TifTuf Maintenance Guide

Looking for some helpful TifTuf maintenance advice? Look no further! With a fine leaf blade and dense growth, TifTuf is ideal for a wide variety of applications, and perfect for Australian backyards. From this, here our new advice regarding TifTuf and maintenance to get the best results from this fantastic new lawn.

Before installation


The biggest takeaway from the updated research is that TifTuf is a prolific grower. Our TifTuf maintenance advice is if you do wish to use a starter fertiliser before you lay TifTuf only give it a very light sprinkle at ¼ rate. This is because extra nitrogen will encourage too much leaf growth at a time that root growth is a priority.

If you want to use a pre-emergent herbicide it is safe to use, another option is Oxafert as its nitrogen levels are low which we stock at our office in Acacia Ridge. Oxafert is best to use in two windows; between March and May as well as between September and November, coving up to 150m2. If you need help or advice on installing your new lawn check out our installation guide here.

During establishment


While it is clear that TifTuf uses very little water after establishment (38% than similar varieties) it still needs water during establishment. Like all turf, the leaf must be kept continually moist throughout establishment period. During hotter periods we recommend giving your new turf a deep watering. We suggest the following schedule:

  • Weeks 1 & 2: Water deeply 1-2 times daily.
  • Weeks 3 & 4: Water deeply every second day.
  • Weeks 5 & 6: Water deeply twice a week.
  • Week 7 onwards: Water deeply regularly.

A new and vital piece of TifTuf maintenance advice out of the new research is to mow early. We have been advised it is critical that customers mow 1-2 weeks after installation. As always ensure that the turf has taken root before mowing, you do this by trying to lift the corner of a slab. Mowing is required on a weekly interval. Regularly mowing TifTuf will prevent scalping issues and avoid extra maintenance.

Regular care


Ongoing TifTuf maintenance is fairly simple thanks to its low input usage. The only thing to keep on top of is the length of the leaf. Mowing may be required on a weekly interval, especially through strong growing months like January and February. It is suggested that TifTuf should be mown at a cutting height of 20-40mm. While TifTuf is perfect for water restrictions, it is very drought tolerant and is highly wear tolerant. Regular watering will keep it looking its best, especially during the summer season.

While TifTuf is proving to use a lot less fertiliser, for the healthiest lawn it is still suggested to fertilise 3 times a year. We suggest it is best to fertilise in early spring, summer and autumn. The big key is to only apply fertiliser at a ¼ rate as too much nitrogen will create too much leaf growth. If you prefer organic fertilisers it is recommended to only use liquid fertilisers or a composted organic product.

How TifTurf performances in the shade


Yes it does! Our bonus TifTuf maintenance tip is some more information about why TifTuf is able to perform far better in the shade. New research is showing that TifTuf needs 50% less sunlight than similar grasses.

BUT HOW!!! Is what we hear the most about this statement. It is well known respected shade grasses like buffalo grass relies on the surface area to create more photosynthesis from the available sunlight. This leads to questions of ‘how can a fine leaf grass like TifTuf perform in the shade’.

The answer is that TifTuf produces greater amounts of Gibberellic Acid than all other Bermuda varieties. Gibberellic Acid is what plants use for photosynthesis, so the more Gibberellic Acid a plant has the less light it needs to grow. This creates another advantage as the higher amount of Gibberellic Acid giving it winter colour like no other Bermuda grass.

TifTuf receives Smart Approved WaterMark

Smart Approved WaterMarkFind out more

To get more advice on TifTuf maintenance or to order a new lawn call our team on (07) 3114 8230. You can also to pop in and order in person at our sales office on 1/243 Bradman Street, Acacia Ridge. The office opens Monday to Friday 7am to 5pm and Saturday 7am to 12pm. You can also download our TifTuf installation & maintenance guide.

For more great turf, tips keep an eye on our website and all our social media channels.


  1. Hi there

    I recently layed tiff tiff turf in my backyard in late December

    When should I fertilise ?
    And what product is best for tiff tiff as a fertiliser and what quantity should I be using ?

