It’s easy to get excited about doing a lawn renovation and all the things you might want to do to have your lawn the envy of the street. The best advice we can give you is to not go too early with any vigorous lawn maintenance activities like dethatching or top dressing. Your lawn needs to be actively growing and performing strongly during the warmer months before undertaking these activities. October long weekend in most states is a good guide.

You can prepare by organising the necessary equipment you need for each step, so you are ready to go when the lawn has started growing strongly again.

Does my lawn need a renovation?

A lawn renovation may be necessary if your lawn has developed a combination of thatch and compaction. It can also be a good time to do so when your lawn is looking unhealthy and specific soil improvements are required to improve the lawns foundation.


A full lawn renovation could be required every 3-4 years. It’s not a must to for all steps, but it can be highly beneficial from time to time if you are looking to achieve the best results with your lawn. Dethatching or top dressing will only be required more regularly if the lawn is a bit neglected. Some turf varieties require more frequent renovations, couch grass for example, depending on the level of inputs and preferred height of cut.

How do I do a Lawn Renovation?

Making sure you undertake a lawn renovation in the best order will ensure you get the best out of each activity and you get your lawn recovering from winter as quickly as possible.

1. Weeds Removal

A very important activity you can implement into your spring lawn care plan is weed removal. You can remove most single weeds by hand, preferably before they go to seed. Mow over flat weeds; a healthy lawn will choke most weed types. If you’ve got many weeds or a persistent type, it may be worth calling on your local nursery or local lawn care specialist for advice on the best herbicides to use. If you have a Buffalo lawn, we recommend Bow & Arrow for broadleaf weeds and Propyzamide for winter grass.

Bow & Arrow


Bow & Arrow Herbicide is the standard for broadleaf weed control in the Australian turf industry providing outstanding control of broadleaf weeds in turf.

2. Dethatching

If your lawn is “spongy”, this is due to a build-up of thatch. Thatch can be removed by mowing your lawn back to its runners, nice and low. This may take a couple of mows to do so safely and effectively and is best undertaken only during the warmer months when your lawn is growing quickly. Once this is done, fertilise and water it well, to promote speedy regrowth. Scarifying and dethatching machines are also available which in some cases can be the preferred method

3. Aerating

Aerate your soil to increase the amount of air, water and nutrients it receives. This strengthens grass roots and helps create a healthier lawn. Use a garden fork to do this yourself before fertilising. Aeration decreases thatch and compaction and should be carried out annually in high traffic areas and on hard lawns. Lawns with poorer soil can benefit from aeration too. Aeration can be hard work on some soil types. A garden fork may work well, however sometimes a lawn contractor with specialist equipment may be required

4. Apply Wetting Agent

If your soil is sandy, you’ll need to make sure that your soil can continue to hold moisture. This can be done by regularly applying a soil wetting agent like Reactor Wetter 600 or LawnPorn Moist. This coats the sand grains and enables them to cling to moisture and nutrients. Treat the bacteria in your soil as well. Your soil is full of nitrogen-fixing bacteria such as mycorrhiza and rhizobia, and they turn the nitrogen from the atmosphere and fertilisers into a usable form of nitrate for your lawn. During winter they’re dormant, but once soil temperatures rise, they’re ready to work. They love a boost of carbohydrate, so apply a soil conditioner that contains seaweed extract like Lawn Rescue.

Lawn Rescue


This perfect blend of liquid fertilisers, seaweed extracts and wetting agents is ideal for all new and established lawns and for post-winter revival.

Lawnporn Moist (1L)


Lawnporn Moist is a professional grade soil wetter, designed to maximise water usage and availability in the root zone of lawn. MOIST is a unique combination of powerful surfactant technologies fullling different roles in the water management process.

Reactor Wetter 600


Reactor Wetter 600 increases the activity and efficiency of pesticides and herbicides. Increases wetting and improves spray coverage. It can also be used to treat hydrophobic soils.

5. Fertilising

Fertilising in your spring lawn care regime can help speed up new growth and establish strong roots for summer. If you live in a cooler climate, you might need to use a liquid fertiliser, as your soil temperature may not be quite warm enough for the bacteria to work its magic for a soil borne reaction using a granular fertiliser. As liquid fertilisers are ingested through the leaves of your grass, you’ll only need a little growth occurring for the liquid fertilisers to give an instant boost. Once the warmer weather really kicks in you can feed your lawn with a granular NPK fertiliser like Lawn Solutions Australia Premium Fertiliser, Eco-Prime Emerald or Knights Coastal Special Lawn Mix.

But don’t get carried away! You want to be rid of weeds first before feeding them as well. Overfeeding at this time of year may not produce the desired results, with the warmth and light intensity not quite there yet for your lawn to perform its best. A light dusting of either organic or inorganic fertiliser at the specified label rate will give your lawn the boost it needs. It’s a good idea to mow a few times first, assess the weed and lawn growth situation and then further address fertiliser needs.

Knights Coastal Special Lawn Mix


Knights Coastal Special lawn Mix is a lawn fertiliser made by Lawn Doctor Turf Solutions to suit our coastal sands. High in iron and trace elements and guaranteed to be the best thing you could give your lawn.

6. Top Dressing

It’s also a good time to top dress your lawn if you wish to reduce any unevenness. Mow and fertilise your lawn first and then top dress with coarse river sand, remembering not to cover the entire leaf tip. Once you have your lawn growing at its peak, it will be ready to take on the heat of summer.

Dsatco Lawn Maximiser


Dsatco Lawn Maximizer is an organic formulation of lupin chaff, canola straw and chicken manure. Ideal for top dressing and to improve soil structure.

Soil Solver Compost Plus


Soil Solver Compost Plus is for top dressing lawns and an organic based fertiliser containing rock minerals and mature compost. Made for Perth

7. Watering for Recovery

This time of the year requires minimal additional top-up watering other than natural rainfall, depending on your soil and location. You can increase water application if it’s dry over coming weeks, but a minimalist approach will often be rewarded with a healthier lawn, with stronger, deeper roots.

A deep soaking once a week will train your lawn’s roots to grow deeper into the soil, which will improve your lawn’s drought tolerance.

Items that you’ll need:

  1. Knapsack/Pressure sprayer
  2. Herbicides for weeds treatment
  3. Dethatching rake/machine (or hired machine)
  4. Manual aerating device, like a garden fork or manual corer (or hired machine)
  5. Fertiliser
  6. Top dressing soil/sand
  7. Soil spreader
  8. pH test kit
  9. Soil amendments if required (gypsum, lime, sulphate of ammonia for e.g)
  10. Irrigation or sprinkler