What Are Controlled Release Fertilisers?

Fertiliser Technologies You Need To Know

Dr Sam Stacey and Will Pearce, ICL Specialty Fertilisers

Healthy, resilient turf needs adequate nutrition and that’s why applying the right fertiliser product is so important. With so many fertiliser technologies on offer it can be difficult to know which product will give the best result. This article has been written to help demystify the differences between conventional, slow-release and controlled release fertilisers. We look at how each technology affects nutrient delivery to turf, how long they feed turf for and how local environmental conditions affect performance.

Conventional fertilisers – how long do they last?

Studies show that almost all of the nitrogen and phosphorus in conventional fertiliser granules is released on the same day that it is applied to the soil (this occurs whether a granule ‘shell’ is still visible or not). Fast dissolution is very easy to observe with urea granules, which can dissolve in minutes following light irrigation or even on humid days. Liquid or foliar fertilisers behave like conventional fertilisers in that they provide immediately soluble nutrients. All of these fertilisers provide an almost immediate response but have a short-term effect.

Once nutrients are released from the granule, they are subject to the prevailing environmental conditions. Either they will be taken up by the turf or remain in the soil where they are potentially subject to leaching (washing through the soil below the root zone) or, in the case of nitrogen, gaseous loss to the atmosphere (e.g. volatilisation or denitrification). Wet conditions from rainfall or frequent irrigation can increase nutrient losses. Fertiliser that has been leached or lost is no longer available to the turf.

There are three broad categories of technologies that have been designed to reduce losses of nutrients (mainly nitrogen) and keep more of the fertiliser in the root zone where it is available to the turf. The technologies are 1) Slow Release, 2) Controlled-Release and 3) Inhibitors(nitrification or urease).  We discuss how both Slow Release and Controlled Release technology affects fertiliser behaviour and availability to turf below.

controlled release fertiliser trial

ICL and Lawns Solutions Australia are currently running a trial at Daleys Turf on a range of granular fertiliser technologies and their effect on the establishment of Sir Grange Zoysia turf.

Slow and Controlled Release Fertilisers

Slow and controlled release fertilisers work by slowing the delivery of nutrients in the soil. Unlike straight urea or compound granules, controlled-release fertilisers release small amounts of nutrient each day for up to months at a time (the exact period is product dependent). Slowing and controlling the release of nutrients has the following benefits:

  • One application of fertiliser can potentially feed the turf for months, so far fewer applications need to be made, which can reduce labour costs;
  • The potential for burning of turf is significantly reduced because the nutrients are not immediately soluble.
  • The turf receives consistent nutrition because the fertiliser releases a small amount each day. This leads to more even growth, better density and consistent colour.
  • Nutrients are far less likely to be lost by leaching because only a small amount of nutrient is released into the soil at any one time. Polymer coating around the fertiliser granules protects the nutrients inside.
  • A sudden bout of heavy rainfall will not empty the soil of nutrients like it can when conventional or even inhibitor-treated fertilisers have been used. Polymer-coated fertilisers will continue to slowly release nutrients, which will replenish the soil once the rainfall has stopped.

The difference between Slow Release and Controlled Release fertilisers

We find that some manufacturers use different terminology, but the internationally accepted definitions are that the term slow release is usually used to describe a fertiliser that is not polymer-coated and works by being partially insoluble. The fertiliser takes longer than usual to dissolve in the soil and therefore delivers nutrients over a longer period. For e.g. Lawn Solutions Premium Fertiliser.

lawn solutions fertiliser

What are Controlled Release Fertilisers?

Controlled release is used to describe fertilisers that have an outer polymer, polymer-sulphur or resin coating. The coating acts like a rain jacket; it slows moisture absorption by the granule and then slows the release of nutrients into the soil. With a good quality coating, it is possible to pre-program the fertiliser to release nutrients daily over different periods. Some controlled release fertilisers deliver nutrients over 2 months, others 6 months and others 8 months.  Some examples include ICL Maintenance and All Round Fertilisers.