    1. If your lawn looks like it needs a boost you could fertilise it right now, you then want to next think about feeding leading into the winter.

      Any balanced slow-release fertiliser is great, just look at the NPK and make sure it isn’t just all nitrogen.

      The perfect fertiliser available in our store is Lawn Solutions Premium Fertiliser 10kg.

  2. I’ve cut my tif tuf grass too aggressively after being away for holidays, and it’s gone brown. What should I do now to get it healthy and green again? Will it come back?

    1. Hi John,

      It will definitely come back. There is a great photo on our instagram account https://www.instagram.com/p/B7mLKXNJgzm/ where we show how we completely scalped our TifTuf display and it was completely green again in 11 days.

      When you do let your TifTuf get too long just make sure you scalp it all the way down so it can start fresh, dont just scalp it fairly long as you will then continually have problems.

      1. Hi,

        I had a similar issue after returning from a few weeks away. The Tiff Tuff was only recently established before then but not mowed (5 weeks in total now) but I mowed the overgrowth not to a heavy scalp at about 3.5 weeks. It’s not looking great (leaf coverage has reduced and looks more like stems) – would you recommend leaving it to grow long and then heavily scalping?

        1. IF I read that correctly it was only installed 5 weeks ago, in that case you don’t want to aggressively scalp it just yet. TifTuf responds really well to scalping, but while it is still establishing you don’t want to do it. Fro now you want give it a feed with a balanced fertiliser to increase the plant health (less N, more P & K), and increase your mowing frequency. Mowing more regularly will encourage the lateral growth and help it fill in. Then in a few weeks time when it is more established and a little less stressed you can give it a more aggressive scalp.

  3. Hi

    I have layed my tiftuf about 8 weeks ago now have been cutting it every 5-6 days. But i am finding that i have areas where the grass isnt going as quick as other areas and it is uneven. How can i try to get it looking like golf course quality haha

    1. Hi Paul,

      If you send some photos through via email our team can take a look and give you some advice.

  4. I let my TifTuf get too long, now when I mow it goes quite brown
    Should I scalp it all the way down and then fertilise to get it back to short and green?

    1. You can definitely scalp it all the way back, TifTuf responds really well to regular scalping. We had the same issue with our display plots after some extended heavy rain when we couldn’t mow. It took 11 days to go from completely scalped to looking glorious again.

      You can see a photo of this on our instagram https://www.instagram.com/p/B7mLKXNJgzm/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

      1. I’ve got the same issue over here In Perth. I went away to work in Alaska for 5 weeks and let it get a little long. For the past 2 weeks I’ve been training it and trying to bring it down slowly but not really having huge success, basically ive been using my rotary to bring it to a point i could start using my cylinder mower but it scalps its so quickly when i try to lower it just that bit…I know I should be leaving it higher atm but another problem was created while I was away at work. Due to the length of grass and not changing my retic settings(excessive water) along with no sunlight being able to penetrate towards the base of the grass stem ive got a huge area with a visible fungal disease I need to control asap…would you recommend scalping my Tiftuf back to remove the thatch and excess organic matter then lightly scarrifying it now…or is it too late now and leave the problem to be solved until mid/end of spring ??

        1. Ground temperature will be key for if it is too late to scalp now. Here in Queensland with TifTuf’s growth rate it would still be fine, but you should speak to someone like Lawn Doctor to be sure.

  5. I have had my TiffTuf grass down now for 12 months – I didn’t follow the original advice of mowing early on or often but now I have a beautiful lush thick green lawn about 10cm long – survived the dry winter and now the humid hot summer all the time staying green. This grass is fabulous and I think it depends on the look you want – it adapts very nicely to all – and appears to date to be resistant to lawn grubs.

    1. Great to hear Wendy! It took a lot of customers a while to get into the right mowing routine for their TifTuf, but when they did they saw amazing results. Definitely keep a good watch out for lawn grubs still, this current outbreak has been brutal for most lawn varieties and while it is great to hear your TifTuf is doing so well it would still pay to be vigilant.

