Just because winter is here that doesn’t mean we can completely forget about our Perth lawn. Especially if we have one of the new soft leaf buffalo varieties that are capable of good winter colour and vigour if looked after correctly.

The ideal is to create conditions that encourage a strong root growth. This allows your lawn to develop into a thick lush matt that repels weeds and other turf varieties, whilst handling insects without them becoming a problem. This is the way to maintain an environmentally friendly “green” lawn.

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Fertiliser

Firstly, if you have continued your fertilising program through to May your soft leaf buffalo should still be lush and green. This means that the roots are still active. To keep up this activity it is advisable to apply a granular fertiliser which has some iron content at a rate of 1kg per 100sqm. This is classed as a very light dusting every 6 weeks. It is best applied with a Scott’s hand held fertiliser spreader to ensure an accurate spread of such a tiny amount.

Lawn Doctor Turf Shop also stock the Lawn Porn products which have a range of liquid fertilisers suitable for use in winter.

De compaction and aeration

Has your Perth lawn has been laid in heavy shade areas that has trouble drying out? Then it’s 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. It can even cause areas to die back completely. The best method in a small area is to work a garden fork backwards and forwards.

Mowing

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.

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Trees / Shade sails

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. This creates 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.

Wetting agent

It is best to apply a wetting agent at the end of winter rains to ensure the ground doesn’t dry out again. It can be very difficult to re-wet the soil again. Especially as we are only able to water as per the water restriction.

Watering only twice a week will not re-wet a hydrophobic soil without a wetting agent, putting the turf under stress before the heat of summer even begins.

Weeds

Winter weeds compete with your turf for nutrients and the weaker your turf matt is, the more the weeds can take a hold. Lawn Doctor Turf Shop has all the products and advice you need to beat the weeds in your Perth lawn.

For both pre – emergent and contact weedkillers see https://www.lawndoctor.com.au/lawn-shop/lawn-care/weedkillers-for-my-lawn/

Funguses

Some lawn varieties are more resistant to funguses then others. DNA Certified Sir Walter for example, has a very good fungus resistance. However other soft leaf buffalo varieties do not. Fungus resistance is an important factor in determining the viability of new grass varieties in the turf breeding programs.

If your Perth lawn does have a problem with fungus, there are a couple of things you can do to help. The ground in shaded areas should be well draining, as dampness encourages disease and fungus.

Most household fungus problems can be treated using either Mancozed + or a copper fungicide. Bayleton can also be used for mushrooms and fairy rings.