Top tips for creating a great lawn for your new home

A lush green carpet of lawn surrounding a home makes it seem more attractive, more impressive. But a good quality lawn can not only add to the appearance of your home, it can also increase its value and prevent soil erosion.

Here are our top tips for creating a great lawn for your new home.

Planning

When shaping a new lawn, avoid corners or peaks too narrow for mowing – use groundcovers or bark mulches instead. Plan an expanse of lawn rather than cutting up the area with little garden beds which make mowing difficult. It will also need to come up to path levels and other established points like gates, fences, pools etc. If possible, avoid very shaded positions – most grasses do not take kindly to shade under trees or beside buildings and fences

What type of lawn?

It’s important to choose a grass variety that is suitable for the climate and your soil type. And of course, its use. Is it to be just ornamental? Or will it need to stand up to children’s play and other outdoor living activities? There’s a good variety of brands and grass seed mixtures on the market to suit any situation, from hardy mixes that love direct sunlight to shade loving blinds for under trees and quiet corners.

Turf or seed?

Seeding is great for the budget conscious, but you need to be prepared to but some time and effort into establishing a thick lawn. In South East Queensland, the climate unfortunately is the worst enemy of a germinating seed. Extreme heat throughout the summer and high rainfall storms which can wash the seed away.

By far, the most effective way of establishing a great lawn is by turfing. Using this method you are essentially transplanting a healthy lawn, and with proper care it should remain that way. All the hard work has been done at the farm, and as long you have prepared the area correctly and you’re pretty handy with a hose or sprinkler, your lawn will be beautiful in a few weeks.

Site preparation

The success of your lawn depends very much on proper preparation. This includes cultivation, drainage, soil improvement and grading or levelling. As a rule of thumb, both turf and seed need a nice and deep base (100mm) of uncompacted soil. This doesn’t necessarily mean you will need to import 100mm of new soil, but just ensure that there is 100mm of quality, friable soil available to the root system of your new turf or germinating seed.

Watering

After sowing or planting, it is essential that the soil surface is continually moist using the finest of mist sprinklers – heavy watering may cause run-off and wash away some of the soil or seed resulting in patchy growth. Water twice a day to ensure that the soil does not dry out. As the grass grows, reduce watering first to once a day (about the second week), then to every second day (about the third week). Twice a week should be ample by the end of the first month with a once a week soaking after three months except in very hot and drying weather or on very light sandy soils.

Mowing

Do not begin mowing until your new grass is about 6cm high. Mower blades should be sharp and no more than one third of the grass length removed at one time, or no lower than 4cm. On future cuts, you can gradually lower the blades, but remember – longer lawns give healthier growth and look better, more luxurious.