Autumn Lawn Tips can help you to keep a green, vigorous and healthy lawn through winter and set you up for Spring Water restrictions. For this reason, Autumn is the most important time of the year to spend time on your lawn. You want to create conditions that encourage strong root growth. This will allow your lawn to develop into a thick lush matt that repels weeds and other turf varieties and can handle insects without them becoming a problem. This way you can have an environmentally friendly “green” lawn.
Breeding turf varieties that can hold of winter dormancy has become an important consideration. New age grass varieties such as DNA Certified Sir Walter, TifTuf Hybrid Couch and Sir Grange Zoysia have been specifically bred to go less dormant in winter. Saying this, all lawn varieties will benefit from following these Autumn Lawn Tips
Fertilising at the end of April / May is extremely important to help stave of the winter dormancy. The longer you can keep the lawn roots active the better chance you will have of getting a strong lawn sward. This will help the lawn compete against winter weeds and shaded areas that get even less sunlight in winter.
To keep up this activity it is advisable to apply a granular fertiliser which has some iron and manganese and other necessary trace elements. It is best to use a fertiliser made for Perth conditions and soil types. Lawn Doctor recommends their own Knights Special Coastal Mix. This product has been made by us for over 20 years and has fantastic results. Other products we recommend are Eco Prime Emerald and Bailey’s 311.
Your mowing should continue regularly at 25mm, however the blades should be raised to around 40mm if the buffalo has been planted in shaded areas. Regular mowing will also remove seed heads from weeds, so cutting down the amount of germination for future seasons.
If your lawn has been laid in heavy shade areas that has trouble drying out it is important to break the ground open to allow the water to drain away. While turf needs water, it doesn’t like to have wet, soggy feet. This causes the roots to rot and again creates patchy growth and even areas to die back completely. The best method in a small area is to work a garden fork backwards and forwards.
This is the time to look at cutting back or thinning out any trees or shrubs that are creating excess shade. Also remember to roll up any shade sail as turf needs as much sun light as possible to photosynthesise and create the food it needs for strong growth (at least 4 hours a day is ideal for Sir Walter). If you are thinking of planting a tree in a lawn area it is a good idea to look at a small deciduous variety. These will lose their leaves in the colder months, allowing your turf access to sunlight while still providing shade in summer.
Winter weeds compete with your turf for nutrients and the weaker your turf matt is, the more the weeds can take a hold. Applying a pre emergent herbicide will help slow down the amount of weeds you get in winter. There are some very good products available in both a granular and liquid form that will help with winter grass and broad leaf weeds.
Pests such as Armyworm have become a problem in Perth lawns over the last couple of years as we have had more humid days. You can use contact products or residual products. The contact products will only kill what grubs are in the ground on treatment so will have to be reapplied every couple of weeks until the moth laying the grubs has moved on. Residual products are applied once and stay in the soil for up to 6 months.