Seasonal Lawn Care

Lawn Care Tips for May


Find Sunlight through the Autumn Leaves

Remove deciduous leaves that have fallen onto lawns. They block sunlight from the grass at a time when the number of daylight hours are reducing, preventing the turf chlorophyll factory from producing sugars via photosynthesis.

Soursobs have commenced growing and are quite susceptible to herbicide sprays now. Best results will be obtained by using metsulfuron, but as this is difficult to obtain in small quantities for the home gardener, and the amount of chemical needed to cover 100 square meters is a minute (0.05 of a gram!), we recommend asking us to apply this for you. The bonus is that metsulfuron will also eradicate other broadleaf weeds that are present in your lawn.

Deadnettle and chickweed are two winter annual weeds that continue to thrive in lawns. Deadnettle is an upright plant that produces a characteristic small purple flower. Chickweed is a low-growing weed that forms a dense mat. The leaves are bright green with somewhat woolly leaves and a white flower. These weeds are quite obvious this time of year in thin areas of the lawn.

Seasonal Lawn Care

Lawn Care Tips for April


Preparation for the cooler weather

Autumn is the time to prepare your lawn for the cooler months ahead, when growth slows. Here’s how:

Rake the Leaves

A build up of fallen leaves on the ground can damage your lawn. Be sure to either rake them up, or if it’s just a few, mow with a catcher. Leaves left to decompose on the lawn can starve it of sunlight and increase the risk of disease.


Autumn is fertilising time. Fertilising will give your lawn the boost it needs to keep it healthy through winter. It will also help prevent weeds from taking hold while your lawn’s growth rate slows.

A slow-release, granular fertiliser applied early to mid-autumn will gently feed your lawn and give you the best results. Check the forecast and fertilise just before rain is predicted, otherwise a light water after fertilising will help protect the lawn against leaf burn.

Attack the Weeds & Grubs

Broad leaf weeds and lawn grubs can take hold in autumn. If you notice any of these appearing, take control of them before they become established.

A general broad leaf weed killer that’s safe for your lawn variety will take care of most broad leaf weeds, however if you’re unsure, it’s best to chat with us.

Birds on your lawn, or bare patches can often mean lawn grubs. If you think you have them, it’s also best to speak to our friendly team for the best advice on how to treat them for your lawn.

Lift Your Mower Height

Raise the height of your mower a couple of notches. Mowing your lawn a little longer in autumn helps it absorb more sunlight and protects it from the cooler weather.


De-thatching removes older grass and mulch build-up from the under-layers of your lawn and encourages new and thick growth.

To de-thatch, rigorously rake your lawn with a metal rake or thatching rake to remove the thatch. To de-thatch with a mower, lower your mower height one notch and mow the grass. Repeat this 2-3 times, each time lowering the mower height by another notch.

White curl grubs: Active in early winter and feeding on lawns have been identified as pasture cockchafers. Populations build up under similar conditions that favour African Black Beetle, but larvae (curl grubs) are active from late autumn through to September. It is the timing of their life cycle that differs.

Beetle larvae continue to be active if late autumn weather is warm. Signs of larvae activity are characterised by magpies pecking at the lawn after the grubs, and small tufts or clumps of dead turf lying loose on the lawn. These almost give the appearance that someone has done some hand-weeding. Get down on your hands and knees and gently lift any patched of yellowing or dying turf. If the grass lifts away from the soil then this is certain evidence that larvae are present.

Moss may have commenced to grow on damp shaded areas of lawn. Moss is usually due to three factors.

  1. Poor drainage – either the soil is compacted, poorly constructed, or clay-rich and soggy; and
  2. the soil pH is too high. Most turf grasses require soil pH to be between 5.5 and 6.5, slightly on the acid side of neutral.
  3. the mossy area is heavily shaded.

Iron sulphate gives good control of moss and algae and will lower soil pH. AAA can apply an iron rich fertiliser to combat this problem.