ICL fertiliser ICL controlled release fertiliser

ICL manufactures some for ornamental plant production that release slowly and consistently over an 18-month period!

controlled release fertiliser

Figure 1. Controlled release fertilisers have a resin or polymer coating that slows and controls nutrient release into the soil.

These are the features of slow-release and controlled-release fertilisers that matter in turf management:


  • Often deliver nutrients, especially nitrogen, over a shorter time-period compared to controlled-release (e.g. approximately 8 weeks in the case of methylene-urea).
  • Can be manufactured with very small particle sizes, which is ideal for fine turf such as golf greens and tees, bowling greens and grass tennis courts.
  • Are less likely to burn or damage turf (compared to conventional or inhibitor-treated fertilisers).
  • Often only nitrogen release is slowed.
  • ICL has recently released new slow-release phosphorus and calcium fertiliser called “Pearl” in the Sierrablen Plus range, especially targeted at improving root development in turf renovations.

Controlled release

  • Delivers nutrients over a longer time-period. Turf fertilisers most commonly use either 3-month or up to 5-months longevity.
  • Have larger granule sizes than slow-release but are still available as a mini granule of 1.5 mm. Ideal for sports fields, fairways, amenity turf. Not ideal for very fine turf such as golf greens.
  • Offer the most controlled and predictable release of nutrients of any fertiliser. Are not affected by most environmental conditions such as the amount of rainfall or soil pH.
  • Nutrient release is faster in warmer temperatures, which can match the increase in turf growth rate and demand for nutrients.
  • Virtually any nutrient can be coated, so it is possible to supply turf with controlled-release nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, sulphur and trace elements.

Some blended fertilisers are labelled as containing controlled release. However, many have only a small percentage of the nitrogen or potassium coated (e.g. 10% or less) with the rest behaving like ordinary agricultural fertiliser. To get the full benefits of controlled release it is important to use products with high coating rates (minimum 25% coated N for fairways and sports fields, higher levels for higher-end turf).

Which product will be the most effective?

If you want to apply fertiliser infrequently yet still have nutrients continuously available to the turf (to maintain density and colour over the long-term) then a controlled or slow-release fertiliser will provide the best performance. Controlled release is usually recommended for sports fields, fairways and parks/gardens and a slow-release with small particle sizes for fine turf.

Conventional fertilisers are still used in turf management. They release quickly and their effect is short-term, especially for turf grown on a sand-based construction. Despite the higher cost per bag, a good quality controlled or slow-release fertiliser is likely to give better overall performance (by continuously feeding the turf), be more efficient at lower application rates and give better environment outcomes.


Dougherty WJ, Collins D, Van Zwieten L, Rowlings DW (2016) Soil Research, 54(5) 675-683.

Gioacchini P, Nastri A, Marzadori C, Giovannini C, Antisari LV, Gessa C (2002) Biology and Fertility of Soils, 36(2) 129-135.

Guertal EA, Howe JA (2012) Agronomy Journal 104(2) 344-352.

Irigoyen I, Muro J, Azpilikueta M, Aparicio-Tejo P, Lamsfus C (2003) Australian Journal of Soil Research 41, 1177-1183.

Mosdell DK, Daniel WH, Freeborg RP (1986) Agronomy Journal 78(5) 801-806.

Waddington DV, Landschoot PJ, Hummel Jr NW (1989) Communications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis 20(19-20), 2149-2170.

As always, if you have any more questions please don’t hesitate to contact us for free expert advice on 1800ALLTURF (1800255873) or 07 5543 8304.

Is Urine Burn Ruining Your Lawn?

Dog urine is often one of the leading causes of dead patches in our lawns. Urine burns can be particularly frustrating as the solution is not always clear. We have looked into a variety of options that could help to stop or reduce the effect of urine burns on your lawn.

But first…

Why Does My Dog’s Urine Kill My Lawn?

Protein taken in by dogs is excreted through the dog’s urine as nitrogen. A dog’s urine can be quite concentrated with nitrogen, our lawns can become burnt and die off. This can become particularly annoying, especially when these patches are in areas of high visibility or of which you wish to enjoy.

