Helpful Tips

Below are some useful lawn care tips, tricks, and ideas on what is possible for your lawn.  We've also covered a few common lawn problems and their solutions in our Problem Solving section. 
Feel Free to contact us with any other questions if you don't quite get the answer you're looking for below.

Tips from Lorne the Lawn Guy

Lawn Mowing Tips

Mow your lawn frequently and when it is dry.  Weekly during growth periods is best, but aim to never remove more than 1/3 of the leaf.

Raise your mower height: 40 - 60mm will help keep your lawn healthy and requires less water.  Don't be afraid to set your mower at its highest setting - this is especially important during Summer.

Remove the clippings and change your mowing direction.

Keep those lawn mower blades sharp - it's better for your lawn. 

It's important to note that you should not mow your lawn if it is under severe heat stress. See our watering tips below to identify signs of heat stress in your lawn.

Watering Tips

Water your lawn deeply in the morning, allow it to dry out for a few days.  This is better than daily light watering.

All lawns are different and dry out at different rates.  Look for signs of heat stress, such as rapid change of colour as this can be an important sign to show that it is thirsty.

If your lawn develops dry brown patches, it can be recovered by deep watering.  For other information on dry patches in your lawn, see our problem-solving section

Use your garden fork to punch holes into dry spots to help the water get to where it needs to go.

Wetting agents can be used to help manage dry areas.

Do not mow your lawn if it under severe heat stress.  The higher height is vital during Summer

Dethatching

Thatch is what we call decaying leaves and roots that form a layer restricting air, light, and water from penetrating the soil. 

Regular de-thatching, especially during Spring & Autumn, is great for your lawn and will help our products perform at their best.

De-thatching, or scarifying as it is also known is more important for some grasses (fine fescue, browntop) than others (rye, tall fescue) as it removes unwanted organic matter, including moss and it provides a great opportunity to oversow your lawn with fresh grass

Autumn & Winter Care

Autumn & Winter are times when not much attention is given to your lawn, but while you're snuggled up in front of the fire, your poor lawn is out there in the wind and rain. 

Here are a few things you can do to look after your lawn during these seasons:

  • Mowing through Winter is important in order to keep the lawn clean & healthy
  • Sharp blades are essential, this ensures a clean cut and helps to minimise fungal infection
  • Catch clippings and mow when dry - never cut too short
  • Rake up fallen leaves to mimise shading, if leaf litter is left on the lawn the underlying grass will become weak giving rise to thinning of desired species
  • Ensure your irrigation systems are turned off.  It is a good idea to have your irrigation system serviced prior to next season
  • Grass browning off in patches is a common sight at this time of year, this could be disease breakouts.  Fungal sprays, curative and prevention are always good practice to keep the grass healthy

Soil Type & Structure

The top soil of your lawn is a living mantel of soil microbia that live in the organic matter, processing and transporting nutrients to the roots of the lawn grasses.  The depth and type (sand, silt, loam etc) will determine the correct management regime for your lawn. 

The subsoil beneath is also important as the porosity (drainage) will have a big effect on the leaching of nutrients or water-logging in some situations.

A LawnFix appraisal will identify what your lawn soil is all about - depth, compaction, organic matter, structure, subsoil and if necessary we collect samples and send them to a laboratory for nutrient status testing.

Each lawn is unique, it is often a mistake to conclude that it is the same as your neighbours.

Moisture Levels

Sandy soils dry out faster than clay soils (which are at the other end of the scale).  All plants will suffer from drought and die if there is no water.  Whatever the soil type, most localities will suffer droughts. Your lawn and valuable garden plants are at risk.  Drought tolerant weeds snuff out weaker grasses and in a flash your lawn is in a shambles.

If you notice that your lawn is starting to change colour it is unfortunately already too late. With a LawnFix Fully Automatic Irrigation System you can holiday at the beach and forget about it for weeks on end.


Problem Solving 

Let us help you solve your lawn problems.  Please feel free to contact us with any query if it is not listed below

Why do I have grassy weeds or large clumpy grasses on my lawn?

The appearance of unwanted grass types is referred to as a presence of foreign grasses.  Foreign grass is a wild form of grass that invades lawns and spoils the even and consistent colour and texture.  Common foreign grasses found in the lawn are Poa Annua, Summer Grass, Crow foot, Paspalum, and Twitch.

How do I get rid of invasive, persistent weeds?

Weed seeds embedded in new topsoil, carried by the wind and in bird droppings are invariably a threat to the health and appearance of your lawn if left unchecked.  Unsightly, invasive weeds can choke the desired grass species whilst others, such as the prickly Onehunga weed are a plain nuisance and spoil the enjoyment of your lawn.  In warmer areas Kikuyu grass can be highly invasive and is difficult to control.

Complete area spraying and removal of dead tendrils is often the only way to overcome this problem.  Our technicians can identify problem weeds in your lawn and create a spray programme to eliminate most of them.  Our exclusive "Lawn Doctor" machine applies selective sprays without spray drift.

Flat weeds love short grasses and thrive in it - Moss also is much more invasive in closely cut areas.  If you mow your lawns longer, it doesn't mean more often, but it does mean less weeds and healthier grass.  Keep your mower blades sharp, this will ensure you don't end up "tearing your grass off"

Why do I have dry dead or brown patches on my lawn?

There are various causes of dead patches in your lawn.  It is often an indication of burrowing insect pests destroying the root systems. Differing soils and climates can also encourage pests, which if left untreated will ruin your lawn. There are many types of lawn pests, including Grass Grub, Porina and Black Beetle. They strike at different times of the year and they can devastate a good lawn in a few weeks.

Your LawnFix technician is trained in the identification and eradication of insect pests. We can provide you with a prevention programme or can deal to the little beasts if they are already at work.

Another cause of brown patches are fungal diseases.  Some diseases just turn up unexpectedly – brown patches or reddish veins through the grass may appear. Often greyish dull areas also become evident – fungal diseases often create these symptoms and require identification and specific treatment. Some lawn diseases are due to malnutrition and the lawn requires little more than regular feeding.  Contact us for a free appraisal of your lawn.

If you use a mulching mower be careful that the thatch doesn’t build up too much as this can also cause hydrophobic or dry patches – a correctly balanced fertiliser programme will help prevent this and take into account mulching or catching mowing.

How do I prevent lawn flooding & puddles?

If this is happening on your lawn, there isn’t much you can do about it in the short term, other than making sure your drains and sinkholes are clear and free of debris.
Good drains and leveling out hollows will help prevent puddles in the future.