6. Lawn Starters
For newly laid turf lawns or lawns started from seed, a lawn starter assists establishment and early growth. These products come in granular and liquid form and are highly recommended as an easy way to help ensure a good start to a new lawn.
Granular forms are usually slow release and are added to the soil before the turf goes down or applied with the lawn seed. They work within the soil and lawn for up to 12 weeks.
A liquid form is usually applied after the turf has been laid or the seed sown and are applied every week for the first six weeks.
Seasol Lawn & Turf Starter is an excellent example of a lawn starter to get your lawn off to a great start. It contains Seasol, plus highly active liquid compost to improve seed germination rates and reduce transplant shock on lawn turf.
It promotes strong root development, healthy green growth and reduces stress from heat, drought, frost and foot traffic. Boosted with highly active liquid compost it helps to improve soil health, moisture retention and nutrient uptake.
TIP Ensure your newly sown seed or new turf is kept moist at all times. Long, deep watering ensures that the roots grow down into the soil.
Step 3 – How to apply lawn fertilisers
All fertilisers come with instructions and application rates that need to be followed carefully. Over fertilising can result in burning your lawn, while excess fertilisers also leach into waterways, which damages the environment.
Most granular fertilisers, including dynamic ones, need to be watered in immediately after application to avoid burning the lawn. Watering in also activates the fertiliser and, in the case of Powerfeed LawnFeed, the beneficial soil microbes.
Applying when it’s about to rain or even when it is raining saves time and water. An even coverage gives a balanced, even feed and growth. Spreading by hand is okay but using a fertiliser spreader ensures even application. Spreaders are available as small, handheld units or as larger units on wheels. Spreaders can be adjusted to vary the amount of fertiliser being delivered.
Pelletised, organic fertilisers generally require more volume than synthetic, granular or dynamic fertilisers, 100g per square metre for example is a fairly standard application rate. Otherwise the same application principles above apply for pelletised fertilisers. Ensure even coverage for even growth. Sweep any excess pellets off hard surfaces such as paving and driveways to avoid staining. Water in well after application or apply during rain to save time and water.
Most liquid fertilisers come in a hose-on bottle to click onto the hose. To apply, turn the tap to medium pressure then spray onto the lawn. They are quick and easy to use and can be reused many times. To re-use, fill up with 1 part concentrate and 3 parts water or as directed on the bottle.
If required, hose-on can be diluted for watering can use at the rate of 80 mL per 9L of water. Regular fortnightly or monthly applications promotes a healthy, lush, green lawn. Hose-on products should not be used if it is raining or rain is imminent and always wash off any surfaces to avoid possible staining.
Step 4 – When to apply lawn fertiliser
Fertilisers are designed to provide the necessary nutrients to support lawn growth throughout the growing season from spring to autumn. So, it makes sense to apply from the beginning of spring and continue until mid-late autumn to keep the lawn in top condition.
How much fertilising is needed largely depends on soil quality and the nutrients it contains that are readily available for the lawn. Fast-draining sandy soils for example leach water and nutrients very quickly so sandy soils need regular watering and fertilising. The trick is to get the balance right to avoid wasting water and fertiliser.
Over doing fertiliser applications means excess fertiliser leaches through the soil into waterways, which is a waste of money and bad for the environment. It is better to lower the application rate slightly but increase frequency.
If you’re blessed with the perfect loam your lawn will still benefit from the tailored nutrients found in high quality dynamic fertilisers like PowerFeed LawnFeed with the big three nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium plus trace elements, beneficial microbes and added seaweed. By all means experiment a little to see what works best to get a high-performance lawn that’s the envy of your neighbour.
Step 5 – Seasonal recommendations.
At the beginning of spring use a dynamic fertiliser such as Powerfeed LawnFeed and water in. Alternatively use Seasol Lawn + Soil Booster for more soil-based improvements and a dynamic fertiliser to really get things moving. Follow this up with Seasol and/or PowerFeed liquid feeds every two weeks.
As things heat up, your lawn is subject to more stress from heat. Warm-season grasses such as buffalo, couch, kikuyu and zoysia, will be growing at their optimum levels. Cool-season lawn grasses such as fescue and ryegrasses, need additional water to keep them growing through summer. Lawn growth benefits from extra nutrients so keep the fertilising rates up to the spring regime. Applying Seasol helps alleviate the environmental stresses experienced by lawns during summer.
Continue the feeding program into autumn. A good feed late in the season gives lawns a boost prior to winter when warm-season lawns go into varying states of dormancy. Feeding cool-season grasses at this time helps to boost their growth into winter.
During winter, when lawns are dormant, regularly apply Seasol to maintain a strong immune system and healthy soil