Urine Burn Prevention Tips

Dog Rocks

  • A popular option by many dog owners is Dog Rocks. Dog Rocks help by filtering out impurities in water, such as tin, ammonia and nitrates. These rocks are simply added to your dog’s water bowl where they are claimed to make the necessary adjustments for burn-free urine. Although this product does not help areas that have already been affected by urine burn, it can, however, help to stop more spots from occurring. Dog Rocks can start working 8-10 hours after being placed into your dog’s water bowl and will need replacing every 2 months.

dog rocks

Watering and Irrigation Methods

If you are able to dilute your dog’s urine before it is able to absorb and dry, you will be able to limit the concentration and reduce the likelihood of burning. If you have an irrigation or watering system that you can add a timer too, you could set it to come on more regularly throughout the day or specifically in areas that you know your dog regularly uses. While this may not be frequent enough to be effective all of the time, it may be enough to significantly reduce the amount of burning that is occurring.

Of course, if you happen to be around when your dog does their business, a quick blast with the hose will greatly limit burns to your lawn.

Dietary Adjustments

When looking to make changes to your dog’s diet to reduce the impact of urine, it is recommended that you contact your local veterinarian to ensure you are still providing your furry friends with their essential nutrient requirements and not causing them any harm.

Some options include:

  • Filtering your dog’s water before adding it to their water bowl. Filtered water can work in a similar way to Dog Rocks, by removing impurities in the water. If you do not have access to a filtered water tap, a popular option is to use a filtered water jug. These jugs often come with a removable filter which can be changed every 2 months.
  • By feeding your dog a high-quality and well-balanced diet with the appropriate protein levels for your dog’s breed, you should be able to reduce the concentration of nitrogen in your dog’s urine.
  • Adding one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to your dog’s water is claimed to help remove nitrogen from your dog’s urine. However, it is important to note that there is no substantial evidence that this method will be successful. If you do decide to try this method, we recommend that you use natural apple cider vinegar from a health food store and get in contact with your local vet prior to use.

dog urine burns


  • Training your dog to only use one area of your lawn may be an effective option to help stop widespread damage. It is best to choose an area of your lawn that isn’t used as often or is not visible from where you like to relax and enjoy your garden.
  • Training your dog to use a synthetic pet potty mat could also be an effective option that won’t require any changes to your dog’s diet. There are a variety of pet potty mats available both online and in stores. It is important to note that this option may be timely as training is required but can provide a long-term solution.
  • Similar to a synthetic potty mat, you can make your own pet potty mat using turf. This way your dog will still be able to have the same feel of grass underfoot while doing its business. Use a shallow container or tray that is easy for your pets to walk into, place a role of turf into the tray and replace turf as needed. Again, this will take time to train your dog to use but will stop your dog from urinating on your lawn.

Treatment for Dog Urine Burns

Once the urine burn has occurred, the burnt turf, may not grow back. But there are a few things you can do to help the area recover quickly. Firstly, rake out the dead plant material and lightly raise the area by adding a small amount of topsoil. You can also add some dolomite lime which will reduce the acidity caused by the urine burn in the soil, making it more favourable for new growth. Follow this up with regular watering and mowing and you will help to encourage lateral growth and further thickening of the lawn.

As always, if you have any more questions please don’t hesitate to contact us for free expert advice on 1800ALLTURF (1800255873) or 07 5543 8304.

Soil’s Aren’t Soils | The Key to Healthy Soil

A healthy lawn is built on healthy soil.

Many homeowners ask the question, “What’s wrong with my grass?” 9 times out of 10 the people you ask for help, whether it be your friend, your local nursery, the guy mowing the house next door, or the hardware store, will ask you, “how much water do you give your grass” or “do you fertilise enough?”

Even though these are good questions to ask, my question to you is, “What is your soil type and how was it prepared?” Your soil type and preparation will determine if you’re watering too much or not enough. Just as the foundation of a house is important to make sure it won’t fall down, a healthy soil foundation of your lawn and gardens is important to ensure it can flourish. The poorer the foundation, the poorer the performance of your lawns and gardens will be.

