Lawn Soil

What goes on in the soil beneath your lawn is just as important as the leafy green growth we see on top. The health of the soil and lawn roots play a significant role in how well your lawn looks and performs. Here’s how to make sure your lawn is getting the full top to toe treatment during winter.

Lawn Diseases

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. 
  • For the control of Lawn diseases (Dollar spot, Brown patch, Fusarium and Helminthosporium only), try Yates Mancozeb Plus Garden Fungicide & Miticide.
  • 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.

Root Care

A strong root system helps promote a healthier lawn, including during periods of drought and stress. Munns Professional Root RegeneratorSoil Improver combines a range of soil improvers, including seaweed and humates, as well as microbes, to assist nutrient uptake and stimulate deeper lawn root development. Munns Professional Root Regenerator™ Soil Improver can be used all year round on all lawn types and is applied over the lawn via a pressure sprayer or hose-on applicator and then watered in to move the root regenerating ingredients down into the root zone.

Efficient Watering

Ensuring moisture is getting down to the lawn’s root system is vital in keeping the lawn healthy. Sometimes the soil underneath the lawn can become water repellent (hydrophobic) and moisture doesn’t penetrate evenly or effectively down into the root zone.

Munns Professional Smart Wetter Lawn Wetter contains a combination of two professional grade wetting agents, plus seaweed. It alleviates water repellency and increases water availability in the soil, helping to keep water in the root zone for longer. Easily apply Munns Professional Smart Wetter Lawn Wetter over the lawn using a pressure sprayer or hose-on applicator and then water in well.

Removing weeds

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.

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 need to make sure that there’s enough nutrients to support all the upcoming growth. Yates® Dynamic Lifter® Concentrated Lawn Food is an ideal late winter lawn food, providing a rich source of organic matter that will nurture and improve soil structure and quality, encourage hardworking earthworms and beneficial soil microorganisms and feed the lawn with fast acting nutrients to promote lush, healthy green growth.


Related products

Yates Weed 'n' Feed Hose-On

Yates Weed 'n' Feed Hose-on weed killer and fertiliser. Liquid hose on weedkiller with added nitrogen fertiliser for healthy green lawns.

More Lawn Tips & Advice

Summer lawn care tips

Whether it’s preparing your lawn for the festive season and holidays or helping it recover from backyard games and parties, here are some summer lawn care tips to help create a beautiful lush green lawn.

Refresh your lawn

With a little bit of work in spring, you can give your lawn a great head start for the growing season ahead.