Seasonal Lawn Care Tips

The following turf management tips have been provided by Australian Sports Turf Consultants (ASTC) and Australian Lawn Fanatics #auslf.


Australian Seasons

  • Spring: September to November.
  • Summer: December to February
  • Autumn: March to May
  • Winter: June to August.


Turf Care Tips

Click on either of the seasonal turf care tabs below to find further information.

  • A lot of lawns will become dormant to semi-dormant throughout winter with up keep becoming minimal (any many partners rejoicing).
  • Turf colourant can be used to "green" your lawn during winter.
  • Winter is a good time to check your soil pH to determine if any soil amendments are required to be applied in Spring. Turf Finder can assist with soil pH and Electrical Conductivity (EC) testing. Please refer to our Analytical page.
  • Renovating procedures are discouraged e.g. scarifying and dethatching.
  • Solid tyne aerating in winter is a perfect time to relieve soil compaction and allow access for nutrients into the root zone.
  • Turf renovations are best undertaken during spring.
  • Mowing in winter will be significantly less during warmer-months, unless you have or have oversown with a cool-season turfgrass like ryegrass.
  • Mowing heights can be slightly raised to allow the plant more leaf to help with better photosynthesis during the shorter days.
  • The use of a slow release fertiliser with a good NPK (nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium) ratio is integral to plant health during winter with potassium adding plant health and strength to the plant to survive the cooler period.
  • Liquid (foliar) fertilisers are also an advantage during winter.
  • Refer to the list of optional liquid fertiliser products.

Watering is best in the morning. Avoid over watering as it can promote fungal disease in your thatch layer and may result in additional frost damage. Generally, this time of year your soil remains moist requiring less irrigation due to reduced (soil) temperatures. Read more on irrigation here...

  • Winter can produce the onset of weeds e.g. bindii, creeping oxalis, clovers and winter grass (poa). A pre-emergent herbicide should have been applied in autumn to prevent the onset of winter weed pressures.
  • Before spring turf renovations, it is a good time to make sure the winter weeds in your lawn have been removed. The last thing you want is those nasty weeds making an appearance after your renovation is complete.

Turf colourant provides a 100% organic and non-toxic alternative to improve turf colour. The turf colourant or pigment, which is green in colour, can be used year round and is frequently used during winter to change a brown dormant grass into a dark green lawn. It can also be use pre and post frost damage.

The photo shown below was taken of a hybrid bermudagrass turf variety in Canberra, ACT on 14 April 2020. Reduce your mowing height and provide an even turf surface, plus cutting height, to reduce a "zebra" pattern. If possible, a very early morning irrigation will also stop or reduce frost damage. 

Turf frost damage.

  • Winter is also a perfect time for machine maintenance as mowing requirements are lessened. Service and maintenance of machinery should be a priority for the season.
  • Pruning any overhanging trees or shrubs will allow more sunlight to your turf during shorter days.
  • Warm weather is here. Turf growth is dominant and extra maintenance is needed.
  • Be mindful of water usage and the turf's water requirements to meet climatic conditions and limit turf stress. Refer to our irrigation page for further information and watering tips.
  • Soon you will start to see a change with the cold weather and shorter days becoming a thing of the past for another year. The daylight hours and temperatures will start to increase which only means one thing. Growth season is on its way.
  • There are no set rules when it comes to, what to do come Spring, it is purely a personal thing. Some people may decide to renovate their lawn (e.g. to remove unwated thatch), others may want to just fertilise and maintain their existing plot.
  • If your located in QLD, spring renovations can commence in September. If you're located in south of QLD, it is recommended that any turf renovations hold off until at least October. 
  • With the onset of the warmer climate we can be faced with a new array of weeds that tend to thrive if not controlled. If you are renovating your lawn, look into using a pre-emergent herbicide to stop new weed growth. A pre-emergent herbicide can give you peace of mind whilst you enjoy your healthy lawn. Pre-emergents are herbicides that form a residual barrier in your soil and prevent the germination of weed seeds. Remember they are best applied after coring so that barrier isn’t disturbed. Pre-emergents can provide between 2 to 8 months protection.
  • If you are wanting to sow (seed) or oversow your grass with seed, DO NOT use a pre-emergent as it will prevent any seed germinating for obvious reasons. Pre-emergents come in granular and liquid form.
  • Thatch is a normal component of actively growing turfgrass, and beneficial levels of thatch can actually increase the resilience of the turf to wear. However, a high level of thatch is problematic by becoming too soft, preventing movement of water and air into the rootzone, causing drainage complications and displaying hydrophobic resistance. High thatch also increases pest/disease susceptibility and requires greater inputs to maintain a healthy turfgrass e.g. mowing, fertility and pesticides.
  • Dethatching is a common simple and effective way of removing dead and decaying organic matter (called thatch) that has built up in the turf sward or canopy. Removal of the thatch helps create easier pathways for air, sunlight, water and nutrients to access the soil.
  • A way to determine how much organic matter is present in your rootzone is through Loss on Ignition (LOI) testing. This is routinely undertaken by many golf course superintendents and sports field turf managers who have a sand soil rootzone. Turf Finder can assist with LOI testing if required. Please refer to our analytical page.
  • Removal of thatch can be done two ways, machine and or the simple use of a (steel) rake. Of course, a machine is easier and faster but not everyone has the ability to hire machinery locally. If using a rake, put your back into it go your hardest in multiple directions and work up a sweat, bringing all the brown dead organic matter to the surface. Some turf varieties allow you to go crazy and really attack the canopy like green couch. If you have a Buffalograss variety, be mindful your turf does not have rhizomes, therefore don’t go crazy and damage your above ground stolons. Once you’re happy and your canopy free from obstructions jump on your trusty rotary push mower and clean up the dead plant material and loose stolons. Ensure multiple passes with the mower in different directions to remove all possible material debris.

