Move mower up a notch to reduce grass sunburn


By GEOFF MIERS

Christmas is for kicking back and relaxing but not when good rains provide ideal growing conditions: Close that book, switch off Netflix and embark on that first New Year’s resolution, shovel in hand.

Lawn, pest and disease and weed management all should be given immediate and continued priority.

Lawns will need regular mowing, a careful eye needs to be kept for lawn grubs and the lawn will benefit by being given a feed.

Lawn grass growth rates in response to the recent rains and humid conditions demand that most lawns will need to be mowed at least once every seven to 10 days. I’ve been watching the lawn across the road and it was mowed five days before Christmas and is now desperate for a mow.

Lawns allowed to get too long and then mowed are likely to burn and brown off, subsequently dying back and spoiling the previous appearance of a most healthy lawn.

Consider raising the lawn mower one notch to slightly increase the height of the grass. This increased height will limit potential sun damage particularly after mowing.

Lawns allowed to grow unchecked will promote an increased likelihood of lawn grubs as the moth is encouraged to lay eggs in the long grass.

While keeping lawns regularly mowed a careful watch should be kept for the presence of African Black Beetle and the Army or Lawn Grub. Both can devastate even w

ell maintained lawns.

The secret is to break the breeding cycles. If grubs or beetle are present mow the lawn, give it a good deep watering and then spray with an appropriate chemical and refrain from watering for two to three days.

The author at the 2015 Show.

Alternatively you may sprinkle a dry granular lawn grub control pesticide over the lawn and water it in well.

Try watering after application for 20 minutes to dissolve the chemical and allow the chemical to kill off any army worm in the thatch just above the surface and any Pasture Cock Chafer grubs that look like witchetty grubs that maybe just below the surface. 

Leave for two hours and then water again for at least another half hour allowing the chemical to penetrate deeper into the soil. The African Black Beetle also look like a witchetty grub that can be at least 20 cms into the soil thus you need to get the chemical down that far.

Ten to 14 days after the first spray or application of a dry granular chemical follow the same procedure as detailed above. 

This should provide adequate control for at least 10 to 12 weeks when if conditions are favourable for beetles and grubs it maybe necessary to repeat this procedure.

Lawn grasses will benefit by being given a feed if not fed since spring, more so since we have had so much rain that can leach out necessary much needed nutrients.

If given a complete NPK fertiliser in spring an application of a high nitrogen fertiliser like Sulphate of Ammonia should be sufficient. This will green up the lawn and promote healthy growth more able to resist mild outbreaks of pest and disease.

If you failed to feed the lawn in spring apply a complete NPK lawn fertiliser to promote strong root, stem and leaf growth.

December allows for some planting of vegetables and flowering annuals and more so this year with the mild moist conditions, however be warned temperatures can quickly rise and undoubtedly there is much hot weather ahead.

Personally I would devote my time initially to managing juvenile weed species quickly emerging and eradicating them from the garden.

Secondly I would manage any erosion issues arising from the four inches of rain we had just prior to Christmas and lastly I would concentrate on preparing the soil for planting in the vegetable, herb and flowering annual garden beds. 

If you are keen on planting now don’t forget any plants being introduced into the garden should only be planted into moist soil.

Planting into dry soil and then watering the plant in and the damage is already done. The plant will have gone into shock, fine root hairs will have been destroyed and the chance of the plant dying are great.

In the food garden many plants are suffering now from Powdery Mildew. Cucumbers, pumpkins, water & rock melon, zucchini and grape vines are all experiencing problems with powdery mildew.

Powdery mildew appears as a white powder on the plants foliage and needs to be managed as quickly the plants foliage will dry and die off and subsequently affecting the plants health.

Plants affected by powdery mildew need to be treated with a fungicide with at least one repeat spray necessary to manage this disease. Sometimes a regular 10 to 14 day spraying program may need to be initiated particularly if rainy conditions continue to prevail.

As an alternative consider treating powdery mildew with a milk and water spray. One part full cream milk and four parts water sprayed weekly should bring the powdery mildew under control.

Spring and early summer rains have resulted in rampant weed growth that needs urgent immediate action.

Three corner jacks are of particular concern particularly for children, animals and push bikes, they need removing immediately.

