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Backyard with green lawn, rocks, outdoor furniture and trees.
Your lawn maintenance routine should change with the seasons. We’re sharing advice on how to care for your lawn through summer, autumn, winter and spring.

Love your lawn

A lush, green lawn is very appealing – it draws everyone outdoors, it keeps the outside of your home cool, and it increases your home’s street cred, too. For a lawn to look its best year-round, give it regular TLC. We’re sharing lawn maintenance tips by season. 

Summer

The heat is on! To help protect your lawn from the stresses of summer, now is the time to water well and deeply. Ensure every drop of water is used by applying a soil wetter early in the season. This helps break up any waxy coating on the soil surface and enables water to better penetrate the soil profile, allowing it to go where it’s needed most – the roots.

In periods of extreme heat or extended periods of dry weather, you may need to water the lawn two to three times a week. Water early in the morning to help reduce water loss due to evaporation. Watering with diluted seaweed once a fortnight will also help strengthen the root system and help your lawn recover better from heat-related stress. Apply a fast-acting liquid fertiliser to green up the lawn for backyard entertaining.

Summer is the time to reduce your mowing frequency; if you need to mow, mow high. Avoid cutting off more than one-third of the leaf blade as it can cause unnecessary stress. (There is less surface area; therefore, there is less moisture in the leaves.)

Keep an eye out for lawn armyworm and treat at first sight with a suitable insecticide. These pests can chew through the lawn in a matter of days, so it pays to be vigilant. 

Watering spraying from a pop-up sprinkler in a green lawn

Autumn

The air is cool, the soil is warm, and it’s the perfect time to restore the effects of summer. If your lawn was heavily used, aerating and de-compacting it will go a long way to helping it recover. Use a garden fork to drive 10-15cm holes into the lawn, spaced 10-15cm apart. If you aerated in spring, you may not need to fully cover the lawn. 

With winter approaching, your lawn needs nurturing with organic-based fertilisers and soil improvers. These will help promote healthy green growth and a strong root system. Feed with a complete lawn fertiliser. Look for one that contains slow release, organic nutrients to help feed and nourish the soil, too. Feed early in the season and again in May, to help prepare your lawn for winter. Browning is inevitable in winter, especially in cold areas, but ensuring you give your lawn a good feed in late autumn will help the lawn recover faster come spring. 

As the weather cools, winter grass seed will begin to germinate and could spoil the look of your lawn. Get this winter grass under control before it takes over, using a pre-emergent spray, like Munns Winter Grass Killer. This will kill any winter grass present in the lawn; it will also help prevent seeds from emerging.

If the lawn was damaged by pests over spring or summer, rake to remove the dead patches. Feed couch, kikuyu and buffalo lawns to encourage new growth into the bare areas, or repair by sowing lawn seed

Winter

Lawn growth will have slowed – except for cool season varieties – and weeds will have started to set in. Control broadleaf weeds like bindii, clover, plantain, and thistles with a selective broadleaf herbicide. Ensure it’s suitable for your lawn type

If your lawn has been affected by frost, don’t walk over it. Instead, give it a light watering before the sun rises; this will help the frost melt more quickly. Cool and dewy winter conditions can promote lawn diseases, which appear as yellow or brown patches. Water the lawn only in the morning and apply a fungicide at the first sign of lawn disease.

As the weather starts to warm, your lawn will begin to emerge from its winter slumber. Apply fertiliser in late winter to provide the lawn with all the nutrients it needs for healthy and lush green spring growth. 

Spring

As the weather warms up, it’s time for the big jobs, including dethatching, aerating, weeding, feeding, mowing, and repairing bare patches. 

Use a metal rake to remove the build-up of thatch or dead grass in the lawn. This thick, spongy layer prevents water, air and nutrients from efficiently penetrating the soil. Follow up with a garden fork to aerate the entire lawn.

Control any weeds that have taken hold during winter. It’s best to do this before you feed, otherwise, you’ll be wasting nutrients on weeds! Treat them with a selective broadleaf herbicide that’s suitable for your lawn type. Once weeds are under control, give the lawn a feed with an organic lawn fertiliser. You can feed it again in mid- to late spring with an inorganic fertiliser; this will promote fast, lush, leafy growth, and a thick lawn helps resist and crowd out weeds.

Curl grubs are becoming active, so watch out for brown patches in your lawn. If spotted, treat with a suitable insecticide.

Bare patches are also something to keep an eye out for. Not only do they look untidy, but they also make it easier for weeds to establish. You can fix bare patches with lawn seed. 
September’s mild conditions are an ideal time to start a brand-new lawn. Promote lawn establishment from seed or turf with fertilisers specially designed for new lawns, and get the greenest lawn on the street with fast acting liquid fertiliser.

A lawn mower cutting long grass with small flowers

Is your lawn showing some bare patches?

Check out our guide on how to repair lawn bald spots.

 

Photo Credit: Cath Muscat and Getty Images

 

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Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.