Too much water can harm your grass, as will providing not enough water. So, knowing your soil is imperative in ensuring you are able to provide the right amount.

Soil Type

If you live in a coastal area, there is a high chance you will have a sandy soil profile and the water will flow through the sandy profile easily, leading it to dry out quickly. Which means you will have to water your lawn more often. There is a lot of space and air between sand particles, so the soil won’t hold a lot of water and will move quickly through your profile. This soil type has a ‘low water holding capacity.’

If you live out in the suburbs away from the coast, the majority of soil types are what we call heavier soil (loam, clay loam or clay) which has less space and air between the soil particles. The higher the clay content, the smaller space and air between the soil particles become. This means that more water will stay within the soil, reducing the downward movement of water. These soil types have a ‘high water holding capacity’ which can lead to them being easily overwatered.

Heavier clay soils are very tight, sticky, and bind together making compaction a common problem. Compaction can result from high foot traffic from kids running around kicking a ball, dogs using the same spots to run on turf areas, for example. This compaction reduces water’s ability to move deeper into the soil profile.

soil test

Healthy Soil Foundation is key.

Why? Because this is where the roots of your grass grow. The amount of water the roots can access from the soil will ultimately determine how strong the roots can become.  When you have healthy soil, your grass has a higher chance of being healthier too.  If your soil dries out too quickly your roots can suffer and die, if you over water, your roots can be drowned.  If you can’t get water into the soil due to compaction, your roots will starve hydration. These issues below ground are what causes an unhealthy and weak lawn aboveground. Just as what happens below your house can be seen above ground, in things like cracking and moving walls.

So, what is your soil type?  How was your soil prepared? Was new soil added and blended with existing soil and how much depth of new soil do you have? Does your grass need better drainage? The answers to these questions will determine root health and the long-term health of your grass.

As always, if you have any more questions please don’t hesitate to contact us for free expert advice on 1800ALLTURF (1800255873) or 07 5543 8304.

The Most Frequently Asked Lawn Questions

Do you know all the answers to these lawn questions?

All Turf Solutions receives all sorts of lawn questions from lawn lovers with many asking similar things. To help make the answers to these lawn questions easier to find, we’ve decided to answer them all in one convenient place!

When should I fertilise my lawn and what should I fertilise with?

Fertilising your lawn will help ensure it has the nutrients it needs to thrive and stay healthy.

We recommend that you fertilise your lawn a minimum of 3 times a year, once in spring, summer, and autumn. You can use the October long weekend, Australia Day and the Easter long weekend as a guide for most areas of Australia.

We recommend using Lawn Solutions Premium Lawn Fertiliser which is suitable for all lawn types. This is a slow-release granular product that will gradually release nutrients to your lawn for up to 12 weeks.

For more detailed information on fertilisers, check out our blog here.

How do I get on top of weeds in my lawn?

When you first notice weeds in your lawn, it is best to either treat them with your preferred herbicide or remove them by hand. Stopping weeds as soon as possible will help prevent them from spreading throughout your entire lawn.

Most broadleaf weeds can be treated with a specific broadleaf herbicide such as this All Purpose Weed Control or Bin Die.

For more options on weed removal, check out our blog here.

How do I remove a foreign grass type from my lawn?

Finding a different type of grass growing in your lawn can not only be frustrating but does pose the threat of spreading. When you find invading grass, the number one suspects are Kikuyu and Couch grasses.

So, how do you remove the invading grass? Well, there are two options.

The first is to pull it out by hand. If the grass is a bit more stubborn to remove you can chip it out using a mattock or a garden spade.

The second is to use a non-selective herbicide such as glyphosate (Roundup). When using a non-selective herbicide, you will need to be careful to only touch the invading turf variety and not your lawn. To aid in precision, we recommend using either a weed wand or a small paintbrush for application.

You can learn more about identifying and treating invasive grasses here.

My lawn is thin and patchy, what should I do?

There’s nothing worse than putting work into your lawn, only to be still confronted with bare patches, poor grass growth and weeds starting to take hold.

