Yesterday I had a visit from some lovely people.
Les and Daphne.
They pulled up and parked under the shade of our lovely big tree.
Roo waved a big wave, like they were her new best friends. Because everyone is Roo’s new best friend.
They hopped out of their car, and I went to greet them.
We introduced ourselves.
And then Les began to tell us all about our lawn. He pointed out that our lovely big tree was sucking the life out of the front lawn. That some previous tenant may have driven their car onto it repeatedly, because the earth looked very compacted. That we had two different kinds of grass across the lawn. And that it needed a good soaking (which sounds the equivalent of a good talking to for lawns).
“I want to turn my yard (left) into this yard(right). And house. What are my chances Les?”
It might seem odd that someone we were meeting for the first time just hopped out of his car and started telling us about our pitiful lawn.
But Les is a Lawn Whisperer by trade.
From Cowra. Cowra Turf.
He knew the history of our lawn just by looking at it.
He was like a Lawn Psychic, telling us about our Lawn’s past lives.
And he was spot on.
Daphne knew her stuff as well. Explaining that if you don’t water fertiliser in properly it just burns off. And that it’s important to use the right fertiliser.
Buying a generic fertilizer will green your lawn up, but it won’t actually feed it.
“A good fertilizer is Pivot 900, or Starter 15 OR Multi-grow which contains about :
At a rate of 1 kilo per 100 square metres.” (from Cowra Turf Website)
A good fertiliser should cost you about $40 for a 40kg bag.
When I asked what the number one mistake people made when laying new turf or trying to fix their lawns was, Les immediately answered with:
The Lawn Whisperer told me that if you prepare the ground properly, over 80% of the battle is already won.
Turf watering is also (and one would think, obviously, but hang on) important. You don’t need to water your lawn everyday. It’s not economical, or necessary. However, a good soaking once a week will do the job.
A lawn is like a man. He might not need a beer all week, but come Friday he needs to go down to the pub and drink a fair few. (I promised Daphne I wouldn’t mention who made that comment, but it wasn’t Daphne, Pal or I. Which leaves Roo and Les. Take your pick).
Also, standing in your backyard, hose in one hand, beer in the other, flicking the hose (and probably some beer) over the lawn, won’t be enough either.
Turn the sprinkler on and sit down and have your beer. The sprinkler will do a better job than you.
When you see the water begin to run off rather than soak in, turn the sprinkler off, leave it for an hour, and then turn it back on, moving around the lawn as necessary.
For most areas, doing that once a week will be more than enough to keep your lawn healthy and well watered. If the weather has been wet (like it has this summer) most lawns won’t need a lot of watering.
For those with native plants, grass won’t grow right up to the plant. Les told me that Native plants only have one predator, and that is fire. They suck the moisture out of the ground a fair way around them, because if there were grass right underneath them, then the fire would do more damage. With no grass near a native plant, the fire will basically pass right over it.
I know that when we moved into our house, we inherited a native garden that took up the entire back corner of our yard. Our yard was also practically almost all dirt apart from the native garden and a few fruit trees.
When we ripped out the natives (I know, shame!) all of a sudden we had grass growing. Magic!
It’s also important to choose the right kind of turf for your area and needs. People with kids and dogs need a hard wearing turf. They might not be the most attractive grasses, but you need them to survive the children. For more information on which kind of grass is best suited to your area and needs, I definitely recommend going and having a look at the Turf Australia and Cowra Turf websites.
Now, in conjunction with Turf Australia, I am very VERY happy to be able to offer you a very exciting and AWESOME giveaway.
I have been given a gift voucher to give you so you can go to Bunnings and buy all the things you need to get your lawn in ship-shape (including the GOOD fertiliser) for all those summer barbeques and lounging I know you are planning on doing.
The gift voucher is worth:
Use the Rafflecopter thingo to enter. If it plays up, tell me IMMEDIATELY in the comments and I will give it a good talking to. I haven’t had any problems with it, but I know some have!
**Disclosure: I received a turf consultation thanks to Turf Australia and Les and Daphne at Cowra Turf. No payment was offered nor accepted. We’re just trying to create discussion about turf in Australia. And give you stuff. Oh, and Daphne gets Blogs. She is cool. Les is working on it. Also, Les does not call himself the Lawn Whisperer. I gave him that name. Sorry Les.**
a Rafflecopter giveaway