How to Grow and Maintain a Lawn

A 5 minute read by Peter Worsp


  • Good soil preparation is the key to achieving a good lawn
  • Spray out weeds with a non-selective weed spray like KiwiCare Weed Weapon Extra Strength
  • Allow 10-14 days for weeds to die and brown off
  • Soil should be dug to a depth of 15cm. Break up large clods and remove all stones and debris
  • Well -drained, loam soils are best
  • If soil is clay or very heavy, apply gypsum and work in some sandy soil
  • In very wet conditions artificial drainage may be necessary
  • If soil is sandy and free draining, add compost or peat to improve it's water holding ability
  • Rake and level filling in hollows and removing high spots
  • Slope lawn away from house and other buildings
  • Tread and rake the area several times to consolidate and stop further sinking


  • Apply Burnetts Easy Start to area prior to sowing
  • Alternatively use a slow release lawn food such as Burnetts Easy Fert
  • Once grass is established, feed with lawn food in spring and autumn
  • Never fertilise in dry conditions

Sowing Seeds

  • Sow in calm weather
  • Sow in early morning
  • Mixing seed with some sand helps even spread
  • Sow seeds in two directions, walking backwards across lawn, north-south, east-west
  • Ensure even coverage, avoid dumping seed in patches
  • Sow at 30gm/m²
  • Keep surface moist with light watering until seeds germinate, at least daily
  • As seed grows water more heavily but less frequently, every 2 days


  • Mow frequently for best results
  • Avoid cutting too low or 'scalping'
  • Cutting height between 2.5-4cm is ideal

Pests and Diseases

The worst enemies of good lawn are porina, grass grub and the invasion of broadleaf weeds.

Porina Caterpillar

  • Feed on grass
  • Chew grass off to ground level
  • Do not eat roots
  • Caterpillar is grey colour with dark head
  • Appear February - April

Grass Grub

  • Feed on roots
  • Yellow patches and stunted lawn growth
  • Adult beetles feed on foliage in garden in November
  • Grub appears autumn, early winter

Pest and Disease Control

  • Porina
    • Soil insect killer - autumn
  • Grass Grub
    • Soil insect killer - spring and autumn
    • Neem Granules
  • Broadleaf weeds
    • Turfclean - spring and autumn
  • Onehunga weed
    • Lawnpro for Hydrocotyl and Prickle - September to November

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