There are a few simple lawn care tips that you can use to help get your lawn back on track. These include mowing your lawn regularly, fertilising if you haven’t already recently and raking out the dead plant material.

For more information, please check out our blog on repairing a thin and patchy lawn.

What is a pre-emergent herbicide and when should I apply it?

A pre-emergent herbicide will help stop and prevent targeted weeds from germinating. A pre-emergent like Oxafert will control both broadleaf and annual grass-type weeds including Winter Grass, Crowsfoot, Summer Grass, Creeping Oxalis and Crabgrass.

We recommend using this product when the temperatures begin to drop in your location. For most areas, this will usually be mid to late autumn. But if you notice that you are getting these weeds before this, it is best to put them down as soon as possible.

Oxafert is safe for most warm-season turf varieties including Buffalo, Kikuyu, Zoysia and Couch (excluding Santa Ana Grass). Oxafert is not safe for cool-season turf varieties including Ryegrass and Fescue. If you are not sure if Oxafert is suited for your grass variety, we recommend testing it on a small area of the lawn before applying it to the entire area. Remember- a pre-emergent will not kill existing weeds.

For more information on Oxafert, check out our blog here.

When should I water my lawn?

Once your lawn is established, it is best to only water when the lawn needs it. The perfect time to water is early morning before the sun fully comes out rather than in the evening or at night. This can help prevent your lawn from getting a fungal disease as they grow in damp conditions.

Check out our watering blog here for more information.

Should I dethatch my lawn?

The perfect time to dethatch your lawn is towards the end of spring when lawns are growing quickly and will have time to recover. Dethatch your lawn too late in the growing season and it won’t have time to recover before the cooler months.

By removing thatch, your soil base will be able to the receive air and nutrients it needs. This will also help your lawn feel less spongy underfoot.

Dethatching only needs to be done once every few years depending on your climate, how often you mow and your grass variety.

For more information on dethatching your lawn, check out our blog here.

What soil is best for top dressing?

Choosing a soil for top dressing to some extent is dependent on what it is you are trying to achieve. In most cases, top dressing is done to help correct poor soil preparation or low spots in your lawn. This can mean using either sandy loam, fresh organic matter or even a straight-washed sand.

Some people like to top dress their lawns annually in spring with a very light skim using organic soil mixtures. This is a great way to provide some nutrient to your lawn early in the growing season and usually results in a nice boost of colour. A heavier top dress in consecutive years should only be necessary if trying to build up levels or improve a poor soil base gradually over time.

To see what soil you should use, check out our blog on top dressing here.

What weed n feed should I use for my grass?

Weed n feed products usually consist of a fertiliser and broadleaf herbicide component, however the results aren’t usually what you are hoping for. Therefore, we don’t recommend using these products as they don’t properly stop weeds and won’t give your lawn a quality fertilise.

Why is this? Check out our blog here for more information.

How do I aerate my lawn and when should I do it?

To aerate your lawn, we recommend either manually doing so using a garden fork or a manual core aerator or hiring an aerating machine. When using a garden fork, drive the fork into the ground and then give it a wriggle back and forth to help break up the soil profile. When using a core aerator, whether it be manually or with a machine, when the tynes exit the ground they will remove cores that help to create more space in the soil profile.

The best time to aerate your lawn is in spring and autumn, however it can be done at any time throughout the whole year.

As always, if you have any more questions please don’t hesitate to contact us for free expert advice on 1800ALLTURF (1800255873) or 07 5543 8304.

5 Steps To A Pet Friendly Lawn

Our gardens are our pet’s window to the outside world, with many sniffs to smell and places to run. To keep our lawns safe for our four-legged friends there are five simple steps that you can take to make your outdoor space pet friendly.

The 5 simple steps to keeping a pet-friendly lawn are:

  1. Avoid toxic plants
  2. Have a fenced-in area
  3. Use a pet-friendly turf variety
  4. A mix of shaded and sunny spots
  5. Use pet-friendly lawn care products

Want to know more?

