The first 12 months is critical in establishing your new turf. All soil has weed content in it, and you would expect weeds to germinate. This is normal and once you have mowed your lawn 3-4 times you can spray your weeds using a soft herbicide like MCPA to control the broadleaf weeds in your grass. The time of year your lawn is sown will dictate the type of weeds that will germinate as soil temperature will define what weeds will establish in your lawn and turf.
Fertiliser is an important tool in establishing your new lawn or turf. Fertiliser is applied when your hydroseed or turf is put in and gives your lawn its first boost to make it germinate. It is recommended that you look at applying a second application of fertiliser 6-10 weeks after the hydroseeding or turf was put in. The timing of the fertiliser application is dependent on your soil type and base fertility. If you see your young grass going yellow this is a sign of low fertility.
Due to the lawn being newly constructed and lacking any soil structure, it will take regular fertiliser treatments for the first 12-18 months to build up the base fertility and to regain soil structure. This takes a few seasonal changes of wet then dry weather for microorganisms to re-develop. New lawns do hold water because the surface is sealed off during construction. This is short term and quickly improves over a couple of months once the grass roots get down and earth worms in habitat the soil.
When we hydroseed we put on a lot of water in the process so the watering requirements will vary depending on the time of year and the level of evapotranspiration. When watering it is important not to flood the hydroseed, watering lightly will keep the mulch damp and give you a quick germination.
Summer: We recommend watering twice a day during the summer however if you are restricted by water usage once a day will suffice it will just take longer to germinate.
Autumn: Early autumn can still be quite dry, so in order to get a good result, keep watering the lawn until you get natural rain. (twice daily is recommended).
Winter: During winter the lawn normally gets enough moisture from overnight dew to main good germination.
Spring: Equinox winds can suck the moisture out of the ground very quickly so early spring watering will be less than later in the spring as the season can change very quickly from wet to dry conditions.
If your soil is very dry, we recommended to water the soil prior to us laying the turf. After we lay the turf It can take a lot of watering for the moisture to absorb through the turf and into the soil. During the dry seasons turf can dry out very quickly so be sure to water it twice a day for the first week then you can drop it back to once a day until you get regular rainfall.
Depending on the time of the year your hydroseed or grass is sown will affect how soon you can mow your lawn. Summer, Autumn and spring lawns can establish very quickly so you can be expecting to mow your lawn in 3-4 weeks once your lawn grows to 60-80mm you can take the top off your lawn.
Summer mowing height – 70-90mm
Winter winter mowing height – 50-70mm
Ensure your blades are sharp as new grass can be sappy and lush so it can be overwhelming if the grass is growing fast. Ensure you have a mowing contractor or mower ready to go. In some situations, the grass can lie down and will not be able to spring back up if conditions are wet and the grass is lush. You may need to use a leaf rake to stand the grass up, so it does not rot. This is a short-term problem and once you have mowed the lawn a few times the grass soon hardens up.
For the best coverage and application of fertiliser it is recommended that you use a Handigreen spreader on setting No.5 or any other type of spreader at 10 grams/m2. Application rate is 20 grams/m2 or 2 kg/100m2 in total for your lawn.
To ensure good coverage and even growth with even colour spread the fertiliser in a grid pattern, walking North to South and then West to East. This will cover the area twice ensuring an even coverage.
Types of Fertiliser
There are two types of fertilisers slow and fast release. At Lawn & Turf Contracting we use a variety of four high quality fertilisers which include; Yaramila COMPLEX, CAN, DAP, FOLTEC SG 24-0-8.Â DAP is our most common fertiliser for establishing newly sown lawn in the Autumn season and coming out of the summer period. This is applied when Lawn and Turf are drilling or prepping the lawns before initial seeding is applied or soon after. This is because Phosphate is critical for root establishment and regenerating growth after the drought. It also has 17.6% Nitrogen which works well for rapid growth with the correct additional water requirements.
Yara Mila complex is used regularly on the established lawns which means the lawns that have already sprouted seed and the fertiliser is used as a capital to maintain and continue making the grass look lush and green. This fertiliser has good amounts of potassium specifically potash which is a potassium rich salt this is beneficial at keeping the plant strong and resistant to drought, disease and pests. This fertiliser also helps provide and keep approximately equal amounts of nitrogen and potassium to make for a good heathy plant and soil.
Throughout the winter periods when weather is cooler making the soil temperature low, Lawn and Turf Contracting use Yara Bela CAN. This is because this fertiliser Yara Bela CAN contains Nitrogen in the nitrate form which make it available to the plant straight away as it’s a fast release fertiliser. Most other fertiliser has Nitrogen in ammonia form which is a slow release fertiliser and the soil microorganism have to convert it to nitrate for the plant to be able to use, when the soil temperature is low the microorganism are slow to change the ammonia therefore it takes a large time period for the fertiliser to be effective compared with the fast release fertiliser which acts quickly.
Anderson DG 28-0-6 is another fertiliser that Lawn and Turf utilises because it doesn’t burn during the hotter dryer months throughout the Summer period as well as requiring little moisture to release the nutrients to the grass. It’s also 50% slow release so it stays active for 10-12 weeks where the above fertilizes have only half the active period.