Lawn Care Guide
Grass lawns need attention and tending. Weeds will grow between the grasses and, if given a chance, will displace it. Broadleaf weeds such as dandelions, hydrocotyle, clover, creeping oxalis, daisies and other broad-leaf weedscan be controlled with Kiwicare's LawnPro range; general-purpose LawnPro All-in-1, Turfclean, LawnPro Prickle and Hydrocotyle and Turfclean & Green. Weed Weapon Invade Gel can be used for spot treatment of weeds in lawns. Some broadleaf weeds, like onehunga prickle weed and thistles, have prickly seeds or leaves. Pro-active treatment with LawnPro Prickle and Hydrocotyle will get rid of the prickle weeds and let your grass grow to its full potential.
Moss can be regarded as a weed but it along with liverworts and lichens have some differences from broadleaf weeds and their control needs some different strategies. LawnPro Mossclear will kill the moss and should be followed up by changing the conditions of the lawn to prevent its return.
Like all plants, the grasses in lawns are susceptible to disease caused by fungi, bacteria and viruses. Fungal disease is most common and can brown off and kill grasses or cause uneven colouration. Fungal diseases such as red thread, fusarium, brown patch can be controlled by Kiwicare fungicides. Use the Problem Solver to identify the disease in your lawn.
Lawns can be damaged and attacked by a variety of insect pests; grass grub, black beetle and porina caterpillar are among those that attack grass roots, black field crickets and armyworm will attack and eat grass leaves. LawnPro Protect Granules is a slow-release soil insecticide specifically formulated to control insects in the soil and protect lawns from insect damage.
Thatch is the dense spongy layer at the base of your lawn made up of tightly interwoven or compacted stems, leaves and roots. Lawns with excessive thatch (2 cm or more) can create an environment in which disease and insect pests thrive. Poor drainage, compacted soil and unfavourable pH can contribute to high levels of thatch.
- Apply LawnPro D-Thatch or LawnPro Turfclean & Green Rapid+ to the affected areas of the lawn. This naturally encourages the breakdown of excessive thatch by beneficial soil organisms and restores the balance of breakdown to build-up.
- Alternatively manually remove the excessive thatch by raking out the dead material with a grass rake, de-thatcher rake or mechanical scarifier.
- Then apply LawnPro Lawn Thickener to promote strong grass growth and to fill in areas where grass has been stunted.
See the article To Mulch or Not To Mulch for more advice on keeping a good level of thatch in your lawn.
Lawn grasses can fight disease best when the grasses are in good condition. That is, they are healthy, having the correct balance of nutrients, light, moisture and drainage. In autumn and spring apply an over-seeding and fertilising product such as LawnPro Lawn Thickener.
When the turfgrass plant is mowed too low, the plant no longer needs the same size of root system, and the root system is reduced to achieve a balance between the leaves (photosynthesis) and respiration. The lower the cutting height, the shallower the root system becomes. A shallow root system impairs the plant’s ability to withstand drought stress and root pruning from grass grub.
Also, cutting height influences the ability of the plant to protect itself from summer heat. The crown (growing points) of the turf grass are near the soil surface and are insulated by the mature leaves. Reducing the cutting height subjects the crowns to a greater likelihood of high-temperature injury. As a consequence, the plant may be stunted or die, and the turf gradually thins out during summer.
For most New Zealand lawns, cut the turf to a height of 4 cm as needed in winter, and to 2-3 cm on a weekly basis during spring and autumn. Mow when the grass has grown by 50%, so you don’t have to cut off more than one-third of the blade.