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Buffalo Lawn Care
How To Have A Healthy Lawn From Day 1
A Healthy Lawn Begins With The Soil...
You're here because you want to learn how to have a healthy lawn right?. The very first thing you need to understand is that developing a healthy lawn from day 1 all depends upon your soil.
If the soil under the turf is good, you'll have a healthy lawn for many years into the future. For best growth, turf grass needs just four things (within the proper balance) to grow... and they are sunlight, air, water and nutrients.
Reduce any of these, or provide extra amounts of any one, and the grass may suffer or simply die, but with the right proportions, your lawn will flourish.
Grass obtains three of these four essential factors (air, water and nutrients) from the soil, but some soils are less than ideal for growing grass. Some soils contain an excessive amount clay and may be very compacted... ideal for roads, bad for grass, because air and water aren't available to the roots and the roots can't grow.
Other soils can have too much sand... beautiful on a beach, but hard to grow grass because water and nutrients won't stay in the root zone for long enough for the plant to use.
Another frequently observed issue with many soils is that its pH (the degree of acidity or alkalinity) is too high or too low for optimum grass growth. So getting the soil right is important. Idealy you'd get the existing soil checked by a soil scientist, and he would inform you of what it needs, but this is not always practical (though it is feasible). Simply google soil laboratories and you'll find one.
In addition to getting advice from a soil scientist, there basic methods that can be employed to prepare the soil. Determining the correct method depends on budget, and of course the condition of the soil in the first place.
First you have to kill any existing grass or weeds with Glyphosate. Sprying once will kill most things, however if you can, a follow up spray a couple of months later is going to make sure virtually everything is dead. Before Spraying be certain the weeds and undesirable grass is healthy, it even helps to water a few times before spraying to make sure of it. Round Up works better if the weeds are growing well.
When you're lucky enough to have good soil, just hire a subcontractor who has a tractor rotary hoe, or hire a small one from a rental company to loosen the soil bed to a minimum of 100mm, and a max of 200mm. When the soil is too hard water it well on the evening before. After rotary hoeing rake out any dead foliage if it is required, and level the ground.
If the soil is a clay type, or a sandy type, or relatively poor in other ways, buy in some organic soil conditioner. Use at least 2 cubic metres per 100 square metres. Spread this over the soil. If it happens to be a clay type use Gypsum as well. Use a rotary hoe to combine this well into the ground, and then rake the ground smooth.
Hiring a skid steer to perform the work is another method. If you prefer to get a contractor to do the preparation, this makes life easier. Make certain that the operator rips the existing soil well first, loosening the base. A hard compacted sub soil is the last thing a lawn needs.
Then order 7 cubic metres of good quality organic soil blend per 100 square metres or ground. Always make sure it has a decent amount of organics in it. Spread this with the skid steer, making sure the finish is smooth. In some areas you may need to rake smooth with the back or front of a rake.
Turf is the safest and best way to install a lawn. Laying turf is absolutely easy. Seeding only works well in places like Tasmania where cool climate turf like Fescue is used. For Warm climate turf like Buffalo no seed is available, and for Couch and Kikuyu, the seed germinates very slowly ,and is difficult to get a good result from.
Simply lay one roll around the outside and then fill in the area with the turf all going one way. Patch up any gaps, roll the lawn if you're able to, and water in well. On hot days water the turf in sections as you lay it. Don't fertilise till a month after the turf is laid. University research proves that turf receives no benefit from fertiliser until a month after laying. Then utilize a good slow release type.
For the first 2 weeks the lawn cannot dry out. On a hot day in summer that may mean watering 3 times per day, or on a milder day once per day. After 2 weeks watering can often be reduced to every 2nd or 3rd day.