Garden: Don't jump the gun over lawn

Grass needs to be actively growing and mown before applying fertiliser.

Grass needs to be actively growing and mown before applying fertiliser.

Hedges of Golden Duranta (foreground) and Murraya (background).

Hedges of Golden Duranta (foreground) and Murraya (background).

PRE-SPRING days often spur lawn lovers into premature action.

When rain is predicted males especially love to throw around fertiliser. But wait, don't feed the grass yet.

Unless the lawn is actively growing and being mown the fertiliser won't be absorbed, wasting time and money.

The first job to be done at this time of year is the elimination of weeds before fertilising.

Selecting a weedkiller should be done carefully as there are many products available - this choice is definitely a job for your local nursery where advice can be given.

For example, although Kleen Lawn is a great product it can't be applied to buffalo.

I am sometimes asked for weed and feed products which really only eliminate a small amount of weeds.

It is easy to apply but I consider it a band-aid treatment when the lawn is full of broadleaf weeds and bindii.

It is more efficient to eliminate weeds and then apply a good quality fertiliser.

The beauty of having grass around our homes is the cooling effect it gives.

A lawn provides a place for relaxation and, most importantly, grass absorbs moisture where concrete or paving can cause run-off problems during storms.

Let the lawn dry out a little between watering to let air in and stimulate root development - watering every day will yield a shallow root system.

A good soaking once or twice a week is better - on extremely hot days don't neglect watering.

When the growing season begins in spring Searles Flourish for Green and Growth is a great foliant fertiliser to apply every seven to 14 days to give instant greening, especially to neglected patches where army grub attacked at the end of last summer.

WHAT'S ON

■ Maitland & Coalfields District Orchid Society will be holding an Orchid Display at St James Church hall at Morpeth from August 22 to 24, 9am to 5pm daily.

■ The Hunter Valley African Violet Society will be holding a meeting this Sunday, August 24 when an experienced grower from Sydney will be speaking at the Adamstown Club.

Judy Sharpe

Judy Sharpe

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