Fertilising in Autumn

Fertilising in Autumn

Autumn truly is the smartest time of the year to prepare your lawn for the harsh winter ahead. 

Fertilising is one of the best things you can do to prepare your lawn for winter as it makes it strong and healthy and ready for any tough, cold conditions that lie ahead.

With the soil maintaining its summer warmth and the more frequent rainfall, your lawn is busy absorbing energy, moisture and all the nutrients it needs to get it through the coldest part of the year. 

By giving your lawn some love and fertiliser now you’ll be sure to get a lot of love back by spring. 

First there are a few chores to do before fertilising your lawn:

Aerate the soil

A good piece of advice before fertilising is to aerate your lawn as summer often causes a lot of compaction.

Aerating addresses compaction by putting small holes into the lawn therefore allowing the fertiliser to access the soil and improve air circulation – aiding your lawns growth.

If you don’t have an aerator at home, they’re easy to hire and inexpensive. If you own a large yard, you may need to call a landscaper to get this done for you. 

Rake up the debris

It’s important to clear your lawn of any fallen leaves and debris as soon as you can and before fertilising.

The last thing you want is for the leaves to become wet, stick together, and suffocate the grass and breed fungal diseases. 

Want to know a tip? Rake all the leaves into a garbage bag and add a handful of Dynamic Lifter to help the leaves break down. It’ll eventually turn into compost, which you can spread over your garden beds. 

Autumn lawn application rates

It is important that you tell your local garden centre what sort of grass you have before purchasing your fertiliser, so you buy the correct one. Apply some quality lawn fertiliser at manufacturer’s recommendations, and ensure adequate water is applied to the lawn.

Slow release fertiliser

Most lawns respond well to a slow release fertiliser which can be found at any local garden centre.

Using a slow release fertiliser on your lawn once during autumn before the ground becomes too cold.

Application of your slow release fertiliser should occur during late March or early April (when the weather is still warm).

Key features of slow release fertilisers are that:

  • The nutrients slowly release and continuously
  • All of the fertiliser’s nutrients are utilised following watering in
  • Use of low application rates (saves money)
  • There is only the need to apply three times during the year (twice in spring and once in autumn)

Another benefit of a slow release fertiliser is that a consistent level of growth and greening occurs across the life of the application with no spike in growth and no nutrient-run off.

It is important not to use cheap slow release fertilisers as these products tend to initially release a lot of nutrients and dwindle off quickly with nutrient delivery, resulting in an initial surge in growth and greening – however, consistent growth will not be maintained.

Traditional lawn fertiliser

Traditional lawn fertiliser is often the cheapest lawn food choice but not necessarily the best.

Key features of traditional lawn fertilisers are that:

  • They require high application rates
  • They only supply your lawn with short-term feed
  • They create a crystalline or powdered appearance
  • A spike in growth and greening occurs (rapid initial response which tappers off quickly)
  • They require frequent applications

Traditional fertilisers also tend to dump their nutrient load immediately after watering in which often leads to high nutrient run-off into waterways and drains.

Application rates for traditional fertilisers are every 4 to 6 weeks and rely on the lawn being able to absorb the nutrients as they move through the soil.

However frequent applications of traditional fertiliser can have detrimental effects on the soil chemistry and therefore health.

Organic lawn fertilisers

A ‘true’ organic fertiliser is one that has been certified as 100% organic – so be sure to have that guaranteed when purchasing.

The simplest way to check that it is 100% organic is by looking for the Australian Organic Certified logo on the bottle or pack.

A recommended organic fertiliser is a blend of both a natural (organic) and synthetic (manufactured) fertiliser.

Therefore, the use of an organic lawn food and soil improver combines the features of both a slow release fertiliser as well as natural ingredients such as seaweed, fish, manure and bio-stimulants.

Since organic fertiliser are natural products it is hard to over-fertiliser and in fact, they make your soil and plant health strong.

As organic fertilisers can be more expensive than other fertilisers it is possible to make your own by composting manure – such as from cattle or chooks.

The best time to apply your organic fertiliser in autumn is either late March or early April.

Another application of organic fertiliser during winter – preferably late June.

FIND YOUR LOCAL SUPPLIER: Your local Grower suppliers can easily be found with our online Supplier locator tool OR if you would like to obtain up to 3 QUOTES from your local supplier today – Click – get 3 quotes

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