Maintaining your warm season grass

Water deeply to spend less time weeding

Frequent shallow watering encourages weed germination while also encouraging shallow root growth. Water only when your grass really needs it to encourage the roots to grow deeper and for your grass to grow stronger.

Water during the early morning

To reduce loss to evaporation, water early when the air is still cool and the wind is usually at its calmest.

Spread the water uniformly across the lawn

Avoid flooding areas, or missing other spots. On heavy clay soils and slopes, watch for excessive runoff; it may be necessary to apply the water in two applications to ensure it soaks in.

Water problem-areas by hand

Many lawns have one or two spots that require more water than the rest of the lawn. Two common examples of these problem areas are a north-facing slope or an area that gets no shade in an otherwise shady lawn. If you water your entire lawn every time you need to water these hot spots, you’ll likely overwater every place but these spots. Instead, water them separately.

Let the rain do your work for you

Avoid watering if rain is expected later in the day or the next day. Your grass is designed to withstand these conditions – it is far more resilient than cool season grass and will quickly bounce back.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I over sow with a winter grass into my new warm season grass to keep it looking green all year round?

A: This approach is not usually suitable for the home gardener due to the high cost, upkeep and its reliance on herbicides. Over-sowing requires you to use specialised herbicides in spring (and every year after) to kill off the winter grass. Specialised advice should be sought regarding the correct choice of grass as well as herbicides and their safe application.

Q: Will my warm season grass brown-off over winter?

A: Warm season grass prefers warm weather and goes dormant in the cool winter months. This may result in it changing colour. Turning brown does NOT mean it has died; simply that it has entered dormancy and it will green up in spring and resume active growth.

Q: Is there anything I can do to stop my lawn turning brown?

A. Contact your local nursery or horticulturist for the best advice for your area. Generally, fertilising your grass at the correct time or decreasing the intensity of mowing in autumn can reduce the level of colour change that may occur. Warm season grass selection will play a large role in the colour it maintains over the cooler months. If this is a concern for you, consider Buffalo grass as it is known for its higher shade and frost tolerances than other varieties.