Lawn tips from a lawn fanatic
You may think you like grass, but you’re not Ben Sims!
Ben’s lawn is a sight to behold; a green, unblemished carpet of perennial rye grass lovingly cut to the millimetre — looking top notch even now in winter!
Ben works as a greenkeeper at the Orange Ex-Services Country Club Golf Course, but his passion for lawn care has seen him start his own side business, providing customised plans and advice for people wanting the best out of their lawn.
“I don’t know why I love it; I just like making grass look good, shmick!” said Ben.
Although this wasn’t always the case.
“No, I didn't like it at all! I used to mow my lawn with a whipper snipper before I worked out at the golf course, I used to hate mowing lawns, but now… I don’t know, I really enjoy it.”
And you would want to enjoy it, given that Ben runs the mower over his own grass three times a week, but the results speak for themselves.
“I wouldn’t go mow someone else’s lawn, I'm not keen on that, but my own grass… I take a bit of pride in it. I don’t do it to show it off, I just enjoy getting out here and spending time on it,” he said.
Two years ago, Ben started putting up a few lawn care videos on his YouTube channel Lawn Tips. The channel has rapidly grown in popularity to nearly 35,000 subscribers all over the world.
“My wife was sick of me talking about grass to her, so I figured I needed to talk to someone else about it and from there, it sort of just grew!” said Ben.
“Honestly, I hoped I’d get a free bag of fertiliser maybe and that's about it, but it just went crazy for me. And it has stretched across the world now which is just nuts!
“I sell products and I do consultation plans, lawn plans video calls across the world — the UK, the USA, I've got a few guys in South Africa.”
Given Ben’s expertise when it comes to lawn care, we thought we’d pick his brains for some advice on how we can all get our lawns looking their best.
Tip number 1: Water properly (taking into consideration water restrictions)
“Don’t overwater,” said Ben. “People think you have to water every single day of the week, but it is not the case. You can get away with once a week, twice a week, maybe, in Summer, just by giving a deep water. But here, I haven't watered since the Level 4 water restrictions came in in April.”
Tip number 2: Regular mowing
“You need to be mowing at least once a week. I'm mowing three times a week here, but at least once a week. As soon as you start cutting once a month you just stress your lawn out. If all you do is just start cutting once a week, you will find your lawn will improve dramatically within three or four months.”
Tip number 3: Get on a good fertiliser program
“Fertilise every eight to ten weeks. Now, I could go crazy in depth on fertilisers, but you want to look at something that is slow release. A lot of people love urea, which greens your lawn up pretty quick and gives a quick shot of growth, but it is not healthy for your lawn. You want to look at something that is going to feed it for eight to ten weeks instead of two weeks.”
Tip number 4: Keep on top of weeds and be safe
“Make sure you always read labels, because different grass types can't handle certain herbicides — like Buffalo for example, you get the wrong herbicide and you can completely decimate your lawn. I've seen people do that so many times,” said Ben.
“And if you are going to spray weeds, get some advice and use protection. Herbicides can be dangerous, and you want to make sure you get something that's safe for your kids, your pets and yourself as well.”
You can find Ben’s Lawn Tips videos on YouTube, follow him on Facebook or visit lawntips.net