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Fertilising a lawn

My lawn seems to have lost its lushness, and is looking particularly drab at the moment. I understand you can fertilise lawns. What can I use?


Lawn maintenance is essential in spring when the grass is starting to recover from the cold winter months. To assist healthy grass growth it is important to fertilise, water regularly and eradicate moss and weeds in the lawn.

Did you know that a well cared for lawn can stand up better to periods of drought than a neglected lawn?

The secret lies in the healthy root system: an unfertilised lawn, which is being cut on a regular basis, is constantly drawing on the nutrient reserves in the soil. When these reserves run out, the lawn starts to deteriorate and no longer has the vigour to stand up to periods of heat and drought.

Spring is the best time to fertilise lawn grasses and improve their strength and disease resistance. There is a great choice of different types of fertilisers available, and you will find there is a fertiliser type to suit your needs and particular situation.

Lawns have high nutrient requirements, and need regular feeding to ensure that the roots and leaves can obtain sufficient nitrogen.

Yates Gro-Plus Lawn Food is ideal for the purpose. It is a quality, well-balanced lawn food which has been formulated to keep the grass in good condition.

Underfed lawns are pale in colour and have a sparse, loose texture and are easily invaded by weeds. Gro-Plus Professional Total Lawn Food is a slow release lawn food which has been specially blended to promote a deep green colour, and will not burn the grass after application. This product will give thicker, greener leaves within two weeks and carries on working for 4 months after application. Gro-Plus Professional Total Lawn Food contains iron and sulphur which promote long-term plant health and increases soil acidity, inhibiting the growth of coarse grasses and weeds.

You can also use products such as Yates Weed 'n' Feed, a combined lawn fertiliser and broadleaf weedkiller in one. This is convenient as it destroys the weeds and supplies plant food in one combined operation. Weed 'n' Feed is very easy to use, and is operated simply by connecting your garden hose with a click fitting to the container. This uses the hose water to distribute the liquid fertiliser and herbicide combination onto the lawn. Over the following weeks the broadleaf weeds begin to die and the grasses start to grow with renewed enthusiasm.

Do you have a special occasion when you want your lawn to have a green flush rapidly? Thrive Soluble Lawn Food is rocket fuel for lawns. It supplies high levels of nitrogen and being soluble the nitrogen is rapidly available. Rapid lush green growth is the result.

If Onehunga weed, which produces prickles in the lawn in summer, is a specific problem then Prickle Weedkiller will provide excellent control. These should be applied in the period between September and November, before the Onehunga weed flowers and seeds.

Moss in lawns can be a problem in badly drained or compacted soil, or in shady situations. Spraying with Surrender can control moss. One application will remove the moss.

UnitecAdvice by Dr Dan Blanchon from Unitec's Diploma in Sustainable Horticulture and Bachelor of Resource Management.

Reproduced with permission from NZOOM Home and Garden content,
from the previous website of  TVNZ News

The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH

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Last updated: June 27, 2005