Once your thatch has been removed, or is under control, now it’s time to look at surface and subsoil compaction. Does water simply run off when it rains? Do you have high traffic areas from the kids or dog(s)? If your struggling from hard soil compaction and there is evidence of moss that appeared during winter, now is the perfect time to aerate. Coring or solid tine aeration is best performed by a machine. However, if you have the time and a pitchfork go for your life. Aeration will help with the transfer of oxygen and allow an easy path for nutrients to access the rootzone and aide water retention through the voids that have been formed during aerating.

  • Fertilise once you have aerated your lawn. Fertiliser will enter the voids and provide a quick access to the turf roots. This will allow your fertiliser to start working and allow the plant to uptake the nutrients. Don’t buy just any old bag of fertiliser, ensure you check the NPK and see if the fertiliseris a quick release and or slow release fertiliser. Fertilisers that offer continual feeding for three months are far more beneficial then an instant nitrogen drop (quick release fertiliser). By fertilising in spring you will be feeding the plant everything it needs to help recover from renovations and return it to its former glory before summer kicks in.
  • Do you know what your ph is??? If not, with all the work you’re doing its best to know now that way corrective measures can be put in place. You can get a simple pH test kit from your local garden or hardware store which can by unreliable. Turf Finder can undertake quick, very reliable and cost effective pH and electrical conductivity testing of your soil. Please visit our Analytical page. Knowing your pH allows you to add the right amendments to correct your soil and get you closer to the neutral pH figure of around 5.5 to 7.5, preferably 6 to 7. Additives such as Lime will help increase your pH, whereas Iron Sulphate will help decrease your pH. Gypsum is also another product to look at if your lawn is growing on a heavy clay base.

Topdressing is just as important as any other step and in most cases the most important step in undertaking turf renovations. This is your chance to sort out any imperfections and or undulations in your lawn. What to use? Well that’s completely up to the individual and circumstances as some prefer organic material, some prefer sandy loam soil and some go straight out sand. By now you will have a fair understanding of your profile and what you need. The best is USGA sand that’s blended with soil amendments (fertiliser). A medium or medium to fine washed sand is also good as it should not contain weed seeds. However, washed sand contains no nutrient content. There are numerous benefits of topdressing with sand, including that it doesn’t compact and allows the water and nutrients to flow freely into the rootzone. The downside of a soil based topdress is you really don’t know what you’re going to get these days and it could well be full of weed seeds.

See our soil and sand page for further details and product options. 

Don’t undo everything at this stage and forget the prevention of all those turf pests that tend to feed on our lawns through the growing season. The surface is open and access to your soil is at a premium after aeration. It is a good time to apply Acelepryn technology which comes in liquid or granular form. It is now also readily available in smaller quantities suitable for residential customers. The Acelepryn technology createa a residual barrier that does not allows new weed seed (refer to product label) to germinate. The insecticide can provide protection for up to 6 months. Prevention is better than cure.

Hopefully you gave your chariot (aka mower) a service during winter to ensure the blades and or reel are sharp. Regular mowing will increase turf density and maintain plant health. For those that used sand topdressing, a very light water before you mow will keep the sand from ending up in your catcher and or going through your reel. Visit our mowing page for further information and advice.

Watering is not something to be overlooked. The last thing you want after a renovation is it to dry out. Watering times will depend purely on your location and climate. Not one watering schedule fits all suburbs and lawns. You will find the longer and hotter the days the more you need to keep an eye on your lawn and make sure it has the required water and soil moisture. If the weather becomes dry and windy that can be just as bad as a heatwave. Make sure you maintain your watering regularly during recovery then you can possibly move to a deeper less frequent watering schedule. Remember that you can cause as much damage to your turf through over watering as you can under watering. Moisture meters are handy, but nothing beats the ole finger in the soil to feel it for yourself. Visit our irrigation and watering for further information and advice.

