Top tips for a prize-winning lawn

The grass will be greener on your side of the fence with these top tips from our grass guru who tends the lawns at Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mt Coot-tha.

1. Choose the right species

It's important to consider how much sunshine or shade your yard gets and the soil profile when planning your lawn. Sir Walter Buffalo is generally a hardier grass and a good choice if your yard has both sunny and shady patches.

2. Rock the right 'do

Generally, couch varieties - such as Queensland blue couch - prefer a shorter haircut of between 20-30 millimetres, whereas buffalos like a longer shag of up to 50 millimetres. It's a good idea to sharpen your mower blades and mow regularly.

3. Super soaker

Deep water your lawn for longer to encourage and strengthen root growth. That said, avoid overwatering in wet weather.

4. Aeration fixation

Pick up a pitchfork and punch some holes in your grass to help air and water get to the root of the grass. Once you've aerated your lawn, top dress it with washed river sand that you can find at most landscape yards or nurseries.

6. Food, glorious food

Use a slow release fertiliser and gypsum – another sort of fertiliser, ideally three to four times a year, to keep things healthy. Testing your soil for its pH level is also a good idea. A neutral pH soil level is ideal for getting the most out of your turf and allowing it to better absorb nutrients.

7. What a pest

Prevention is key to keeping pests at bay – know your pests and start treatment straight away. The top three lawn pest complaints are weed, fungus and insect damage. Once you've identified which pest is making a mess of your lawn, it's best to talk to an expert at your local garden centre before starting treatment.

8. Grubby business

We're not the only ones who will be enjoying summer this year with the hot, humid and wet conditions - the dreaded lawn grub loves summer too. Certain types of grass, such as Sir Walter, handle infestations better than others, and there are a few ways to tell if the nasty critters have moved into your yard. You might notice more bird activity or moths flying low over your lawn. If you have an old hessian bag, lay it down on the grass and water it before bed. Check the bag in the morning to see if lawn grubs have attached themselves to it overnight. Treat the grubs with a spray that can be purchased from your local garden centre.

9. Troubleshooting

Grass not getting enough sun? Try trimming any large overhanging trees or hedges that are throwing too much shade. If your yard is also busier over summer, rope off any high traffic areas to give them a chance to rest and recuperate.

10. No pain, no gain

If you want a prize-winning lawn, you need to put in the effort. Consistency, particularly with mowing and watering is key, as is keeping pests out.

Did you know...?

  • Council maintains 73,255 hectares of grass around Brisbane's parks, roads, footpaths, Council land, flood mitigation areas and firebreaks – that's the equivalent of 88,290 football fields!
  • Council keeps a close eye on the rate of grass growth to determine how often grass needs to be cut throughout the year.
  • As summer approaches and the temperature rises, so does the frequency of Council's grass cutting services.

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Date posted:
Last updated: 27 August 2021
Topics: green

Brisbane City Council acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land and their unique relationship with their ancestral country. We pay respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders of Brisbane, and recognise their strength and wisdom.