Step 1 – Avoid toxic plants

Surprisingly, several plants can harm your pets. Their severity ranges from mild rashes, stomach pain, mouth ulcers to vomiting, irritation to the mouth, and convulsions, these requiring urgent veterinary care.

Although most of the time our pets won’t be interested in these plants, it is important to be aware of these plants if they are in your garden.

Some plants that can be toxic for pets include:

  • Bird of paradise
  • Aloe
  • Tulips
  • Daffodils
  • Most plants with bulbs
  • Ivy
  • Lilies
  • Brunfelsia (yesterday, today, tomorrow)
  • Gum trees
  • Blue-green algae
  • Rhubarb

Step 2 – Have a fenced-in area

Having a safely fenced-in area for your dog to run around in will help stop your pet from getting into mischief.

When installing a fence, you want it to be both practical and look great! There is a variety of options available to suit all budgets, ranging from timber, iron, and wire fencing just to name a few.

If you have an existing fence that is failing to keep your pets inside, walk the boundary and check for any possible escape routes.

Step 3 – Use a pet-friendly turf variety

Humans are not the only ones who love going out and relaxing on the lawn, our pets do too! So, when looking for the best turf variety for your home, it is important to consider not only your needs but your pets too!

TifTuf Hybrid Bermuda is a fast-repairing turf variety. This means if the lawn is going to receive a lot of wear from pets and kids, it will be able to repair itself fast. This turf variety has a soft fine leaf that is great to touch and feels great underfoot.

Sir Walter DNA Certified Buffalo is a hardier grass and performs well in high wear areas. Sir Walter is great with pets and kids, has a soft broadleaf, is low allergenic, and is weed resistant.

Step 4 – Mix of shaded and sunny spots

Having both shaded and sunny spots throughout your lawn is important to keep your pets happy.

On a hot summer day, shaded areas are a great place for our pets to cool off. To help create more shaded areas in your garden you can plant some trees, or even add some furniture that your pets can go underneath.

Sunny areas allow for your pets to soak up the sun on a cool winter day.

grass in shade

Step 5 – Pet-friendly lawn care products

When it comes to using lawn care products, it is important to know if the products you are using around your pets are safe.

Firstly, always read and follow the label’s instructions. If you are unsure of anything, please confirm with your supplier for further details.

Granular fertilisers are safe to use around pets if they are applied as per the application rate and are watered correctly into the lawn/earth. Once this is done, the granules are very difficult to access. But it is always best to keep pets off the lawn for 24 hours after using a granular product on the lawn.

Once a liquid fertiliser has dried and absorbed into the leaf you are fine to let your pets return to the lawn. This can take a few hours depending on the weather.

As chickens will peck into the soil profile, it is best to stick to using a liquid fertiliser.

Avoid using bated products for snails, mice, insects, and other pests as they can be fatal. If your pet does have contact with one of these baited products, seek veterinary advice immediately.

As always, if you have any more questions please don’t hesitate to contact us for free expert advice on 1800ALLTURF (1800255873) or 07 5543 8304.

How To Combat Winter Lawn Weeds

Winter weeds can be a real nuisance and undo all the hard work you put into getting your lawn looking superb during the warmer months.

The best time to treat winter weeds in your lawn is during winter. By doing so, you have a better chance of getting them before germination. This will stop them from dropping their seeds back into the soil and coming back again next season.

Here are some of the most common weeds that appear during winter and what you can do to remove them from your lawn.

Winter Grass

winter grass

Winter Grass (Poa Annua) is low growing turfgrass. It has soft, drooping green leaves grown in tufts with triangular-shaped seed heads. If you allow Winter Grass to drop its seeds, next winter it will be back, twice as bad as it was the previous year.

Winter Grass can be removed very easily by hand as it doesn’t have particularly deep roots and it doesn’t have any runners, growing in simple clumps.

Using a combination of a pre-emergent like Oxafert and a selective Winter Grass control like Winter Grass Killer at the correct time of year should ensure Winter Grass is eradicated from your lawn. Amgrow Winter Grass Killer is safe to use on buffalo lawns (including Sir Walter DNA Certified), blue and common couches. However, Amgrow Winter Grass Killer should be avoided on Kikuyu and red fescue lawns. If you do happen to have a Kikuyu lawn an alternative post-emergent herbicide is Munns Professional Winter Grass Killer.