Moss will quickly return unless poor soil drainage and overwatering are remedied. Sow shade tolerant turf grasses such as Poa trivialis and creeping red fescue. Mow the grass a little higher to increase turf density and prevent it from thinning out and becoming susceptible to weed and moss invasion. A common feature of mossy lawns is an accumulation of thatch which chokes the turf grass. This will need to be raked out or scarified. Another reason for mossy lawns is underfeeding.

Weed control: Winter active weeds are commencing to germinate now. The objective of weed control is to eradicate the weed as soon as possible after it appears, and before it produces flowers and seeds. Weed control should be aimed at eliminating and avoiding conditions that contribute to weed establishment and growth. Control should not rely on one method only, but should involve a combination of methods that will discourage weeds while encouraging desired plants.

Regular mowing will prevent tall growing weeds in lawns from flowering and seeding and gradually deplete food reserves in perennial weeds. Mowing will also encourage spreading and thickening of lawn grasses, preventing germination of annual weed seeds. Unfortunately, mowing may also encourage the growth of prostrate weeds which are below mowing height, eg. common cotula (Cotula australis), dandelion, creeping oxalis (Oxalis corniculata). Some of these flower very close to the ground, therefore hand weeding or herbicide control need to be used in conjunction with mowing.

Wintergrass (Poa annua) is a small winter-growing annual grass forming a tussock up to 10cm tall. It first appears about May, with the onset of colder weather and fewer hours of sunlight, and continues to germinate throughout winter and early spring. Seed heads develop in mid-winter and continue into spring.

Seasonal Lawn Care

Lawn Care Tips for March


Fertilising turf

If there’s one time of year when you get more benefit from fertilising your lawn than any other, it’s autumn. 

That’s because autumn is when Mother Nature works with you instead of against you. For example, days are getting shorter and nights cooler. Dews are heavier, and the pattern of rainfall starts to be more favourable to the needs of grass. 

As a result, grass plants start to increase their natural production of rhizomes. A single grass plant can send out many rhizomes, resulting in many new plants… all knit together to form thick green turf.

Although the length of day and the weather trigger the growth process, how many rhizomes are produced (and therefore how thick the lawn will be) depends on the nutrients that are available to the grass roots. There is no reason why summer active lawns should deteriorate over winter months. The growth rate slows down, but with a controlled fertilising program lawns can stay green and healthy over most of winter.

The objective is to keep lawns active and this can be achieved by stimulating the grass. Start with a very light application in late summer, and a slightly heavier application in early autumn. Follow this with light applications every 5-6 weeks through winter.

The thicker and healthier the lawn is in winter, the better chance you have to control the annual weed problem. If fertilising this month, keep nitrogen and phosphorus applications to the minimum needed for the main summer-active turf grasses. This will reduce vigorous growth in annual weeds.

To intensify the green colour without increasing vigour, apply a soluble iron fertiliser such as sulphate of iron but be sure to water it in.

Couchgrass stops growing when temperatures fall below 15ºC and will initiate dormancy when temperatures drop below 10ºC for an extended period. Dormancy can last from a few weeks to several months depending on conditions. How you manage couch in autumn will determine its ability to tolerate cold-temperature stress and survive through winter.

In early autumn, as growth slows prior to the onset of dormancy, the plants convert soluble sugars to starch. They then store these starches in stolons, rhizomes and roots to serve as food reserves to ensure winter survival. Autumn management of any turfgrass should incorporate practices that increase food reserves and thereby increase stress tolerance.

Dry patches in turf are often caused by water repellence. The grains in sandy loams sometimes become water repellent by being coated with organic residues from some plant materials. Decomposition of the thatch produced by turf growth can produce hydrophobic materials that accumulate in the thatch and upper part of the root zone.

After each application, irrigate at a low rate, about 5-10mm per hour, so that the water can penetrate deeply into the affected area.

Dry spots in a lawn will be very evident by this time of the year. Before you race out and buy a beetle spray, look at some of the reasons why the dry patches may have developed.

The primary problem is thatching, that is the lawn grows above itself and the taller growth shades the lower leaves which die. The decaying vegetation creates a water repellent barrier between the surface and the root system, preventing water from penetrating the soil and the lawn dies of thirst.

AAA can scarify your lawn to reduce the thatch build-up and produce a healthier lawn.