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News & Tips for Sept 2018


News & Tips for Sept 2018 name

This month I am going to talk lawns, because traditionally this is the month to start sowing or fixing the lawn, even though the soil is still a bit on the cold side. Ideally, soil should be around 13 degrees or more when sowing lawn seed, (presently it's sitting around 12 degrees in Auckland). Anything much lower and you are just feeding the birds (unless you use Newtons premium seed) which means you should wait a couple more weeks before you throw the seed down. However, if you are really itching to get out there, your time is best spent in preparation which I admit is boring, but entirely necessary for success - a bit like a marathon really!

These are the things you can do now:

  • Get rid of the weeds - pull them out if you can. If not, find the most environmentally friendly spray available.
  • Rake and scarify to make sure you have a good seedbed.
  • Put lots of gypsum down if you have clay. Clay soil and turf grass are NOT compatible. You must have at least 100mm of topsoil on top of the clay if you want even a chance of happy grass.
  • Figure out what sort of seed you need. As a rule, rye grasses don’t thrive in the shade but are good for full sun, but fescues can tolerate both. On the other hand, rye grasses are generally easier to grow. Just put the right seed down for your situation. If you are in doubt, talk to or email

This year in anticipation of Spring, Newtons have started a trial vegetable garden. With the space for the garden very kindly lent to us by close family members, we can more easily trial new vegetable seeds, fertilisers and horticultural methods and pass on the results of those to you - and of course ensure hopefully a reasonable supply of vegetables for ourselves and our staff. Keep an eye out for my blog which starts next month documenting the development and progress of the garden.  

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