Is your law the pride of the neighbourhood?

RENOVATE: Wodonga TAFE third year turf management students Joe Bolton, Wodonga Race Club, Temeka Butterfield, Wodonga TAFE and Josh Hill, Wodonga Golf Club, prepare a scarifier for renovations.

RENOVATE: Wodonga TAFE third year turf management students Joe Bolton, Wodonga Race Club, Temeka Butterfield, Wodonga TAFE and Josh Hill, Wodonga Golf Club, prepare a scarifier for renovations.

Does your lawn have soil compaction, worn areas, weed invasion, excessive thatch or uneven surfaces? Maybe it’s time to start looking at your lawn and plan a renovation strategy.

Your plan should consider the type of renovation your lawn requires.

Thatch (a loose layer of organic matter that develops on the soil surface) slows water infiltration into the soil, preventing efficient watering and can cause scalping, especially if the mowing height is lowered at any time.

Thatch causes a separation between the soil and the living grass, meaning the crown, stems, rhizomes and even roots are elevated so they will be prone to damage. This occurs more so in grass types such as couch, kikuyu and buffalo.

A scarifier is the machine used to remove thatch, with the blades set just into the soil level.

Depending on the thickness of the thatch the scarifier may need to go over the lawn in two directions. If this is necessary, you need to rake up and remove the material before you go in the second direction.

By reducing the thatch you can reduce pest and disease issues, improve soil infiltration, improve surface firmness and improve the cutting of your lawn.

Soil compaction leads to poor surface water infiltration, this can usually be rectified by aeration.

Hollow tine coring is a great method to relieve compaction. It removes a core of soil, which can be raked up and removed. The empty core holes are very handy for brooming in solid additives, such as lime, organic fertiliser or a coarser sand if required. Most of us think about aeration in regard to allowing water to move deeper into the soil profile. Whether you spike or core your lawns you are also allowing air into the soil and with wet conditions this is just as important.

Topdressing (spreading and raking of sand) will fill the core holes and level out those uneven areas and also stimulate growth.

If you have worn areas due to high traffic, or very active pets, you can spread the wear by placing barriers, this will prevent the same path being used all the time. Prevention is easier than cure.

Diary dates

Sunday, October 23:  Burrumbuttock Flower Show, 11am – 4pm and open gardens,  9.30am – 4pm. Morning tea and lunches, market stalls at the Burrumbuttock Hall. Three open gardens, $5 per venue – ‘Granite Hill’ and ‘Thurso’, Urana Road, and ‘The Elms’, Walla West Road. Look for the giant daisies and yellow flags at each property. Wodonga TAFE’s Alister Rhook will be a guest speaker at ‘Thurso’ at 11.30am.

Mick Dove is a Sports Turf Management teacher at Wodonga TAFE.

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