Fertilising lawns in winter!
Is it more important than spring and summer fertilising.
By Todd Layt
Most Aussies have been fertilising at the wrong times of the year. Highlighted in research, our relatively warm winter climate, plus our change in turf types are reasons why we should be fertilising in winter, and less in Spring and Summer. This research conducted by Ozbreed has shown – even in frost prone areas – that it’s possible to keep Buffalo, Kikuyu and Zoysia turf green all year round when following optimum fertiliser applications and certain mowing practices. This research has designed recipes to keep these turf types green all year round in many parts of Australia, using specialized fertiliser formulations.
Most Australian studies of winter fertilising warm season turf have been conducted on couch turf, which in this study showed poor results. Most USA and other overseas research on winter fertilising has been conducted in regions that reach minus 10 Celsius or colder in winter, yet have warm temperatures for the rest of the year: regions such as Florida, Texas, and Georgia in the USA. In these regions winter fertilising can cause winter kill. In Australia, only climatic regions similar to Canberra, and Armidale get that cold and have the potential for winter kill if fertilised in winter. For the rest, like Melbourne, Sydney (Including frost affected Western Sydney where the research was conducted), Perth, Adelaide, and Brisbane; this research unlocks the true potential of keeping lawns green in winter.
In brief, the research involved fertilising replicated plots of numerous turf types with many different timing combinations, using a specialized autumn and winter blend of slow and quick release fertiliser and iron. Earlier research highlighted that a product called 2 Spec Elevate from Globe, provided the best performance for winter colour compared to other fertilisers tested. Large areas around Ozbreed trial gardens were also tested, including shaded areas. Some areas were not fertilised at all, whilst others had either regular Autumn fertiliser, or heavy autumn fertiliser. Parts of these areas then either got no fertiliser in winter, or a heavy fertiliser in winter.
The results were unexpected…read more