Council nature strip

Managing the council nature strip

Do you maintain your council strip like the rest of your lawn or do you do the bare minimum? Or do you do nothing at all?

The specific definition for the council or nature strip is the council owned land, located between the road and private property. Unfortunately, there is a lot of confusion caused by inconsistencies in the way these are managed across the local councils. It is also not written in law that homeowners are to mow the council strip. It is just more of a custom that they do.

For those that think you shouldn’t have to manage your council strip at all, this article is probably not for you. Mow it when you have to, do the bare minimum and forget about it. That’s it. I’m pretty sure we’re not going to change your mind. 

For those of you who take pride in your entire lawn, the council strip included, here’s some tips for this area in particular to keep it looking presentable: a continuation of the standard reflected in the rest of your lawn.

Manage compaction

This area receives a fair bit of foot traffic, some more than others depending on where you live. There are the walkers, the joggers, the postie, even the odd car if you are unlucky.

All of this creates a problem called compaction if left untended. Compaction is commonly reflected in the bare patches of hard dirt either side of the footpath, or through the middle of your council strip if you don’t have a footpath. All of this traffic is constantly pushing the grass down.

This compacts the soil underneath more and more until the grass dies and all you are left with is dirt. The grass then can’t recover because the ground is too hard for it to establish into. The answer to this problem is aeration. You will need to regularly aerate this area to help oxygen and nutrients penetrate to help the grass grow and recover. Mow the grass regularly and give it a feed of nutrients every so often. If rain is limited or even non-existent, you may need to get a sprinkler or hose onto it occasionally.

Clean up debris

Leaves, twigs, rubbish and even the dreaded deposit by an uncaring dog walker. All of this needs to be kept on top of and removed, as you would with the rest of your lawn. A clear and tidy grass area will be able to receive the sunlight it needs to photosynthesise. It will also look a whole lot more appealing and it also discourages more litter.

Mow regularly, not too low

Mow the area regularly – A healthy lawn is one that is mowed often at a height that doesn’t require more than one-third of the leaf to be removed at any one time. Mowing too low will only increase the chance of compaction and make it difficult for the grass to maintain strong roots. Regular mowing encourages lateral growth which creates a thicker healthier lawn. 

Trim the edges

Cut in your edges with an edger or whipper-snipper around the footpath and driveway – a definitive edge will encourage people to stay on the path!
It may take a little bit of extra effort, but with these tips you should be able to have a council strip that looks just as good as the rest of your lawn.

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One-third rule


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