Eden Park lawnsman reveals how to get your yard in tip-top shape this winter

Home and Garden 16/06/2020

With winter on its way, you'd think its the last time to be thinking about putting in the work in the backyard. But experts say the colder part of the year is the best time to partake in a little TLC for your lawn, getting it ready for the gatherings and backyard cricket of the warmer months. 

With Eden Park obviously the true jewel in the crown of the great Kiwi lawn, we spoke to the park's Turf Manger, Blair Christiansen, for his tips and tricks for getting that pitch-perfect look at home.

He reckons even if you don't have a green thumb, you can revamp your grass. 

"Getting your lawn in order is the perfect introduction to landscaping," says Christiansen. 

"Anyone can give it a go."

Make sure you do the prep

There are a few things to consider before getting stuck into your backyard. Whether you're wanting to turn your garden into an urban sanctuary or the perfect field for a kick-a-bout with the kids, you need to assess your lawn and get an idea for what you're working with. A lot of shade? Bad drainage? Bald patches? Uneven ground? Take note of what you're up against. 

It's all about timing

The next six weeks are the best time to whip your lawn into shape, giving it plenty of time to be revitalised by spring. If you plant now, you'll see germination within 7-10 days, then you'll start to see your new lawn come to life. If you start to see any patches, hire a soil spreader - add some grass seed to some fertiliser and scatter this across your lawn to encourage growth.

Make sure you've got the right tools for the job

The quest for the perfect lawn takes a bit more effort than a sprinkle of grass-seed. If you're starting from scratch and planning to completely overhaul your lawn, a walk around with a rotary hoe will help improve soil condition. If you're instead revamping an existing lawn, you can hire a lawn roller from somwhere like Kennards Hire to help smooth out any uneven lumps and bumps to get that perfect levelled look.

Know your ryegrass from your fescue

To make sure your turf starts out healthy it needs clean, healthy soil. When laying turf you first need to choose the type of grass. Perennial Ryegrass, Tall Fescue, and Kikuyu are three favourites, which are all hard-wearing year-round, durable and have good colour. But it's best to consult your local turf supplier as different types of grass grow well in different regions. Once planted, after around four weeks you can go back to your normal mowing routine. Mowing will improve density and your lawn will get better week after week.

Make sure it's getting the water it needs

Irrigate every day in summer when the grass is young. As it gets older you can cut back to every third day. A key rule of thumb is the younger the grass, the more frequent the irrigation. A simple garden hose will do the trick for most backyards to make sure new turf doesn't start to grow out. However, if you're currently experiencing water restrictions, don't worry about it and leave it to the rain.