Lawn tasks in March
Lawns had a hard time over the prolonged school holidays, with beaches and other recreational areas being closed. They were robustly used for playing on and some were also covered with portable plastic swimming pools – something that leaves a big yellow footprint after a week or two. Summer also causes other problems, like animal abuse, heat and drought, thatch buildup, weed infestation and insects that attack a stressed lawn. Time to fix it with these lawn tasks!
- Keep the surface clear
The first of our lawn tasks is to rake the surface with a lawn rake to loosen the thatch that may have built-up from mowing often without a grass box. A thick thatch prevents rain from penetrating properly, inhibits the spreading of grass roots and encourages diseases. Autumn leaves will also start falling soon: it is okay for them to fall into beds but not on the lawn, so rake weekly to remove leaves that are more useful on the compost heap.
- Aerate by spiking
Although spring is the main season to aerate and scarify runner lawns like kikuyu, early autumn is also a good time to spike a tired lawn with a fork to curb soil compaction and help with aeration. For sandy spots that are water-repellent and difficult to hydrate, leaving you with dry patches, use soil conditioners like EcoBuz Humigro, Makhro Biosoil and Wonder Organic Vita-Boost Vermicompost.
- Deal with weeds
Control broad-leaved weeds with selective herbicides like Efekto’s No-Weed Lawn RTU or Banweed MCPA, by either spot spraying or performing a full cover spray in severe cases.
- You have to fertilise now
To strengthen your lawn before the onset of cold weather and to help it recover from summer hardships, it should be fertilised now with a slow-release product (try Atlantic Bio Ganic) that is high in potassium to promote strong cells, and phosphates for renewed root growth. Irrigate the lawn deeply before and after fertilising it, and try to keep everyone off it for a day or two.
- Curb termites
The last of our lawn tasks is to curb termites! Harvester termites can cause deterioration of lawns that have dry patches and dead material, usually during a dry summer and autumn. Regular watering, fertilising and mowing more often with the blades set high can result in strong foliage growth and healthy coverage, which will suppress their activities. But if the problem arises, you can use a bait to control foraging harvester termites. Wood-eating termites can also attack plants or structures made of wood. Try to expose the tunnel entrances to their nests and use an organic insecticide to drench them. You can treat with ready-to-use Efekto Kamikaze or use Efekto Plant Protector to eradicate nests.