Winter Fertilising: What does your lawn need?

Posted on June 26, 2020 by Ashlee Hall

One of the most frequent mistakes people make around their turf is that Winter is the season in which it can be ignored entirely. Common belief is that lawns die-off or go dormant and can simply be ignored until Spring, when it will bounce back good as new. Keeping your lawn healthy is a year-round process, and with a bit of care and attention your lawn can be the cream of the crop come Spring.

Once the temperatures drop below 14°C [1]your lawn will begin to go into its dormant or semi-dormant state. Most Queenslanders naturally have warmer weather grasses, so semi-dormancy is more common to see. Semi-dormant simply means that the grass doesn’t stop growing altogether, instead it slows its growth rate dramatically. This is why specific Winter fertilisers arxe essential, as nutrient uptake slows during periods of semi or full dormancy.

Fundamentally speaking, the most efficient and long-term path to take for your lawn is have a varied and healthy fertiliser cycle. A strong Autumn for your lawn means it will resist Winter better, and a singular application of cold weather fertiliser may be sufficient to see it through till Spring.  As the seasons change however, it is important that your fertiliser choices change to mirror that. There are two key ingredients that make for a good winter fertiliser: Potassium and Iron.

Potassium is the key component behind the strengthening of the entire plant, a vital aspect as your lawn heads into a dormant or semi-dormant state for the winter. It will also improve cell function of your lawn, allowing it to be more resilient come Spring. Iron also helps to strengthen the health of your lawn throughout the Winter. It does however have the added benefit of helping the leaf colour, giving your lawn a green kick to look better when cold months are in full swing.

A secondary factor to consider is the fertiliser itself. Granular fertilisers are far less efficient in the cooler months as the nutrients have a harder time being taken into the soil, and ergo the roots of your lawn. A foliar fertiliser is far more effective as it can be taken in by the leaf as well as the roots. Some foliar fertilisers even have the added benefit of being a pigment which improves the overall colour of your lawn immediately, as well as the obvious long-term gains.

Carefully choosing an appropriate winter fertiliser is a sure-fire way to give your lawn a leg up throughout the colder months. Implementing it as part of a holistic, season-based fertiliser cycle is a guaranteed way to ensure that the grass is actually greener on your side of the fence.

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