Lawn Problem Solving

How to Deal With Common Lawn Problems

Lawn problem solving can be exasperating.

Potential causes of your lawn woes can be related to diseases, insects or weeds. Our turf installation & lawn maintenance specialists can identify the culprit & get to the root of it. We are always on hand for lawn aftercare instructions. Contact Finelawn today!

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Cape Daisy

Cape Daisy (Arctotheca calendula) is also known as Cape Weed. As depicted in the photograph above, it has short thick horizontal stems with a rosette forming at the ends of these stems.


Chickweed (Stellaria media) and mouse eared chickweed (Ceratium glomeratum) are part of a number of different types of weeds that are referred to as chickweed.


Couchgrass (Cynodon dactylon) is a warm season creeping grass that is sometimes referred to as twitch or Indian doab.

Creeping oxalis

Creeping oxalis (Oxalis exilis) is a member of the Oxalidaceae that is a native of New Zealand. Its leaves are comprised of three leaflets that have notches at the tip which is why many people confuse it with clover.

Creeping speedwell

Creeping speedwell (Veronica filformis) is one of four similar forms of veronica that occurs as weeds in lawns.

Common Daisy

The common daisy (Bellis perennis) is a troublesome weed which is easily identified by the characteristic white flower with a yellow centre that is often used to make “daisy chains”.


Dock (Rumex obtusifolius) is a relatively common tap-rooted weed that in found throughout New Zealand, however because of its size it is not common on lawns.


Many lawns become yellow over summer due to mass of yellow flowers appearing from weeds commonly referred to as dandelions.


Hydrocotyle ( including H.americana, H. heteromeria, H. novae-zeelandiae, H.mochata) is also known as Pennywort.


Onehunga weed (Solvia sessilis) is named after the suburb in Auckland where it was first found, though it actually originates from South America.


Paspalum (Paspalum dilatatum) is a perennial grass weed that causes problems on lawns throughout the North Island of New Zealand.


Pearlwort (Sagina procumbens) is more accurately called procumbent pearlwort. It is a diminutive bright green coloured plant that has small needle shapes leaves set on opposite sides of a tiny stem.

Poa annua

Poa annua is an annual grass weed from the large Poa family that tends to act as an annual grass in irrigated situations.


There are four types of speedwell all from the Veronica family. Creeping speedwell is dealt with under its own heading.


Summergrass is a term used to describe a range of annual subtropical annual weeds the seeds of which are endemic in soils in the top half of the North Island.

Twin Cress

Twin cress ( Coronopus didymus) and a similar species called wart cress ( Coronopus squamatus) are common broadleaf weeds in new turf.

White Clover

White clover is a relatively common weed in lawns throughout New Zealand largely because the seeds can remain viable in the soil for extended periods of time.


Yarrow belongs to the Asteraceae (Compositae) family, and in the vegetative state resembles a number of other turf weeds from this family.


Argentine Stem Weevil

Argentine Stem Weevil (Listronotus bonariensis) like other weevils are distinguishable from beetles by their long snouts and their legless grubs or larvae.

Black Beetle

Black Beetle(Heteronuchus arator) It is generally found in the top half of the north island though it has been reported as far south as Wellington.

Black Beetle – Adult

Black Beetle(Heteronuchus arator) It is generally found in the top half of the north island though it has been reported as far south as Wellington.

Black Field Cricket

These are also known as Black Field Crickets or simply field crickets. They are generally found on clay soil types over summer when cracks in the ground profile create an ideal environment for them to live.

Grass Grub

Grass Grub (Costelytra zealandica) also known as Brown Beetle is a native species that like many biting and chewing insects has a distinct annual life cycle.


Porina (Wiseana spp.) comprises several species of native moth whose caterpillars are common pest of turf.

Sod Webworm

The term Sod Webworm is used to denote the species that includes Eudonia spp., Orocrambus spp. and Scoparia spp.

Tasmanian Grass Grub

Tasmanian Grass Grub (Acrossidius tasmaniae). This species is often confused with Black Beetle as both the adults and the grubs look similar.


Brown Patch

Brown Patch is a relatively common disease whose causal agent is Rhizoctonia spp. and it can affect all turfgrass species during the summer months.

Crown Rust

The causal agent for Crown Rust is the plant pathogen Puccinia coronata. and it affects both ryegrasses and Kentucky Bluegrass.

Dollar Spot

The causal agent for Dollar Spot is Sclerotinia homoeocarpa and all turf grass species can be affected.

Fairy Rings

The causal agent of this relatively common disease is fungi related to the Basidiomycete species.


The causal agent of fusarium is Microdochium nivale and most cool season grasses can be affected, particularly during periods of cool, humid weather in late autumn.

Leaf Spot on Ryegrass

The causal agent for Leaf Spot is Drechslera & Curvularia spp. and it can affect all turfgrass species.

Melting Out

The causal agent for Melting Out and Leafspot is a group of fungii that includes Drechslera spp & Curvularia spp.

Red Thread

The causal agent for red thread or pink patch is Laetisaria fuciformis and Limonomyces spp.

Slime Moulds

The causal agents for this disease include many Basidiomycete spp.

Yellow Tuft

The causal agent for yellow tuft is shlerophthora macrospore and it can affect all turfgrass species.

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