The Importance of Lawn Care: Luke Gibbins
Whether it’s the perfectly manicured centerpiece of the landscape, a space for the family to play backyard cricket or an exercise run for the pets, the lawn is without a doubt the most important part of an Aussie garden. Growing up in Melbourne in the ‘80s, our lawn took a beating: cricket in summer and footy in the winter. I distinctly remember my Dad pulling his hair out as he tried in vain to fix the hundreds of worn, damaged and bare patches with rye and fescue seed. Whilst water wasn’t quite as expensive in those days as it is today, I’m sure he still grimaced when he got the bills for the hours spent with the hose every summer, trying to keep enough water up to his thirsty cool weather grass.
Luckily, today’s homeowners have it easier when it comes to achieving and maintaining a healthy, lush green lawn all year round. Turf growers and retailers now offer a range of summer turfs perfect for Melbourne’s varied weather conditions. Less thirsty, more hard wearing and drought tolerant than traditional cool season varieties; Sir Walter, Sir Grange, Tif Tuf Couch and Village Green Kikuyu thrive in the hot summer and are far easier on the wallet when the water bill comes in. As with all things in life, you will get back what you put it, but with appropriate lawn care these grasses will come back from winter dormancy year after year, and with minimal effort you’ll achieve one the best lawns on your block.
For those motivated by cost savings, installing an instant lawn will reward you long before your first water bill. Beneficial to anyone running short of cash after a new build or looking for reasonably priced alternative to pavers, ornamental plants or decorative gravel, instant turf represents the most inexpensive form of ground cover available. At a fraction of the price of it’s artificial counterpart, instant turf will stay cool as the temperature soars, providing a much safer space for the family while fake varieties can heat up to dangerous temperatures. This can not only be potentially harmful for children and pets, but it can contribute additional heat inside your home and – in turn - increase the need to run expensive air-conditioning and coolers.
Many turf growers this last year were hamstrung by late winter frost, which meant many varieties of turf were unavailable or in short supply before Christmas. Now, however, thanks to the hard work of dedicated and passionate turf farmers, retailers can once again supply all varieties of instant lawn in perfect condition with plenty of summer left to establish a beautiful, bright green lawn. Warm weather through February, March and April will offer the perfect conditions, so now is the time to lay your lawn. A Lawn Solutions Australia approved starter fertiliser will give your lawn the nourishment it needs and a reprieve from foot traffic will ensure it flourishes before the weather cools off. Most importantly, it will need a steady and regular supply of water early on, and nothing does this more effectively or efficiently as a professionally designed irrigation system.
Whilst ‘Sir Walter Buffalo’ and other summer turfs are considered drought-tolerant, the importance of an effective irrigation system cannot be overstated. Not only is it essential to keep your new lawn hydrated, a regular supply of water in the hot summer months is also important to keep an established lawn happy and healthy. Rain sensors and Wi-Fi irrigation controllers are just couple of products on the market that will ensure you are not using expensive tap water when it is being supplied by Mother Nature. A little TLC in the form of water, lawn products and maintenance, and your grass will thrive through the hottest Melbourne summer. In short, love your lawn and it will love you back.
With enough summer left for instant turf to take before winter dormancy, laying it now means you’ll have a beautiful, lush, green lawn ready to enjoy this spring. Whether it’s for backyard cricket, your own private putting green, a venue for busy family get-togethers, a peaceful retreat, a sculptured garden centerpiece or an exercise yard for your four legged bestie, they’ll be the perfect variety of instant turf ready to go right now. So, when you’re relaxing in your garden next year (cool drink in hand, instead of seeding patches or fretting over water usage) spare a thought for my Dad, because there’s never been a better time to enjoy your lawn.