  6. After a early spring Reno, my TifTuf has been let grow to high, I continue to cut 1/3 of it however it still remains brown underneath. I have a fairly large QTY of snapped off dead stems that lay on the top, realising it is probably to late in the year for another reno here in Brisbane, is there anyway to get it back?

    1. With the growth rate of TifTuf you could still get away with a scalp and fertilise.

  7. Hi, I have a similar problem, let the TifTuf get too long and without taking too much off, I have lots of brown. I’m on the Nsw central coast what should I be doing now?

    1. Because the condition will be different to here in Queensland we would recommend you speak to an LSA Member on the Central Coast such as GreenLife Turf.

    2. Scott, I to had this problem and live in Newcastle. I scalped my tif tuff, against advice not and it has fixed my lawn in the back yard. I went from 6 inch growth to now 1inch growth of green grass strands. Look up scalping on how to do..

      1. Shane Bridges

        This is great feedback, we cant recommend scalping strongly enough. The scientist who developed TifTuf told us that in America the TifTuf owners have an annual cycle of scalping every single year. We have seen in our display area that scalping is the perfect reset button for TifTuf.

  8. I laid my tiftuf 9 days ago and it is looking fabulous! When is it safe to walk on?

    1. Shane Bridges

      The biggest risk to walking on your lawn in the early days/weeks is creating indents. While you are watering heavily through establishment the soil is very damp and prone to leaving large footprints. It is always best to keep foot traffic to a minimum until you have backed off the early watering.

  9. Mark Wittison

    Hi I’ve layed the grass two weeks ago in a fairly shaded area due to the low winter sun in Melbourne, wondering when I should fertilise and cut?

    1. Shane Bridges

      You will know when you can mow by trying to lift a corner of one slap. When the roots have bonded with the soil below and you cannot lift a slab it is safe to mow.

      If you fertilised before or during installation you wont need to fertilize until spring. You could use something like Seasol to give your new lawn some extra nutrients to help cope with the cooler weather ahead.

  10. Hi,

    I layed tiftuf in in December and originally let it grow too long, around 6 weeks before mowing it. I use to mow it regularly afterwards at about 50mm however each time I’d mow it, it would be a mix of yellow/green/brown. More recently I’ve tried to bring it down to the 20mm length gradually however it is fairly brown in patches and doesn’t seem to be going green from the amount of watering I’ve been doing. I’m based in Sydney. Any tips? Thanks in advance.

    1. Shane Bridges

      It has been our experience in Brisbane that when TifTuf gets away from you then the answer is always to scalp. TifTuf responds so well to TifTuf for us that our test plot has been regularly scalped and every time it has worked as a soft reset for the lawn.

      1. Interested in the same thing of when to scalp in Brisbane and to what height? Should I fertilise before or after the scalp?

        And I’m planning on adding to top soil as well. Should I scalp then top soil at the same time?

        1. Hey Matt, it depends on the weather, but it is looking like mid-September this year. We recommend dropping the mower blades as low as you can, and then fertilise afterwards.

  11. Glenn Powell

    What is the recommended watering rate on the Gold Coast? Is there a recommended mm per number of days?

    1. Shane Bridges

      We always say that a deep watering (10-20mm) per week is a great starting point. Watering too frequently encourages shallow root growth. Though in hotter periods you may need to consider a lighter water in some problem areas between deep soakings.

  12. My tif tuf was laid in Jan 2019 started and went really well. Drought kicked in from Sep – Jan 19/20 really hurt the lawn. Then big rains kicked in causing heaps of dandelions, clovers and other broad leaf weeds and caused a thick mud slab squashing out the grass. My tiff tiff carpet now looks destroyed and swampy.
    Can I recover the lawn or is it to far gone?

    1. Shane Bridges

      TifTuf is such a veracious grower that it should recover fine. We have seen some public spaces we installed TifTuf into go through a similar experience to your lawn. All they needed was some TLC and they came back to their beautiful self. So treat the weeds, mow regularly and your lawn will bounce right back.

