The Ultimate Lawn Guide.
It is common knowledge that a well kept lawn can add a variety of benefits to your home but are you prepared to go the extra mile with the soil preparation and maintenance? Correct preparation and maintenance can be the difference of luscious greens or patchy yellow grass. The good news is that you don't have to be landscaping experts to achieve the perfect lawn. We've put together a simple easy to follow guide on all you need to know to have the best lawn on the block.
Benefits of Lawn
Need some help in deciding whether to incorporate instant lawn to your landscaping? Whilst the number one benefit of having lawn incorporated into your landscape is that it immediately adds value to your property and is an attractive feature for potential homebuyers, the benefits of lawn stretches out beyond those of aesthetic value.
- Cost Effective
It is a common misconception that instant lawn is an expensive upgrade, however, we don't look at the bigger picture. Let's compare the costs involved in the initial outlay in installing instant lawn and it's alternatives. To make it simple we've have based our calculations on 1m2:
5mm ACR (0.05m3) $2.50 + Stone Dust (0.03m3) $3.24 + Synthetic Turf (1m2) $36 = Total $41.74 p/m2
Pavers x 9 $56.25 + 20mm Road Base (0.07m3) $3.85 + Premium Washed Sand (0.03m3) $2.10 = Total $62.20 p/m2
Lawn Mix (0.1m3) $5.80 + Eureka Kikuyu (1m2) $ 9.90 = Total $15.70 p/m2
If we consider the whole area we need to cover, lets say 20m2, the relative costs involved are substantially different: Paving $1,244, Synthetic Turf $834.80 and Instant Lawn $314. Lawn is definitely the more affordable option.
On top of saved installation costs, lawn can also reduce the running costs of your home by keeping it cooler, for example, Sir Walter is 10 degrees cooler than bare soil, 20 degrees cooler than concrete and 40 degrees cooler than synthetic turf!!
However, before we dismiss synthetic turf as an option, we will need to consider both sides of the coin. Synthetic turf has its own set of pros and cons which we have outlined in Real Vs Synthetic Turf - The Battle Is On
- Increased Property Value
Time and time again, surveys and research show that homebuyers are willing to pay up to 19% more for a house with lawn. Having green lawn attracts more potential buyers which in turns increases the value of the property whether by offering people a cook place to relax on a hot day or simply by its beauty.
- Improves Air Quality
Lawn helps to filter, purify and cool air. Like plants and trees, lawn has the ability to convert carbon dioxide into oxygen and due to it having higher leaf density and faster growth rate, lawn is much more effective at reducing CO2 emissions.
Did you know: the average home lawn produces more oxygen than the world's largest tree! Now that's food for thought.
- Fosters Soil Heath
A healthy lawn improves everything around it. It's the circle of life.
- grass clippings and roots decay and feed the topsoil
- healthy grass produces oxygen and organic materials for earthworms, ants and grubs
- creates a hospitable environment for necessary organisms such as fungi, bacteria and microbes
- forms part of a healthy and balanced ecosystem
Not all turf was created equal which means that before choosing the type of turf to install, there are a few thing you will need to consider: climate, use, soil type, water requirements and maintenance levels. To help with the decision making, here's a comparison table on the different varieties below. We've also gone into more details on the different types of turf in this blog: Turf Varieties - Which is best for you?
So you've got your turf and you're ready to install. Before getting your hands dirty make sure you have all the relevant tools and materials required for the big project. Before going out to buy starter fertiliser make sure you check with your supplier. Some suppliers provide the starter with fertiliser so you could save yourself some money there. Once you're equipped with all of these, we're ready to go.
Our Step by Step Guide on Laying Instant Turf will guide you through all the steps. Remember, preparation is the first step to that perfect lawn.
Quality aftercare of your turf in the first few weeks following installation is crucial to its survival. Continued care will also ensure you have luscious lawn for many years to come.
Newly laid lawn will require plenty of water unless it has rained. Give it its first water within half an hour of it being laid, applying at least 2 -3cm of water so that the soil underneath is very wet. The aim is to keep the soil moist so that the roots can take hold.
New turf may require watering twice a day for the first week, then 2-3 times a week, and then after 3-6 weeks, once a week.
Do regular checks for weeds and pull out any that you find making sure you get the roots. Steer clear from weed spray as it will get into the soil and kill the grass along with the weeds.
Your tu[L]rf may turn slightly yellow in colour during the first few weeks, this can be natural and is no cause for concern.
Apply a slow release fertiliser.
Apply a soil wetting agent, such as Yates Waterwise Granules or Munns Wetta Lawn.
Top dress with organic compost which is basically spreading some organic compost on top of the lawn and then raking it in. You want a very thin layer on top, nothing more.
Aerate. Aeration involves perforating the soil with small holes to allow air, water and nutrients to penetrate the grass roots. This helps the roots grow deeply and produce a stronger, more vigorous lawn.
The main reason we need to aerate is to alleviate the soil compaction. Compacted soil prevents circulation of air, water and nutrients within the soil. Excess lawn thatch or heavy organic debris buried under the grass surface can also starve the roots from these essential elements.
Keep in mind that your lawn will also require a different maintenance routine based on the seasons. Check out Your Lawn Maintenance Guide For Every Season for your seasonal lawn maintenance guide.