How To Guides

How to maintain your natural turf

So, you’ve just laid a brand-new beautiful lawn. Or, you’ve got an established lawn you want to keep in great shape. Well, follow this practical five-step guide from our turf experts. It’s as easy as one, two, green!

Got questions? Our team of turf experts is on hand to help. Give us a call or write to us with your queries.

1. Fertilise your lawn in Spring, Summer and Autumn

Your lawn needs regular fertilising to remain strong and healthy. A complete lawn fertiliser should be applied every 4-6 weeks throughout spring and summer. This applies to warm season grasses (Kikuyu, Prestige®️ Buffalo and Santa Ana Couch) and cool season grasses (Tall Fescue).

Apply a fertiliser with higher potassium to your warm season grass (Kikuyu, Prestige®️ Buffalo and Santa Ana Couch) in early April. Fertilising in autumn helps stimulate root growth in your lawn as it gets ready for its dormant season. This is called ‘winterising’. Cool season grasses (Tall Fescue) will also benefit from fertilising in autumn.

Warm season grasses become dormant in winter. Just like a rose or a deciduous tree. This means that it will lose its colour and vigour in the cooler months. But it’s not dying.

A cool season grass (Tall Fescue) will remain green throughout winter.

2. Mow your lawn regularly

Hands-down the most important thing you can do to look after your turf is mow it at the right height, at the right rate.

Mow your lawn methodically to promote root development. A good rule of thumb is to cut it often enough so that you aren’t trimming more than 30% of the height each time. If you cut more than 30%, it slows your lawn’s photosynthesis which will stunt its growth.

If you have warm season grass, reduce your mowing height in October to remove organic build up and encourage density.

If you have cool season grass (Tall Fescue), leave it longer in spring and summer. They should be mowed at 50-70mm.

In shaded areas, increase your mowing height to 30-50% to compensate for weak, spindly growth.

We recommend you don’t remove grass clippings from your lawn in summer, autumn and winter. It actually helps maintain nitrogen in the soil which is really healthy for your lawn!).

3. Follow a seasonal watering guide

For new lawns

If you are installing a new lawn, keep your lawn moist at all times for the first two weeks. You cannot overwater your lawn. Put your hand on the new turf to feel that it is wet. After establishment, water your lawn deeply (10mm by application) to promote a deep, vigorous root system.

For established lawns

WEEKLY WATERING GUIDE (For most turf varieties)

Dec-Feb       Twice per week

Mar              Once per week (If required)

Apr-Sep       Nil per week (Tall Fescue may need some water)

Oct-Nov      Once per week (If required)

During winter, your lawn needs minimal watering. Simply monitor your lawn on very windy days from late winter until Spring. You can use a hand-held trigger hose to water it as it needs.

4. Aerate your lawn in winter

Use a garden fork or aeration shoes to aerate your lawn in winter. Aeration ensures water drains freely through the soil and helps prevent thatching, weeds and diseases. Plus, if you choose aeration shoes to loosen your soil, it can double as the day’s exercise!

HG Turf Group_How to maintain your natural turf_aeration
5. Watch for pests, diseases and weeds

Pests and diseases

Monitor your lawn for pests and diseases. The best preventative measure is to keep a healthy lawn. You can use chemicals if you like – consult the Yates website for specific product advice.


The best method of weed prevention is good turf maintenance. A thick, healthy turf decreases the chances of weed seeds establishing themselves and germinating in your lawn.

Where practical, remove weeds by hand before the seed head develops.

If you choose to use a selective weed spray to remove weeds, take care with its technique, rate and timing. Generally speaking, warm seasons grass can be affected by most weed sprays. Carefully identify the weed and select the correct spray before you apply it to your lawn.

Immature weeds in warm season grasses are best sprayed in winter (during dormancy), or in summer (during activity) when drought stress can help weaken cool season weeds.

WARNING: Broadleaf chemical sprays containing Dicamba must not be used on Prestige®️ Buffalo.

Our staff are experts in the turf industry and are ready to discuss your requirements for your next project with you.