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Winter Lawn Care in WA

Author

Baileys Fertiliser

Published

31 July 2020

As soil temperatures drop in winter, our warm season lawns go into a state of dormancy, growing at a much slower rate to conserve energy. Although the growing season's action is over, here's a few tips and tricks for winter to keep your lawn in good nick, and give it a flying start come spring.

Nutrition

Foliar feeding (liquid application to the foliage or leaf of the grass) is more effective and environmentally friendly in winter when the transfer of nutrients from soil to plant slows down. Throughout winter we recommend applying Baileys GT Green Plus liquid fertiliser every 4-8 weeks to maintain turf colour and health. This product also contains Humic Acid, which acts as a natural chelator, improving nutrient uptake, fertiliser efficiency and overall plant response. 

Why use a liquid fertiliser in Winter?

Granular, soil reactive fertilisers, require soil bacteria to convert nutrients to a plant-ready form for uptake via roots. These microorganisms are less active in cold conditions and ground temperatures below 14 degrees will see them slow into a sort of hibernation. Foliar feeding bypasses this process, as the nutrients in liquid fertilisers are applied to and almost immediately available to be absorbed through the turf leaf. 

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Mowing & Maintenance

Help your lawn adjust to the cooler temperatures by increasing the height of your lawn mower. Keeping extra length on the leaf (especially in shaded areas) will give your lawn the best chance to absorb sunlight and nutrients. This will also help your lawn retain its colour and hold out those pesky winter weeds. 

Over winter is also a great time to take care of any required maintenance on retic, mowers etc. Make sure everything is sharp, serviced and in good working order for Spring. 

Watering & Compaction

At this time of year, you shouldn't need to water your lawn much, if at all. With our winter sprinkler switch off in place in the metro and some regional areas from 1 June - 31 August every year, watering should only be on an as-need basis.

You will know if your lawn is dry as the leaves will curl, in which case, give it a drink with the hose, otherwise leave it to the winter rains. You don't want to put excess moisture into the soil if you can avoid it, as this will only encourage compaction and disease.

In high traffic areas, compaction can be an issue in winter. Try to avoid traffic on your lawn wherever possible or regularly aerate any areas which are regularly parked or played on.  The same applies after heavy rains if water tends to pool or the soil gets waterlogged.  This will help air get to the root zone, allowing your lawn to breathe. 

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Weeds

Weeds will be more prevalent in winter. Your lawns slower growth and weaker sward means there's often nutrients and space for these opportunists to pop up.

We always recommend removing weeds by hand if manageable before given a chance to go to seed. If that's not the case, a selective herbicide can be used on broadleaf weeds such as bindii, clover and dandelion. Make sure you take care of these guys now, particularly bindii. If they're allowed to seed, they will return bigger and better down the track.  

Invasive grasses, such as Winter Grass, will need to be eradicated using a specialised Winter Grass Killer. Ideally, the best control of winter grass for next time is use of a pre-emergent herbicide in May, which stops weed seed from germinating in winter.

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