.
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There are two types of grasses cool season and warm season and they both have good and bad points. Cool season grasses such as bent, rye or fescue like temperatures between 10-20C and have two growth periods – autumn and spring. They are lovely and green over winter but they often go brown over summer. It’s difficult to help keep them green over summer and they might require plenty of water. They’ve a finer leaf, aren’t as robust while the warm seasons grasses and don’t seem to get involved with as much trouble of warm season species. Cool season grasses multiply by seed or by producing more tillers around the very first shoot that arises from the seed. A tiller is the new side growth, right close to the parent plant.
Warm seasons grasses such a buffalo, couch and kikuyu like warmer temperatures (20-30C) and often die down over winter in colder areas. They like tropical humid conditions and keep their colour over summer. They are drought tolerant and can tolerate neglect. But they are very vigorous and get can enter into all kind of mischief. Warm season’s grasses spread by stolons and/or rhizomes. Rhizomes are in reality compressed stems and among the big draw backs of these types of grasses are they grow beneath the ground into your flower beds. Underground runners are very difficult to obtain rid off while they constantly grow back. Warm season grasses are much coarser and may be prickly to sit on. They tend to build up thatch over time.
Much like all plants, the roots need oxygen and compaction is usually the major problem with lawns. Compaction is once the soil particles are pushed together and the moisture and oxygen can’t penetrate the soil. This often happens in high traffic areas like the road to the clothes line. Compaction causes the grass to struggle and weeds to thrive as weeds can cope with soils with low oxygen. Compaction also causes bad drainage, preventing the water from soaking into the top soil and moving down profile. Puddles are due to either the pore spaces being high in water, or the particles are so closely packed together, the water can’t filter through. The grass literally drowns while there is no oxygen!