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How to: fix the lawn

Most warm-season grasses stop growing when the nights turn cold, allowing weeds to get a foothold while your attention has turned indoors.

So now is the time to target terrors like bindii, wintergrass and dandelions and avoid seeding - and many years more weeding.


Time to target the the lawn terrors now.


1. Identification

You need to know exactly what you're working with - both the lawn type, and the weed - so you can choose a herbicide suited to your lawn and its weed problem. Selective herbicides target specific weeds and can also damage some lawn species, such as buffalo and Queensland blue couch. If in doubt take a sample to your local garden centre, or email a picture to the Garden Clinic helpline.


3. Select your day

Choose a day when rain is not expected for at least another two days, when temperatures are below 21 degrees and there’s no wind. Avoid mowing the lawn for a week before spraying as the open wounds created by mowing will quickly absorb any herbicide, and damage or kill the lawn. Delay mowing a week after spraying to allow the weeds to take up the herbicide.


4. Treatment

Measure the lawn to calculate the right amount of product to use: incorrect dosage can damage lawn or be too dilute to be effective. For this reason we prefer concentrates to hose-on packs, as they allow for more accurate application. Follow the directions on the pack and expect weeds to start to yellow off in 10-14 days. If dealing with winter grass, spray again after two weeks if new seedlings have emerged. Weeds with underground storage roots or bulbs, such as dandelion, can be treated repeatedly by spot spraying or painting with a non-selective herbicide such as glyphosate. If weedy survivors persist after your treatment regime, dig them out by hand.

Once the weeds are gone, refresh the lawn so it takes off in lush, soft green growth when the weather warms.

About this article

Author: Narelle Smith