Winter is well and truly here. The change in seasons means we need to change tact in the way we manage our lawn. This blog is a brief guide on which nutritional products are suited for the cool seasons and why.
The drop in temperatures means the soil based microbes which are essential for converting nutrients from granular fertilizers and other soil based products slow down in activity. This, along with the decreased rate of growth of the grass means many nutrients can be leached away from the soil faster than they can be absorbed. While a granular can still be used in many states around Australia, we would recommend one balanced in N to K such as 2Spec Endurance or Komplex if you are after a mini prill. The increased amount of Potassium (K) will increase the resilience of the turf to disease along with plant vigor. It can be a good idea to apply these at a lower rate but increase the frequency of application, so instead of 2kg/100m2 every 8-10 weeks, do 1kg/100m2 every 4-5 weeks.
A liquid diet can be much more beneficial over the cooler months as the nutrients are taken up immediately by the leaf of the plant and doesn't rely on the previously mentioned soil microbes to convert the granular product. Phosfighter is a 0-13-25 NPK which will build a healthy root system, increase plant vigor and natural resistance to disease. You can combine this with Special Fex or Fusion which are 15-0-0 and 12-0-12 respectively. These will provide some Nitrogen for growth and Iron for colour. Fusion having the added benefits of growth promoters to keep your turf going in very trying conditions.
Keep up the seaweed/kelp extract (Kelpro) applications year round which assists with root and shoot growth and improving the plant's tolerance to stress. You can also add in our Humic and Fulvic acid product UMX to keep improving soil conditions and nutrient availability if you so choose. Personally we don't incorporate a soil wetter through the winter months as we don't want to hold on to excess moisture. However, if the soil is hydrophobic and you are seeing a lot of run off, then by all means use one to get the water in to the profile.
To simplify the process, we have the Winter Glow bundle available.
Our own monthly Winter mix per 100m2 is as follows:
200ml Fusion (can substitute for Special Fex)
Winter also brings out many broad leaf weed varieties as well as Wintergrass. We have solutions available for pre and post emergent treatment of these so get in contact if you are unsure or need any advice.