Couch and buffel along with a number of broad-leafed weeds like milk thistle are growing with gusto with some currently flowering and setting seed. They all need attention.

Lastly irrigation systems need to be managed carefully while the rain keeps falling. It appears to have abated for a short while now so as I have turn on your irrigation systems where gardens were previously being water regularly.

Managing automatic irrigation systems may require you to quickly regularly turn on and off systems and regulate how much water is being applied.



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Biden wins Dixville Notch; Twitter gags Trump’s violence prediction; Trump a ‘two-bit dictator’, says Obama; Lady Gaga joins Biden; More than 93 million have already voted


Iran’s supreme leader has mocked the US presidential election in a televised address, quoting President Donald Trump’s own baseless claims about voter fraud to criticise the vote.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, 81, reiterated a long-standing Iranian position that it didn’t matter whether Mr Trump or Joe Biden wins the vote, despite high stakes for the Islamic Republic over oil and nuclear negotiations.

“The incumbent president, who is supposed to hold the elections, says this is the most-rigged US election throughout history,” Ayatollah Khamenei said, not acknowledging that individual US states run the vote. “Who says this? The sitting president who is arranging the elections himself. His opponent says Trump intends to widely cheat. This is American democracy.”

“Such an empire will not last long. It’s obvious that when a regime reaches this point, it will not live for much longer and will be destroyed,” he added.

“Of course, some of them if they take office will destroy America sooner, and some others if elected will cause America to be destroyed a bit later.”

In this picture released by an official website, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei addresses the nation in a televised speech marking the birthday of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad, in Tehran, Iran, November 3, 2020. (Image: AP)



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Penrith Panthers notch 10th straight win with thumping 38-12 victory over Cronulla Sharks as Matt Moylan endures tough return to foot of mountains


Spun around so many times by Liam Martin on Friday night, he might just regain his senses by the morning. Only his old fans out west, who once adored him, will see the funny side.

The club he left behind took a giant leap to the minor premiership, thrashing the Sharks 38-12 on Friday night and the only worry was when Api Koroisau left the game late with a calf strain.

Matt Moylan endured a torrid return to Penrith.Credit:Getty Images

It was their 10th win a row and vaults them three points clear of the Storm and Eels in the race for the JJ Giltinan Shield with just five games left. If only each was against Cronulla, who they also whacked 56-24 last month.

John Morris’ side is still likely to make the finals, but on this evidence will surely be fodder. After 15 rounds they’re still to beat any team inside the top eight.

“They’re just too good a team and we probably got what we deserve,” Morris said. “They’re outstanding and certainly in my eyes the team to beat this year.

“They’ve got strength all over the park. We made six line breaks today, but every time we made a break black jerseys were coming from everywhere. There was no excuse for our defensive effort, I thought it was horrible at times. And we’ve got to fix that up really quick.”

Siosifa Talakai fends off Jarome Luai.

Siosifa Talakai fends off Jarome Luai.Credit:Getty

Where Moylan fits into the picture come finals time, only his coach will know. He has first-choice half Shaun Johnson back next week, Chad Townsend perhaps the week after and young fullback Will Kennedy is serviceable in the No.1.

Johnson was a game-day withdrawal, days after he gave evidence at Kevin Proctor’s judiciary hearing which resulted in a four-week ban for the Titans captain. It also came in the same week he became a father for the first time.

If he had played, he would have spent the whole night standing in front of Viliame Kikau. Once bitten, twice shy?

For the 14th week in a row, Penrith didn’t concede a try inside the opening 20 minutes. Better still, they piled on three of their own.

‘I’m looking to see if there’s any complacency, but I can’t see it.’

Nathan Cleary

Kikau, who ended up on report for a late shot on Braydon Trindall, which his coach described as “clumsy”, stormed over the top of Johnson’s replacement for the opener inside four minutes. It was all one-way traffic afterwards.

“There’s still things in there we need to fix,” Ivan Cleary said. “I don’t mean to be arrogant or disrespectful to the Sharks. We’re just turning up and trying to get better each week. You don’t win 10 in a row if you’re not doing that. I’m looking to see if there’s any complacency, but I can’t see it.”

If Johnson hasn’t been able to shake the spotlight this week, then Brent Naden knows he feels.

