Common lawn disease symptoms include areas of small discoloured, brown, dead or dying patches in the lawn. Lawn diseases can spread and also reoccur year after year, so it’s important to get them under control to keep your lawn looking fantastic.
Here’s how to help reduce lawn diseases:
- Mow regularly to prevent a build-up of thatch and remove clippings from the lawn.
- Water only in the mornings, to allow the lawn to dry off during the day.
- Use a soil wetting agent like Munns Professional Smart Wetter Lawn Wetter to improve water penetration into the soil, so water is less likely to sit on the soil surface.
- Aerate or core your lawn to improve drainage.
- Use a specialised fungicide such as Yates® Zaleton® Dual Action Systemic Fungicide, which contains an effective combination of two fungicides to control the most common lawn diseases. It takes the guess work out of having to diagnose which lawn disease you have. Yates Zaleton can be easily applied by either a sprayer or watering can.
- Keep your grass well fed with a lawn food that contains a good amount of potassium, such as Yates Dynamic Lifter® Concentrated Lawn Food. Potassium is a nutrient that helps strengthen the lawn so it’s better able to resist disease infection. Based on chicken manure, it will also add valuable organic matter back into the soil.
Curl Grub Prevention
Curl grubs are common pests of lawns during mid-spring and into summer. They are creamy white or grey grubs, around 2–3cm long with a brown head and a dark grey to black bottom. When disturbed they curl into a C shape. They damage the lawn by eating the roots, just below the soil surface.
Curl grubs are the larvae of beetles like African black beetle, which are small, shiny black beetles. Adult African black beetles can start to become active in late winter, before laying their eggs (which turn into curl grubs) in spring, so controlling the beetles before they have a chance to lay their eggs will help prevent damaging curl grubs later on. An application of Baythroid® Advanced Insect Killer for Lawns in late winter will help control the adult African black beetle, before it has had a chance to lay eggs, helping to break the curl grub life cycle and protect the lawn from damage.
During winter, weeds take advantage of the lawn’s weakened state to fill every possible gap. Winter weeds germinate at lower soil temperatures, often coming in around April/Easter. Bindii & broad-leafed weeds can be relatively easily controlled with the help of a selective herbicide. This is the time for a weedkiller that removes invaders without causing damage to the lawn.
Typical examples of broad-leafed weeds are bindii, clover, dandelions, capeweed, cudweed and thistles. Many traditional selective herbicides containing the ingredient Dicamba work well with lawn types such as kikuyu & couch, but can be detrimental to new lawns and varieties like buffalo. For non-buffalo lawn types we recommend using Yates Bindii & Clover Weeder and for buffalo lawns we recommend using Yates Buffalo Pro Bindii & Broadleaf Weeder which has been specially formulated for use on buffalo lawns.
Weed ‘n’ Feed
A simple way to remove weeds and fertilise the lawn at the same time is by using Yates Weed’n’Feed. The Yates Weed’n’Feed range includes hose-on and dry formulations, as well as buffalo and non-buffalo formulas. Check directions to make sure that the product is right for your grass. If you don’t know what sort of grass you have, take some samples to a horticulturist to have it identified.
Late August is the perfect time to feed the lawn and, these days, the availability of slow release lawn foods means this task is much easier than it used to be. Yates Lawn Fertiliser is a good example of these new feeds. The specially-developed technology in its formulation means that it continues to release nutrients for three months.
Organic Dynamic Lifter Lawn Food is another option for long-term feeding. It has the added benefit of improving the soil’s organic content.
Spiking and aerating
At the end of winter, soil’s often compacted, so the lawn will benefit from a good spiking. Do this by energetically pushing a fork as far as possible vertically into the soil or, if you’re really keen, hiring a mechanical aerator. If it's been a dry winter, adding a wetting agent to break hydrophobicity would be a good option.
Thicken tired and worn lawns by oversowing with one of the Yates Lawn Seed packs. These come in a few different varieties, kikuyu, couch and all season to suit different lawn types and situations.
Prep your lawn for spring
As spring approaches lawns will start to emerge from their winter slumber. We should make sure that the soil is in tip top shape and there’s enough nutrients to support all the upcoming lawn growth. Your lawn will really appreciate the late winter TLC, to help it face the busy seasons of backyard cricket, parties and BBQs ahead. Spreading Munns Professional Golf Course Green Lawn Fertiliser over your lawn in late winter provides 10 essential nutrients and trace elements to encourage thick, lush green lawn growth. Munns Professional Golf Course Green Lawn Fertiliser also contains rich organic ingredients that will nurture and improve the soil and encourage strong root development.