Alex Dalland

With the weather heating up, now is the perfect time to prepare your lawn for the hot summers it is about to endure. Sydney Observer has some top tips, as well as advice from one of Australia’s leading gardeners and former host of ‘Burke’s Backyard’, Don Burke.

According to Burke, Lawns provide a wide range of benefits to the environment – plus societal and health benefits too. Not only do they prevent soil erosion and absorb rainwater to improve drainage, they also provide an outdoor area for play and entertainment, get kids away from their screens, reduce noise pollution, clean the air, enhance the value of your property – and they can even lessen stress and improve blood pressure.

“A healthy, attractive, weed-free lawn creates a sense of pride and community, and encourages our kids to get off their devices and spend time outdoors,” Don says.

“And lawns are an environmental powerhouse.”

Change your Mowing Height

If you live in an area where watering your lawn is not an issue, and your lawn is in good health, then you can lower your mower height for a crisp, short lawn over the summertime. If you are worried about your lawn drying out though, it is better to raise your lawnmower blades to provide better insulation from the summer heat and reduce water loss from the soil. Try to keep mowing once a week, and take around a third of the leaf off.

Use Slow-Release Fertilisers

Slow-release fertilisers not only lessen the need to water regularly, they also increase the water absorbency of dry soil. Burke is an advocate of Scotts Lawn Builder to keep lawns green while reducing the need to water.

“Research has shown that only one in four households fertilise their lawns,” Don explains.

“But with this true slow release fertiliser, Scotts has made it easy to provide proper nutrition to keep lawns green and healthy – perfect for the family to play on. It feeds your lawn for a whole season, is hosed on in just minutes – and it’s child and pet friendly, the only such product of its kind on the market.

“Plus, there’s no environment-polluting waste of excess nutrients.”

Maintain Year-round Lawn Health

Although summer is the time when your lawn will probably get the most use, it is important to look after your lawn year-round to prepare it for the hotter seasons, as well making lawn care easier during these months. Try to avoid fertilising in the peak of hot weather, as the grass will consume even more energy and deteriorate further, and remember that grasses like Buffalo and Kikuyu will generally return to green even if they go brown.

“A healthy lawn is the connective tissue that bonds neighbourhoods – physically and aesthetically – instilling a sense of collective pride and enhancing feelings of community,” Don says.

“Providing a green space for kids to play on encourages local children to interact more.”