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Brett Youlten

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Mulching Tips

Organic mulches, especially uncomposted types such as leaf litter and pine bark, can take nutrients, mainly nitrogen, from the soil for a short period. To reduce this problem, add a layer of lucerne or spread an organic fertiliser on the soil before mulching.

• Always remove weeds before laying your mulch.

• Try to water before and after mulching. Or try to mulch when soil is wet from rain, or when rain is expected.

"I actually put the hose into the opened bag of mulch and let it run for 30 secs or so, this allows the water to absorb into the mulch nicely."

Mowing in Winter

In winter lawn growth will decrease substantially. As a guide, your lawn should only need to be mowed about once every three or four weeks.

Growing rates vary between different grass types such as couch and kikuyu, but we recommend that the lawn height doesn't exceed 5-6cm as your lawn may become "stalky" and be far less pleasing on the eye.

It's wise not to cut your grass lower than 2.5cm. The big risk of mowing low is "scalping" which browns your grass. Scalp your lawn repeatedly and you risk weakening it, allowing more weeds and diseases to take hold.

Handy Tips

When mowing your lawn do so in a pattern, back and forth overlapping each time.Use the half-pass trick, every pass overlap the area you've already mowed by half the width of your lawnmower. The lawn-mowing movement is smoother (less grass to cut in each pass) and you will cut anything missed the first time.

On sloped areas when using a push mower, try to mow across the slope if possible as this will prevent accidents.

Mow with sharp blades and sharpen your mower blades after every 10 hours of use. It will give a cleaner cut.