Summer Survival Skills
Victa’s Summer Lawn Survival Tips: 4 ways to mow like a pro
Summer is the time your lawn sees the most use by pets, family events and for this reason summer lawn care is especially important. Growing grass in the summer is faster than the cooler months and this gives different considerations when planning to have your summer garden looking its best.
These summer lawn care tips will give you a great start but head to our full Lawn Care Guide for more information.
1. Mow Before the Heat of the Day
For the best summer lawn cut, mow mid-to-late morning after the dew has evaporated. If you’re fortunate to have had some rain, wait at least a day before mowing to achieve a straight cut. Growing grass in the summer is dependent on balancing nourishment, manicuring, and growth.
2. Don’t scalp your lawn
“Scalping” means mowing off one-third of the grasses height making your summer lawn less able to cope with hot, dry weather. Mowing your lawn too short reduces its root system, which in turn prevents it from growing strong and healthy. For a luscious lawn, a general rule of (green) thumb is not to mow more than one-third of the total leaf surface at any given time. Grass about 8cm tall usually looks better, encourages a deeper root system, and helps prevent invasive weeds from spreading. This might mean mowing every four to five days during the summer months when growth is at its most rapid.
3. Switch Up your Lawn Mowing Route
Mow different patterns into your lawn in consecutive mowing sessions to avoid putting unnecessary strain on your mower and causing grass to grow in the same direction – and eventually falling flat. Summer lawns need a workout just like people do. Changing things up and mowing on a diagonal instead of in straight lines can do wonders to encourage healthy grass growth in the summer.
4. Sharpen your Lawn Mower Blades and Tune Up Your Mower
A sharp lawnmower blade keeps your lawn looking better while helping your mower to run more efficiently. For a professional service, contact your nearest Victa Gold Dealer. You can also achieve a cleaner cut quicker with a new blade, especially in the warm summer months.
Sharp mower blades are vital for growing grass in the summer as it allows your grass to heal quicker and gives a neater look; a dull lawn mower blade rips the grass, giving an untidy, frayed look and gives a yellow appearance as well as being more vulnerable to diseases.
Furthermore, a properly serviced mower will do the job quicker and more efficiently, decreasing wear and tear and increasing the time you spend enjoying your lawn rather than maintaining it. To get the most out of your mower, Victa has a number of maintenance tips on its website (www.victa.com.au).
It's important to keep your mower tuned and serviced correctly as grass in summer needs a clean cut, a mower that's not performing properly can tear and frey your growing grass in summer.
Summer Garden Tips: 4 Steps to a Healthy Garden
1. Feed Your Garden
Organic Matter Plants growing in soil which contains a high percentage of organic matter grow larger and more vigorously, and tend to be more resistant to pests and diseases. Organic matter, which has that loose, crumbly texture, also acts as a sponge, soaking up extra water and releasing it during dry conditions. Dig the organic matter into your garden with a pitchfork, or spread it on the surface and let the worms do the work for you. You'll notice how much more healthy your summer garden becomes, even during the harshest of warm seasons!
2. The Magic of Mulch
Mulch is an essential element in a healthy summer garden as it protects the soil and roots of your plants from the harsh summer sun. Mulching keeps the roots cool, adds organic matter to the soil as it breaks down (unless you use inorganic mulch like pebbles or gravel), and conserves moisture by helping to prevent both soil and plants from drying out prematurely during those hot, rain-starved days. After removing weeds from your garden bed, use chunky bark (for trees and ornamental shrubs) or straw mulch (fruit trees and vegie beds), leaving some space around the tree base to avoid rot from developing.
3. Weed before Seed
Many weeds flower and set seed earlier in their growth cycle when the rains taper off, making it important to remove them as soon they emerge. You can also create inhospitable conditions for weed seed to germinate by mulching bare ground and restricting your watering to the areas directly around the plants rather than waving the hose around the garden indiscriminately. For more information about weeding, read Victa's weed control guide.
4. Watering the Garden
Install a sub-soil or sub-mulch drip-line watering system and connect it to a computerized timer set to turn on a couple of times a week in the early morning to give your summer garden the moisture it needs to quench its thirst. Make sure to read the manufacturer's instructions before you install it as too much water pressure can cause the system to fail. Early summer is a good time to replace the batteries in your automatic tap timers and clear leaf litter from the trap on your rainwater tank.