A lawn will only look as good as it is managed. Autumn is a critical time of year to get your northern Victorian lawn into shape to enable it to cope with the onslaught of cooler Winter weather. You should aim to have your lawn in peak condition by Easter, so it will generally perform better in Winter. Fertilising and watering are the keys here. If you have not watered your lawn enough through the harsh hot summer we have just had, chances are it’s not as healthy as it could be. It is critical that it has an application of fertiliser in the first week of April, and a follow up feed again in the first week of May.
A healthy lawn coming into Winter will also assist with minimising the degree of discolouration during dormancy. Regular applications of Seasol during June, July and August can also assist with this process. Remember not to get confused between a quality balanced NPK fertiliser and Seasol – which is simply a plant conditioner. They are geared to do very different jobs.
Early Autumn rains may also have leeched the nutrients from the soil where your lawn needs them most – at the root base. These nutrients need to be replaced prior to winter.
Easter is the perfect time to boost your lawn’s nutrient levels to keep it green and healthy over the winter period. The weather is beginning to cool off and you need to get your lawn ready to deal with the colder months ahead. Applying fertiliser in the autumn is one of the most important feeds your lawn will get all year. Lawns going into winter in a hungry state don’t generally wear well and will lose colour rapidly. A hungry lawn also tends to be an easier target for invading weeds and grasses.
Fertilising your lawn in autumn is best done using a high-quality, granular, slow-release lawn food such as Sir Walter DNA Certified Lawn Fertiliser. It is a perfect fertiliser for all lawn types. Fertilising at full label rates is recommended at this time of year. A 10kg bucket of Sir Walter DNA Certified Lawn food is enough to cover 400/500 m2, so ample fertiliser to treat an average sized lawn two or three times.
If daytime temperatures consistently remain above 13c for four to six weeks after your initial autumn application you would be advised to apply a second application at half the label rates.
Remember always water the fertiliser well into the root base!
Winter dormancy is a normal characteristic of C4 warm season varieties. The degree of colour loss however could vary from year-to-year pending seasonal conditions and location of turf. The appearance of any turf located in an east facing or exposed position will suffer more than turf in an area protected by shade or near a fence or building.
Please be advised that while turf is dormant, winter weeds may penetrate through to the top of the surface. Winter weeds will disappear from your turf once warmer weather helps your lawn become active again so do not FRET! This is a naturally occurring part of your lawns life cycle!!
We recommend hand weeding where possible, or phone the Coolabah office to find out more about suitable herbicides available for sale.
Remember that all Coolabah lawns need heat to thrive – they do not enjoy cold temperatures! The upshot is – during this period of dormancy – your lawn will need NO maintenance. So put your feet up and enjoy the footy – no mowing, no watering, and no fertilising again until the Spring.
Talk to the Coolabah Crew to learn more about how to reduce discolouration during winter with better management practices.