Your turf, much like the other plants within your garden, behaves and grows differently across each of the four seasons. Therefore, it’s important to understand how to best look after your lawn across summer, autumn, winter and spring. We’ve put together a brief list of simple habits and tricks to help your lawn flourish and looking fresh all year round.
Australian summers are hot! That means summer can often be a difficult time to keep your grass looking green and lush. While you can’t control the weather, you can make sure your lawn is well set up to survive these trying conditions.
- Fertilise your lawn regularly during the cooler days (below 30 degrees Celsius) with a slow release fertiliser. This will promote grown of your lawn and minimise burning.
- Become more water-wise, as your turf can quickly dry out during extreme conditions. Be sure to water early in the mornings before the day’s heat kicks in, allowing your grass time to soak up all of that liquid. Watering late in an evening may promote fungal growth with overnight humidity. So try to avoid this where possible!
- Grass growth typically slows during the warmer months. So you can raise the height of the mower blades to leave the grass longer, providing shade and natural cooling to the roots and soil.
- Unfortunately, weeds thrive in summer. But be sure to take care using lawn weeding products. Many products suggest avoiding use in hot weather. Read the label to make sure it’s suitable for your lawn.
Autumn is a gardener’s favourite time of year, as the weather starts to cool down and new growth continues to come through strong. Autumn is the perfect time to correct any damage done in Summer and start preparing for the colder months ahead.
- A simple tip for fertilising your lawn: If you only feed your lawn once a year, do it in Spring. However, if you fertilise twice a year, it’s best to do this during Spring and Autumn. Feeding in Autumn will help keep your lawn nice and green as the weather begins to cool down, and also make it stronger and better able to resist damage from extreme cold.
- Watering is often overlooked in Autumn, a misconception of the cooler climate. That means it’s very easy for your turf to dry out. Be sure to make the most of watering and any rain that comes your way!
- You needn’t worry about mowing your lawn as often during Autumn, as growth slows. This time of year, your lawn is storing energy for Winter However, cleaning up your garden by removing leaves and weeds will help maximise sunlight during those cooler days.
Did you know that lawns typically hibernate through winter? That means the maintenance demands of your garden are very low during the seasonal cold snap!
- Because of the low demands of your lawn in winter, fertilising is not generally recommended, especially if you have already fed it during Autumn and Spring. There is little point in feeding because growth has slowed and the lawn will not take up nutrients.
- Although winter means cold, rain and moisture, it can also spell out dry temperatures for most of Queensland. Keep an eye on the moisture levels by feeling deep into the thatch. A simple feel test here should be sufficient. In winter it’s best to water in the morning.
- Mowing during Queensland winters will only need to be done two or three times across the whole season (once a month may be best), because of the lawn’s slowed growth.
- One of the lucky qualities about winter is that while your lawn in hibernating, those pesky weeds lie dormant too. But there are a few to watch for (i.e. bindii and broadleaf weeds).
After a long hibernation, your lawn looking a bit worse for wear leading into spring. Browning is typical, as is thinning. This will often result in any already bare patches looking much worse. But you can help your lawn find it’s groove again with a good feed and some love and care.
- Rake vigorously to not only clear fallen leaves and twigs but more importantly; to strip out dead and brown grass (“thatch”) to allow more light through to new shoots.
- Spring is the time to fertilise! This is the critical time of year to give your lawn a good feed (all be it balanced, and slowly released). The nutrients within the fertiliser will help reinvigorate the lawn so it can power into summer once again.
- Something to be careful of is overwatering in summer. The soil hasn’t warmed and nights may still be cool. Test what level of watering your lawn needs with a simple touch-test. If it’s damp, don’t water.
- Unfortunately, as your grass begins to spring back to life, so too do those pesky weeds. Be careful when feeding your lawn, as weeds will subsequently grow. Sparse areas of turf are the most likely to become weed zones; so make sure you’re taking care of your weeding too.
Now it’s time to start putting your new found times into practice, and watch your grass remain greener and fuller all year round. Learn how to water your lawn to become more drought tolerant. Fertilising is important, and choosing the right type of turf fertiliser is the first step.