A Good Autumn Feed

Autumn is an important time to feed established lawns. This helps get them into top condition before the cold weather arrives; a well-fed lawn will also be greener, thicker and healthier. Yates Dynamic Lifter Organic Lawn Food, which combines composted chicken manure , blood & bone, fish and seaweed is ideal to enrich the structure of the soil. It does this by adding organic content that encourages earthworms and beneficial soil micro-organisms, that in turn help to improve the soils porosity (drainage) and air movement. This all makes it easier for your lawn to grow and root deeper into the soil. Having happy microbes is the secret to a good lawn, because the microbes break down fertiliser into a form that lawn grass can absorb.

If your lawn's weed free and you only need to feed, Yates Lawn Fertiliser Quarterly Hose-on is an excellent option for autumn. It feeds for 3 months, but also contains seaweed and humates that help your lawn and its microbial community bounce back after a tough summer season.

The development of high-performing slow release lawn foods has made it easier to navigate the lawn's transition to winter. Your lawn grass and microbial soil community underneath it are in sync with the seasons - if the grass becomes dormant, the microbes are also snoozing. Because the nitrogen in slow-release fertilisers is 'unlocked' for grass by microbial action, this means the nutrition is only supplied at the rate grass can use it - as soil temperature falls and everything begins to slow down, grass nutrition also slows.

Slow release fertilisers perform well in autumn because they supply nutrients in time with the grass as it becomes drowsy; in comparison, a big surge of nitrogen in cold conditions won't be completely absorbed - the excess can remain in the soil and will eventually leach into groundwater. Slow release Yates Lawn Fertiliser Quarterly is a premium granular option that gently feeds for 12 weeks after application, so it's an excellent choice for autumn.


Watch out for Lawn Diseases and Pests!

Milder temperatures and any rainfall and humidity during autumn can promote the growth of lawn diseases. These diseases include brown patch, fusarium, dollar spot and anthracnose. Lawn diseases can be tricky to diagnose, as signs can be similar to that of other lawn problems such as damage from insect pests, like porina and grass grub. Autumn is a key time you'll see lawn damage from grass grub in particular, so it's great idea to apply Yates Lawn Grub & Porina Kill + Protect if you discover you do have a grub infestation.

Common lawn disease symptoms include areas of small discoloured, browned off or dead patches in the lawn. Brown patch or anthracnose patches tend to be irregular shaped, while dollar spot and fusarium form small circular patches. Lawn diseases can spread and reoccur year after year, so it’s important to get them under control and keep your lawn looking fantastic.

Here’s how to help reduce lawn diseases:

  • Mow regularly to prevent a build-up of thatch and remove clippings from the lawn.

  • Water only in the mornings, to allow the lawn to dry off during the day.

  • Aerate or core your lawn to improve drainage.

  • To control lawn dollar spot and rust diseases, use a fungicide like Yates Fungus Fighter Fungicide, which contains an effective broad spectrum systemic fungicide with both curative and protective action. Yates Fungus Fighter can be easily applied over affected lawn areas in a watering can.

  • Apply a potassium rich plant food like Yates Thrive Natural Sulfate of Potash in early April. Potassium is a nutrient that helps strengthen the lawn so it’s better able to resist disease infection and cope with the cool winter weather. Apply at 50 g/m2 and then water in well.


Whacking Weeds

Broadleaf weeds like Capeweed, Dandelion, Catsear and Plantain (Lamb's Tongue) are a different shape and colour to grass, so they really stand out and ruin the look of a lawn. Luckily, it doesn't need to be complicated or time consuming to create a weed-free lawn, you can easily control them with a selective herbicide. This is the type of weedkiller that removes weedy invaders without harming the lawn grass. Yates Turfix Lawn Weed Spray is our go-to choice to cull these weeds, and it's compatible with common NZ lawn types like Fescue, Browntop, and Ryegrass.

Alternatively, if you'd prefer to take care of weeds and feed at the same time, choose Yates Weed ‘n’ Feed. It has added surfactant to aid spray coverage and weed penetration, plus it contains nutrients to give the lawn a quick green up. It's available in a convenient hose-on pack, or as a dry granular formulation. Job done!

If you had prickles in your lawn this summer, make sure you get Onehunga Weed under control before it has a chance to flower and set seed in spring...basically, you need to kill it before it flowers to stop the prickles from forming. An application of our Yates Prickle Weedkiller any time before late spring will prevent prickles for next summer - you can begin in autumn, or hold off until early spring when the soil begins to warm up.

There are a few tricky and invasive lawn weeds that you'll need to call in the big guns for - native hydrocotyle and creeping oxalis are examples. To get on top of persistent weeds, choose Yates Hydrocotyle Killer for the job.


During April, you can also fill in sparse patches in your lawn by sprinkling Yates Seed'n'Feed amongst the existing grass.


Related products

Yates Lawn Fertiliser Quarterly - Hose On

This innovative, fully-featured hose-on fertiliser delivers thicker, greener and healthier lawns, powered by 5 potent ingredients to feed your lawn gradually, for up to 12 weeks.

Project guides & articles

Autumn lawn care tips

Early autumn is a great time of the year to make improvements to the lawn. It’s the perfect season for seeding, laying new turf, feeding and controlling weeds.

How to drain a soggy lawn

If your lawn is on heavy clay soil, regularly forms puddles, or stays wet and squelchy right through winter, it’s a good candidate for some extra drainage. A French drain is the time-honoured method.