You can find more information on managing and treating Winter Grass here.


Lawn Weeds Bindii

Bindii is possibly the most annoying weed due to the pain it causes to our bare feet! It is a low growing weed with a flower at its centre. At maturity, the flower produces a prickly seed pod. This seed pod is a particular menace during the warmer months when we are trying to enjoy our lawns. Bindii can be managed by hand or by applying a selective broadleaf herbicide like Bin-Die or Lawn Solutions Australia All Purpose Weed Control. This will help to eradicate these weeds in all lawn types including kikuyu and couch. It is safe to use on most varieties of buffalo except the ST varieties. A repeat application may be required.

The best time to target Bindii is in Winter before it produces the seed pod and spreads throughout your lawn.

Check out our blog on Bindii here for more information.


lawn weeds clover

Clover is another common winter weed. It is one of those legume plants, like beans and lucerne or alfalfa, that draws nitrogen from the air and stores it in its roots.  As the roots die back, the nitrogen is replenished into the soil but where there is sufficient nitrogen in your soil to keep your lawn healthy, the clover struggles to survive. In most cases when you see clover growing in your lawn it means that there isn’t enough nitrogen. So, a fertilise will help increase the nitrogen and slow the clover down.

Clover can also be managed by applying a selective broadleaf herbicide like Bin-Die or Lawn Solutions Australia All Purpose Weed Control.

For more information on removing clover click here.

Creeping Oxalis

Lawn Weeds ?ÛÒ Creeping Oxalis

Creeping Oxalis has small light green heart-shaped leaves, very similar in appearance to clover. (Oxalis, have heart-shaped leaves while clover has oval-shaped leaves.) The flowers are small, about 3-4mm in diameter and bright yellow in colour containing five petals. Creeping Oxalis, as its name suggests, quickly runs along the surface of the soil and produces roots from the leaf as it goes. When seed pods mature, they dry out and explode, causing the seed to spread.

Once again, a selective herbicide such as Lawn Solutions Australia All Purpose Weed Control will help to eradicate these weeds in all lawn types including kikuyu and couch and are safe to use on most varieties of buffalo except the ST varieties.


As always, if you have any more questions please don’t hesitate to contact us for free expert advice on 1800ALLTURF (1800255873) or 07 5543 8304.

Why Sunlight and Grass Are the Perfect Pair

The growth of grass is heavily dependent on the amount of sunlight the lawn receives. Just like trees and other plants, grass converts energy from sunlight into sugar through the process of photosynthesis. Warm-season turf varieties including buffalo, couch, zoysia, and kikuyu love full sunlight and will thrive in well-lit areas. But with little sunlight turf can often struggle to grow.

In this blog, we will look at how grass grows, why grass needs sunlight, how much sunlight is needed for different varieties, and how you can manage shade on your lawn.

What makes grass grow?

Grass grows by using energy from the sun to produce sugar. This energy is then used to convert water and carbon dioxide into glucose. This carbon dioxide is absorbed through the leaf of the grass and water is mainly absorbed by the roots of the grass. After glucose is created it is used throughout the grass for growth. Oxygen is then released into the atmosphere as a by-product. This process is otherwise known as photosynthesis.

how does grass grow

Why does grass need sunlight?

Just like all plants, grass needs sunlight. Sunlight allows grass to produce the food your lawn needs to survive. Glucose, otherwise known as sugar, is produced by the grass and is used as food to help your lawn grow. Without sunlight, your lawn will not be able to produce glucose, causing the grass to thin out and die.

Grass also uses sunlight to produce a pigment called Chlorophyll. Chlorophyll absorbs light at two different wavelengths, blue light, and red light while reflecting green light. When light is present chlorophyll can then be produced.

In winter when there is less sunlight available, many types of grass will start to lose their green colour and can turn brown. When this occurs, this does not mean that the lawn is dying, it is just not receiving enough light to produce chlorophyll.