The Panthers winger called out a group of fans for alleged racial abuse in the table toppers’ tight win over the Warriors last week, and was mobbed by his teammates when he finished off Martin’s long break when he breezed past Moylan.

In between, Josh Mansour touched down in his 150th NRL match and teenage sensation Stephen Crichton vaulted to the top of the NRL try-scorers’ list with his own in the shadows of half-time as Penrith cruised to a 22-6 lead at the break.

The second half was much like the first, Moylan helping Martin celebrate his freshly inked two-year contract extension by letting him cruise past again. Only this time the back-rower didn’t need any support to cross the stripe.

Penrith’s No.6 Jarome Luai, the man who has benefited most from Moylan’s exit, stepped his way over. Mansour bagged a double. Others were queueing up.

As for Moylan, he couldn’t get back up that tunnel quick enough.

PENRITH PANTHERS 38 (Josh Mansour 2, Viliame Kikau, Brent Naden, Stephen Crichton, Liam Martin, Jarome Luai tries; Nathan Cleary 5 goals) defeated CRONULLA-SUTHERLAND SHARKS 12 (Jesse Ramien, Connor Tracey tries; Matt Moylan 2 goals) at Panthers Stadium. Referee: Ashley Klein. Crowd: 3206.

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Penrith Panthers notch 10th straight win with thumping 38-12 victory over Cronulla Sharks as Matt Moylan endures tough return to foot of mountains


Spun around so many times by Liam Martin on Friday night, he might just regain his senses by the morning. Only his old fans out west, who once adored him, will see the funny side.

The club he left behind took a giant leap to the minor premiership, thrashing the Sharks 38-12 at Panthers Stadium on Friday night.

It was their 10th win a row and vaults them three points clear of the Storm and Eels in the race for the JJ Giltinan Shield with just five games left. If only each was against Cronulla, who they also whacked 56-24 last month.

John Morris’ side is still likely to make the finals, but on this evidence will surely be fodder. After 15 rounds they’re still to beat any team inside the top eight.

Where Moylan fits into the picture come finals time, only his coach will know. He has first-choice halves Shaun Johnson and Chad Townsend due back soon, and young fullback Will Kennedy is serviceable in the No.1.

Johnson was a game-day withdrawal, days after he gave evidence at Kevin Proctor’s judiciary hearing which resulted in a four-week ban for the Titans captain. It also came in the same week he became a father for the first time.

If he had played, he would have spent the whole night standing in front of Viliame Kikau. Once bitten, twice shy?

Matt Moylan endured a torrid return to Penrith.

Matt Moylan endured a torrid return to Penrith.Credit:Getty Images

For the 14th week in a row, Penrith didn’t concede a try inside the opening 20 minutes. Better still, they piled on three of their own.

Kikau, who ended up on report for a late shot on Braydon Trindall, stormed over the top of Johnson’s replacement for the opener inside four minutes.

If Johnson hasn’t been able to shake the spotlight this week, then Brent Naden knows he feels.

The Panthers winger called out a group of fans for alleged racial abuse in the table toppers’ tight win over the Warriors last week, and was mobbed by his teammates when he finished off Martin’s long break when he breezed past Moylan.

In between, Josh Mansour touched down in his 150th NRL match and teenage sensation Stephen Crichton vaulted to the top of the NRL try-scorers’ list with his own in the shadows of half-time as Penrith cruised to a 22-6 lead at the break.

The second half was much like the first, Moylan helping Martin celebrate his freshly inked two-year contract extension by letting him cruise past again. Only this time the back-rower didn’t need any support to cross the stripe.

Penrith’s No.6 Jarome Luai, the man who has benefited most from Moylan’s exit, stepped his way over. Mansour bagged a double. Others were queueing up.

As for Moylan, he couldn’t get back up that tunnel quick enough.

PENRITH PANTHERS 38 (Josh Mansour 2, Viliame Kikau, Brent Naden, Stephen Crichton, Liam Martin, Jarome Luai tries; Nathan Cleary 5 goals) defeated CRONULLA-SUTHERLAND SHARKS 12 (Jesse Ramien, Connor Travey tries; Matt Moylan 2 goals) at Panthers Stadium. Referee: Ashley Klein. Crowd: 3206.

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