Whether you are a new lawn owner in Australia because you’ve just moved to a house with a garden, or you already know a trick or two on how to take care of your outdoor lush green carpet, there’s always something new to learn about proper turf maintenance, wouldn’t you agree?

Right then, with this post, we’re going to share with you a detailed lawn care guide, which will help you achieve eye-pleasing results all year round.

So, if you:

  • want to learn in greater detail about the different seasonal lawn maintenance tasks you need to do;
  • are a newbie gardener, who feels overwhelmed with taking care of their turf;
  • wish to have a better knowledge of some advanced and specific lawn improvement tips;

Then, this post is just for you. Keep on reading!

Table of content:

What are the benefits of good all-year-round lawn maintenance?

Who would settle for a patchy-looking lawn in their backyard? No one. So, although stating the obvious, taking good care of your grassed area, throughout all seasons, can only result in a healthy and robust turf, free of moss, weeds, pests and diseases.

To sum up, regular attention to your lawn’s needs will ultimately make it easier to maintain its attractive appearance.

But there’s more!

From an environmental point of view, lawns reduce the urban heat island effect; combat air and water pollution with their filtering properties and oxygen production; decrease noise pollution; prevent soil erosion and help with flood control.

Moreover, turfed areas contribute to the ecosystem as a whole by providing a habitat for various beneficial species, as well as by maintaining the natural balance of underground water networks.

And from a human perspective, all the above surely benefit people, too. To elaborate further, green and lush private or public grassed spaces provide folks with the opportunity to enjoy quality recreational time outdoors. Not to mention that a neat and presentable lawn adds value to one’s property.

How to best care for your lawn according to each season

As we know, for many, lawn care comes down to simply cutting the grass on a regular basis and the occasional watering in the hot weather months. But unfortunately, there’s a lot more you need to keep in mind and do if you want to have a thriving lawn.

From feeding, irrigation, dethatching, aeration and weed control to topdressing, overseeding, disease prevention and pest proofing, these are some of the main tasks you should consider doing at the right time of the year, of course.

So, let’s continue with our guide to lawn care by looking into some detailed lawn maintenance tips by season!

Spring lawn care guide

Springtime is probably the busiest period when it comes to helping your garden and lawn wake up and prepare them for the growing season. And although Australian winter is not that harsh in comparison to other regions of the world, lower air and soil temperatures, night’s frost and the like can affect the condition of your grass, especially if it’s a warm-season type.

So, your spring lawn care guide may include the following general jobs that you should do, in order to give your turf the boost it needs after its dormant winter period. Please, note that most spring lawn maintenance tasks can be done in the autumn, as well, with some of them, actually being recommended to be completed as part of your lawn winterising schedule.

Dethatching

Also called scarifying, removing thatch buildup from your lawn will give new grass shoots the chance to peek through much more easily. It will also help sunlight, water and nutrients reach the fresh grass and its roots.

Some types of grass in Australia are more prone to thatch accumulation, with Zoysia grass being rather susceptible, due to its thick stems. So, inspect your turf and if you find that it feels bouncy under your feet, take measures.

  • Experts advise that you can apply a selective herbicidal and moss killing product a few weeks prior to using your scarifier to eliminate weeds and make the dethatching process much easier.
  • As the procedure can be quite distressing for your lawn, make sure to use the right settings on your scarifying tool and do the job when the soil is not too dry or too wet.
  • Remember that not addressing thatch and moss on your lawn will make the grass prone to pest issues and diseases.

Aeration

Aeration is closely connected to lawn scarification and more often than not, you need to complete this task, too. It is designed to loosen compacted soil (a usual occurrence in the winter) so that water and nutrients absorption, as well as airflow in the soil, are significantly improved.

Depending on your lawn’s size, you can use different types of manual tools or machinery, from aerating sandals and a hollow tine fork to a manual rolling or petrol-powered aerator. And if you wonder about what to do with the small plugs of soil after the job has been done, you can easily break them down over the lawn surface. Aeration often precedes overseeding.

Overseeding

If you haven’t done this job in the autumn, you may well notice some grass thinning in places or outright bald patches on your lawn. To repair these issues, you can disperse new seeds over the lawn surface. Make sure that the soil is moist before overseeding your turfed area for best results and rake the seeds in to distribute them evenly.

Overseeding in early spring helps with the rejuvenation of your lawn.

Check also: Overseeding a Lawn: How and When to Repair Your Lawn

Fertilising

Feeding your lawn in the spring is also important, as nutrient depletion in colder weather is quite a normal “event”. If unsure what to use, speak to a specialist at your local garden centre, as not all lawn fertilisers are made equal.

Also, to make the right choice, you can test the pH of your soil and find out what minerals and nutrients it needs. A slow-release spring fertiliser will usually suffice to improve the soil under your turf. Professional lawn maintenance folks advise on using a liquid fertiliser in the spring rather than a granular one.

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Watering

As climate varies greatly across different states and regions in Australia, make sure to water your lawn regularly if spring is on the dry side. To avoid overwatering the grass roots, you can test how moist the soil is before grabbing the garden hose.

Still, now and again, you can give your lawn a relatively good soak, as this will “teach” the roots of the grass to grow deeper into the soil, making your turf more drought-tolerant.

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Mowing tips for spring: The rule of thumb when it comes to mowing is not to start too early. This way, you’ll give your lawn the chance to recover from the winter and to establish properly. Depending on your grass type, maintain the appropriate length by setting up your lawn mower accordingly. Cold-season varieties should be left longer (5cm – 8cm) than warm-season grass types (between 2cm and 4cm). Also, some specialists advise leaving, occasionally, the grass clippings behind in the spring, as they will break down relatively quickly, providing a natural feed for your turf.

