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By Garry Lusk

June 29 2022

4 Minute(s) read

How to Restore Your Lawn After Winter

Keeping Your Lawn Healthy This Winter

As warm-season lawns such as Sir Walter Buffalo, Eureka Premium Kikuyu, and TifTuf go into dormancy during the cooler months, they can suffer from what is commonly known as winter dieback or winter stress. This can result in thin, bare patches or a dry, straw-like appearance to your lawn and lose its green colour. So, if the cold weather has beaten around your lawn in the winter months, read on to find out how to help it recover.

Why Does Winter Dieback Occur?

Warm-season turf can be burned by frost and damaged by wear when temperatures are very cold, and it won’t self-repair while it is dormant. Heavy shade due to the sun's lower position can also contribute to dieback, especially in the lawn’s first season. A lawn’s shade tolerance is relatively low in winter, even if you have cool-season grasses. As your lawn matures year on year, you will gradually encounter less and less winter dieback, and as long as you keep it healthy.

How Do I Recover My Lawn From Winter Dieback?

A good maintenance program with fertilising lawn care products at its core should start to recover a brown lawn. You should start your fertilisation plan in early spring before summer starts to give your lawn the best chance. Fertilising in September will kick your lawn into high growth, help self-repair those damaged areas and encourage a deep root system year-round. 

Apply Lawn Solutions Fertiliser every three weeks until the dead grass starts to self-repair and growth increases. If the affected area is larger than 30 cm2, you may want to consider replacing it with pieces of new lawn.

Apply a liquid fertiliser along with the first Lawn Solutions Fertiliser application to give the new grass a solid boost of nitrogen to encourage growth. We recommend Exceed Liquid Fertiliser.

Water regularly and maintain consistent mowing to prevent scalping. Avoid dull mower blades, as this can cause further damage. 

With some simple awareness and good maintenance of your lawn after the cooler months, you’ll have a healthy lawn that can stay green all year round.


Check out this handy video on how to bring your lawn back to life after Winter

Quick Winter Lawn Care Questions


Does Turf Go Dormant in Winter?

Yes, pretty much all warm-season lawns will go dormant over the winter months. Lawns and most plants do this to conserve nutrients and moisture. So, you won’t see much growth from your lawn in winter, hence why you need to take a different approach to lawn maintenance in the winter. 


Can I Water My Grass in Winter?

The short answer is yes, you can. However, the real question is - should you water your lawn in winter? You should only water your lawn in winter if it looks like it needs it. If you’re experiencing a particularly dry winter, you’ll need to water your lawn to keep the soil moist. 


How to Prevent My Lawn From Frost Damage?

There aren’t a lot of ways to prevent frost damage on your lawn in the winter, but your lawn will cope the best if it’s well hydrated and nutrient-rich. 

Try to stay off your lawn during the frosty mornings, as heavy foot traffic can damage the frozen blades of grass. If you’re particularly worried, you can use a light predawn spray to maintain the lawn’s lush green colour and dissolve the frost faster. 


Can I Lay a New Instant Lawn in Winter?

Yes! Instant lawns can be installed all year round and thrive if maintained correctly. Warm-season grasses will slow down growth in the cooler seasons, whereas cool-season grasses will thrive. We still suggest picking a warm-season turf even though they lose vigour in winter; they’re perfect for pretty much any time of year. 

Fixing Your Sir Walter Buffalo Grass in Winter With Lilydale Instant Lawn

Sir Walter buffalo grass is one of our most popular instant lawn types. For more information about winter stress in your buffalo lawn or any other great turf questions, contact our friendly staff on 03 9116 9082 or contact the Lilydale team.