The last couple of months have been challenging and hopefully one of the benefits has been that you’ve been out and about enjoying the outdoors. Even though it’s now Winter, there are still lots of lawn activities to do to help your lawn survive the cold winter months.
Weed out the weak!
Controlling Winter Grass
Winter grass, no it’s not a slang term for your lawn during Winter, what we mean when we talk about winter grass is a pesky lime green weed that forms tufted grass clumps throughout your lawn. It is an annual that develops in Autumn, grows through Winter and sets seed in Spring. In warm season grasses it can be seen quite easily, often as the greenest patch in your lawn or even the only reason it needs mowing during winter. It’s ability to produce a huge number of seeds has enabled it to spread throughout Australia and many parts of the world.
Small infestations can be pulled by hand, but if you have let it seed in previous years this could take your whole weekend. The good news is though, there is a newly released solution for larger infestations provided by Munns in the easy to use form of a hose-on pack. Munns Professional Wintergrass Killer not only kills early winter grass seedlings, it also protects against future seedlings for months.
Check out our videos on how to use our Munns Professional Winter Grass Killer on your lawn.
Bindii & Broadleaf weeds
During Winter, weeds take advantage of your lawn’s weakened state to fill every possible gap.
Bindii and broad-leaf weeds can be easily controlled with the right herbicides without causing damage to your lawn.
Bindii, that old nemesis that has become an expectation in Australian lawns every Summer. It’s become part of our culture, with thongs riddled with the weed every year. What if I told you this doesn’t have to happen? That you don’t need to be pricked every Summer by the dreaded pest.
Bindii is a Winter annual weed, what that means is it pops up around April and grows till Spring/Summer when it sets seed for the following year. Those seeds have a very beautiful spike which helps them attach to your thongs or feet (ouch) and spread around your lawn. So, June-July is the ideal time to treat. Hit them now and you can enjoy your Summer lawn in bare feet!!
Broadleaf weeds include clovers, dandelions, capeweed, cudweed and thistles.
We recommend using Munns Professional Buffalo Booster Weed and Feed.
Keep Watering Your Lawn
One of the biggest mistakes Aussies make is thinking they don’t need to keep watering their lawn during the winter months. If you’ve got a cool season grass, make sure it’s getting a good deep drink once a week – considering any rainfall. Dew doesn’t count as watering as it sits on the surface and most evaporates before it can soak into the soil. It is best to water in the morning, which allows the lawn to dry off during the day and helps reduce diseases. To check if your lawn needs watering look for dry turf symptoms such as stepping on your lawn and if the blades bounce back up then the lawn doesn’t need watering, if they remain flat then the lawn does need to be watered or even better simply cut open with a spade to see if the soil is dry underneath (refer to images below of soil profile showing a dry lawn which needs watering or a wet profile that means the lawn doesn’t need watering).
Fertilising in winter, and should you?
The majority of Aussie lawns are warm season grasses that generally go into dormancy around this time of year. As mentioned in last season’s blog, the best time to fertilise your lawn is in autumn in preparation for winter, however, you can give your lawn a good feed around late August, so it can make a strong and healthy comeback for the spring months ahead. If you live in a heavily frost prone area you may need to delay fertilising till late September.
For cool season grasses, like Fescue and Bluegrass, we recommend using Munns Professional Golf Course Green Lawn Fertiliser.
If you’ve got a warm season grass, like Couch or Buffalo, we recommend using Munns Professional Buffalo Booster Lawn Fertiliser.
Regardless of lawn type it is best not to cut too close as recovering from any scalping will be slow. A higher cut in winter will prolong the colour in the leaf, by leaving more leaf to absorb what little sun there is. Just run the mower over any soursobs or winter weeds (do not cut the actual lawn) and make sure you catch the clippings, as you don’t want the weed seeds to drop back in.
After a busy growing season, your mower has likely done some hours without getting the proper care. A job that a lot of people often neglect in winter is keeping the blades on the mower nice and sharp. With less demand on mowing, now is a great time to sharpen or replace them. Dull blades rip and pull at the grass – get down close to your grass and check the cut edge, you may notice little strings attached to the ends of grass blades, where its edges are frayed and damaged, that’s how you know you’re overdue for sharpening your blades! By keeping the mower blades sharp it makes for a cleaner cut and causes less stress to the grass so it can recover quickly.
Let your lawn breathe
Deciduous trees are great to have in the garden and provide year–round benefits. But at the end of Autumn when they have dropped all their leaves, you need to ensure that they are picked up from the lawn.
The leaves dropping is very beneficial as it allows sunlight through to the lawn, however if you do not pick the leaves up, they block sunlight to the grass underneath and as they break down create a layer which hinders the oxygen, water and nutrients from getting where they need to go. In turn this will make the lawn more susceptible to fungal diseases and pests.
For any other lawn questions don’t hesitate to contact us on Live chat via our website (munns.com.au).
Happy winter lawn loving!