Summer lawn care advice

Summer lawn care jobs revolve around two main things – mowing and watering (or ensuring that your turf does not get stressed in dry hot periods). So, depending on where you live and what the summer is like that particular year – wet or dry, you’ll have to adjust your lawn mowing and watering schedule accordingly.

Cutting the grass in the summer

In the peak of its growing period, you should best mow your grass regularly and at a high setting. This means that you’ll need to leave the grass blades slightly longer so that your turf is better protected against potential dry spells. You see, if the grass is too short, the soil and the plant’s roots will dry out too quickly, making your lawn distressed.

Adjust the frequency of mowing in periods without rainfall when the grass growth rate will slow down. Last but not least, if you use a mulching mower, the tiny clippings that fall on your turf will help protect it against the faster evaporation of water.

Lawn irrigation

Again, depending on how often it rains in your area during the summer, water your lawn regularly to ensure the optimum conditions for the grass to look its best. Find the right balance and also, consider your soil and grass type. Naturally, well-draining soil will need more watering than soil that can retain moisture for longer periods of time.

Dealing further with drought issues

During dry hot spells, you can help your turf and soil fight against rapid water loss by adding wetting agents. What these products do is that they help the water penetrate more easily where it’s needed. Your turf will absorb every drop of moisture with the help of a wetting agent that is best applied with a sprayer.

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Pro tip: After the application, you need to water profusely your grassed area for getting maximum results.

Weed control

Although weed issues with your lawn are associated with winter and spring, when they can overtake dormant or awakening grass, some types of unwanted turf-loving plants can continue giving your problems in the summer, too.

Crabgrass, dandelions and Cats Ear are often the plants that can give you a hard time removing them. You see, it can be tricky to treat your lawn with a selective weed killer during the hot weather, as the substance can burn the actual grass. So, apply with caution and try to remove as much of the weeds as possible manually.

Learn more about: How to Get Rid of the Weeds in the Lawn Without Killing the Grass

Reducing lawn stress

Some gardeners swear by some seaweed-based products, as an effective solution against heat stress and turf issues, caused by high foot traffic. Apply when appropriate, so the roots of the grass become stronger. This way, they’ll be able to reach more water at the deeper levels of the soil.

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Tips for addressing discoloured grass: In drought conditions, you can resort to using a slow-release fertiliser that contains a natural pigment, which will restore the vibrant green colour of your turf.

Autumn lawn care tips

As mentioned earlier, lawn care during the Australian autumn involves performing similar tasks to those that you would do in the early spring. So, below, we’ll cover only some of the specifics that you should keep in mind, in order to winterise your turf successfully.

  • Cut the grass a bit shorter – With the summer heat no longer being a thing to worry about, you can start mowing your lawn at a slightly lower setting. Keep an eye on weeds coming back, however, as shorter grass, especially if distressed during the summer, can promote weed growth.
  • Check if you need to aerate again – As people use their lawns more in the summer months, soil compaction can occur at the end of the season. So, it’s recommended that you aerate your turf mid-autumn.
  • Top dress if you need to – Again, lawn unevenness, due to its more frequent use in the garden-party season, is quite common. So, top dress your grassed patch to address this problem. Then, follow the next step.
  • Overseeding is also a good idea – Most people prefer to overseed their lawn in the autumn, anyway, before the frost comes. The seeds, especially if they’re the cold-season grass type, have time to sprout into tougher grass blades with stronger roots so that your turf can survive the colder weather.
  • Feed your lawn – Use an autumn lawn fertiliser that is low in nitrogen but high in phosphates and potassium. The latter will help your turf withstand frosty conditions. Water your lawn less frequently in the autumn.
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Winter moss prevention tips: Using a fertiliser with high contents of iron in the autumn will help your turf withstand moss build-up during the cooler months. Also, moss loves shade, so prune some trees with branches hanging over areas of your lawn to give them more sunlight exposure.

Winter lawn carе in Australia

Although your turf will be heading for a semi-dormant period during the colder weather, this doesn’t mean that you should neglect certain winter lawn care tasks. The key, however, is preparation in late autumn to enjoy a well-winterised turfed area that doesn’t suffer from grave issues in July and August.

In other words, doing your homework before the grass becomes dormant, such as feeding, aerating and weeding your turf, will make winter lawn maintenance somewhat less of a necessity.

  • Use your mower now and again – Cut the grass in winter short and only when needed. Don’t mow your lawn if there’s frost on the surface.
  • Water with caution in the mornings only – Naturally, during the winter months, your turf will need far less watering.
  • Eliminate weeds, like winter grass, as soon as they appear – Although your autumn weed control efforts will be probably sufficient, watch out for some stubborn unwanted plant species trying to break through and grow in between your lawn grass.
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Soil compaction prevention tips: Walking too much on your lawn in the winter, when the soil is too wet, can contribute to soil compaction, so avoid doing this as much as you can.


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Takeaways

  • To enjoy a lush turf all year round, you need to perform various lawn care tasks during the right season.
  • Your location, the regional climate, your garden’s soil type and the lawn’s grass variety will all affect how and when you approach a specific lawn maintenance job.
  • If you don’t have the expertise or high-quality equipment, you better resort regularly to professional lawn care assistance, in order to ensure that you have a thriving lawn at all times.

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Did you find our post helpful? How do you take care of your lawn during each season? Please, share your tips with our readers in the comments below.

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    Posted in All Articles, Gardening Advice