How much does sunlight does turf need?

While all turf varieties do need some sunlight to thrive, some are more shade tolerant than others. This means some varieties can better absorb sunlight than others.

Generally, the wider the leaf blade on the grass, the more shade-tolerant a turf variety will be.

Sir Walter DNA Certified Buffalo

Sir Walter DNA Certified Buffalo tends to do better in shaded areas due to its soft broadleaf. This broadleaf allows the grass to absorb more sunlight due to a larger surface area. This grass can thrive in areas that receive as little as 3 to 4 hours of direct sunlight each day or speckled sunlight from trees for most of the day.

Sir Walter Buffalo DNA Certified turf

Sir Grange Zoysia

Sir Grange Zoysia is another shade-tolerant variety. This is due to its slow growth habit. Sir Grange’s slower growth habit causes the turf to need fewer inputs, including sunlight. Once established, Sir Grange can thrive in areas that receive a minimum of 4 hours of direct sunlight per day.

TifTuf Hybrid Bermuda

TifTuf Hybrid Bermuda is a fast-growing fine leaf turf variety, needing at least 5 hours of direct sunlight. This variety has an increased gibberellic acid production. This results in a superior stimulation of photosynthesis, assisting in the plants’ ability to absorb sunlight, giving TifTuf a greater ability to absorb sunlight than other fine leaf couch varieties.










What should I do if my lawn isn’t receiving enough sunlight?

If your lawn is in a shaded area, we recommend regularly pruning back any trees, bushes, and other foliage around the lawn. This will help increase the amount of sunlight your lawn receives. If your lawn is shaded by the house or other structures, choose a shade-tolerant turf variety that will be suited for your area.


As always, if you have any more questions please don’t hesitate to contact us for free expert advice on 1800ALLTURF (1800255873) or 07 5543 8304.

How Low Can You Mow? | Winter Mowing

Mowing in Winter

Mowing your lawn at a higher height will allow for better photosynthesis and food supply to your lawn

Our warm-season lawns have slowed down in most states as the temperatures have decreased. Your lawn won’t completely stop growing through the winter in Australia, it will just grow at a much slower rate. Once soil temperatures drop below 14 degrees Celsius your grass will enter a slower rate of growth to conserve energy which is known as dormancy. So, what does this mean for your lawn and should this change how you mow over winter?

Increasing mowing height

An important thing you can do to help your lawn adjust to the cooler temperatures is to increase the height of your lawnmower. Keeping the mowing height nice and high will give your lawn the best chance to absorb sunlight and nutrients. A longer leaf will help block out weeds and help your lawn to retain its colour for longer. A healthy lawn heading into winter will ensure it is better prepared for the cold and frost and help it to achieve a quicker spring recovery.

How often should I mow?

As a rough guide, you will only need to mow your lawn every few weeks during winter. This will differ depending on the turf variety you have. While we recommend you leave your lawn longer, make sure you don’t let it get too long either. While you will not need to mow as often as you were throughout summer it is still important to remain consistent with your mowing schedule. This will help maintain a consistent growth pattern so that your lawn will enter the warmer months in top condition.

Mowing too high

Mow higher than 5-6cm and it will prevent sunlight from properly penetrating the grass profile and you may cause scalping when it comes to mowing again. Scalping will then leave the browning of your lawn, which will leave it susceptible to disease and weeds.

Mowing too low

Like the issue caused by scalping as mentioned above, resist the urge to give your lawn a really low cut in winter in an attempt to get out of having to mow again for a longer period of time. This will leave your lawn much more susceptible to winter weeds and frost as well, which will give you a lot more work to do come spring to get it back to its best.

Removing your grass clippings

When mowing throughout the cooler months make sure you pick up all leaves and grass clippings that are left behind. This will allow the grass to receive as much sunlight as it can throughout the cooler months when sunlight can be limited.



As always, if you have any more questions please don’t hesitate to contact us for free expert advice on 1800ALLTURF (1800255873) or 07 5543 8304.