  • March is the final month during which lawn renovations should be carried out. This includes scarification and topdressing. Aeration or decompaction work can be conducted year-round.
  • Frost damage may be seen within southern states in April and May.
  • Time to prepare the lawn for winter and minimal turf growth.

Decrease the frequency and amount of irrigation water being applied to the turfgrass following summer. Refer to our Turf Care Irrigation page, and click on 'How much water to apply?' for further information.

March is the final month during which lawn renovations should be carried out. This includes scarification and topdressing. However, aeration or decompaction work can be conducted year-round.

Lawn Solutions OxaFert


Pre-emergent herbicide with fertiliser 16 (N) - 2 (P) - 6 (K) - 16 (S) + 1.5 (Fe) 0.2 (Mn) 0.2

OxaFert 16-2-6


Pre-emergent herbicide with fertiliser 16 (N) - 2 (P) - 6 (K) - 16 (S) + 1.5 (Fe) and 0.2 (Mn)

Activate K 8-0-16


8 (N) - 0 (P) - 16 (K) + 3.2% Ca, 1% Mg, 8.2% S and 2% Fe

Activate N 18-1-4


18 (N) - 1 (P) - 4 (K) + 2.4% Ca, 2% Mg and 5.7% S

Combi Green


17 (N) - 2.15 (P) - 8.3 (K) + 5% Seaweed

Greenmaster Pro-Lite


Various NPK blends

GTS Sport Series Maintain CR


26 (N) - 2 (P) - 9 (K) + 3% Fe

GTS Sport Series Sportflexx


19 (N) - 1 (P) - 16 (K) + 3% Fe

Lawn Launcher


15 (N) - 0.7 (P) - 4 (K) - 19 (S) + 1.5 (Ca), 2 (Fe) 2% and 5% water crystals

Lawn Solutions Premium Lawn Fertiliser


16 (N) - 0.7 (P) - 4 (K) - 20 (S) + 1.5 (Ca) and Iron 2 (Fe)

Lesco GreenStart Elite 12-10-11


12 (N) - 10 (P) - 11 (K) + 4.76% S and  0.23% Fe

Nitro Pro MiniMaxx 30-0-18


30 (N) - 0 (P) - 18 (K)

Professional Landscape Formula All Round


24 (N) - 22 (P) - 6.6 (K) + 1.2% Mg


Professional Landscape Formula Flora


16 (N) - 1.3 (P) - 13.3 (K) + 1.8 (Mg) and trace elements

Professional Landscape Formula Maintenance


20 (N) - 0 (P) - 5.8 (K) + 2.1 (Ca) and 1.8 (Mg)

Professional Landscape Formula New Grass


20 (N) - 8.7 (P) - 6.6 (K)



Various NPK blends



Various NPK blends

Sierrablen Plus


Various NPK blends

Sierraform GT


Various NPK blends

SportsMaster Fairway


12 (N) - 2.6 (P) - 7.4 (K) + 2.1 (Ca) and 1.2 (Mg)



12 (Mg), 8 (Cu), 3 (Fe), 0.5 (Mn) and 1 (Zn)

TX Trace


3 (N) - 0 (P) - 5 (K) + 2% Mg, 2% Ca, 9% S and 5.5% Fe



2 (N) - 1.3 (P) - 1.6 (K) with Bacillus subtilis  

Essential Plus


1 (N) - 0 (P) - 1 (K) + 0.29 (Fe)

Greenmaster Liquid


Various NPK blends



20 (N) - 0 (P) - 0 (K) + 1% Mg, 5% S and 6% Fe

Lawn Solutions Rescue


5 (N) - 7 (P) - 2 (K) + Kelp 7.5%, Polyacrylamide (PAM) 7.5% and trace elements

Munns Professional Green Dominator


19 (N) + 7 (Fe), 1.4 (Mg) and 0.9 (Mn)

Munns Professional Lift Off


10 (N) - 10 (P) - 10 (K) + seaweed

Munns Professional Root Regenerator


1.36 (K) + seaweed, humates and microbes

Onyx Snappy Green


4 (N) - 0 - (P) - 2 (K) + 4 (MgO), 1 (Fe) and wetter

Sportsmaster WSF


Various NPK blends

Supa Stand Phos


6 (N) - 10 (P) - 3 (K)

Vitalnova Blade


5 (N) - 6.5 (P) - 3.5 (K) + carbohydrates, seaweed and trace elements

Vitalnova Stressbuster


7 (N) - 0 (P) - 0 (K) + 2 (Fe), sugars, wetting agent, amino acids and trace elements

Yates Buffalo Pro Lawn Fertiliser


14 (N) - 2.5 (P) - 10 (K) + seaweed, humates and trace elements