      1. What do you recommend to get rid of weeds, clover and other grasses on tight tuf?
        I fertilised with the Lawn Solutions, made the grass bounce back but also heap more weeds and other grasses.

  13. My tiftuf has overgrown 30-40mm and just doesn’t look nice. I am thinking of scalping it back really low but should I wait until spring? It is end of winter. I’m loosing patience and don’t think I can wait till renovation time. Temps are reaching max 20-22degrees at the moment.

    Should I just do it??

    1. You definitely want to wait until the weather warms up a little. Until those soil temps come up a little the TifTuf will be stressed and won’t respond as well as it will in a couple of weeks.

  14. I live in Texas. We had TifTuf put down around 2 weeks ago. I have watered but there are some spots that the grass turned a blueish gray color and then brown. I am not sure what I am doing wrong.

    1. In Australia when we see the leaf turn silver it just needs more water. We would suggest increasing the frequency you are watering, as the new sod gets all of its moisture from the leaf not the roots.

  15. Hi team, I’ve had my TifTuf for around 15 months and after the recent army worm infestation in Brisbane before winter it hasn’t fully recovered. It was previously lush but I couldn’t bring it back before winter. It now has a ‘salt and pepper’ look to it whereas before there was no yellow or brown in sight. I’m thinking of combining a scalp with aeration and a dose of Powerfeed. Does this sound like the right move and how aggressive does the scalp need to be? The reason I’m asking is because I have an electric mower which isn’t too powerful so cutting super low successfully is tough. Thanks!

    1. Hi James, just mow it as low as you comfortably can, and give it that feed right away to get it growing again.

  16. can I use kamber m on tiftuf to control broadleafs

    1. Hi Larren, Kamba M is completely safe to use on TifTuf.

  17. Hi team, I installed TifTuf a few weeks ago, it’s taken root nicely (obviously the sunnier spots more so than the shadier spots), so I gave it its first mow.
    Despite my best efforts with a rotary hoe, then soil leveller and roller (and a spirit level!) to get the soil as flat as possible before laying, it’s got a few bumps & lumps – which means some valleys in some places and little mounds (maybe 10-20mm high) in others. That means I have almost scalped the mounds and barely mowed the valleys at all. I assume it’s too early to top-dress now, but should I topdress soon (e.g. early summer?), or hold off until Spring 2021? (and if so, presumably I’ll need to keep the lawn at 30-40mm this season to avoid continually scalping it?).

    1. We have the same issue, would love to hear the answer

      1. In Brisbane you can topdress right through to the end of February, so no need to wait till Spring 2021.

        We really are blessed with a unique climate in SEQ.

    2. Sorry we missed this one Leigh!

      In Brisbane you can topdress right through to the end of February, so no need to wait till Spring 2021.

      We really are blessed with a unique climate in SEQ.

  18. Hi team,
    Looking to install TifTuf in my backyard that gets ample sunlight in the summers but worried about the majority of gloomy, cloudy, wintery days in Melbourne. Would TifTuf grow very well in Melbourne weather?

    1. We always recommend speaking to a local grower for more accurate advice.

      Head over to the Lawn Solutions Australia website to find the grower nearest to you.

  19. Question; Why do you say to not use foul manure for the fertilizer. Most top dressing from landscape yards have foul manure I have found?

    1. That part of the blog post probably wasn’t worded the best, and I have now updated it. The main thing is you don’t want to use a lot of raw organic products, so if the top dressing contains a small percentage of manure then that won’t be a major concern.

  20. Hi, what is the best herbicide to use on Tiftuf for controlling winter grass? Based in Melbourne VIC. The grass came with winter grass in it , should i request some type of refund of is it part & parcel of buying instant turf?

    1. You should speak to the turf farm who supplied you the turf to see if they will help in any way.

      There are selective herbicides that specifically target wintergrass. Amgrow Wintergrass Killer is one.

  21. Is TiffTurf dog friendly…or will I just end up with yellow/dead patches everywhere?

    1. Dog urine can cause issues for all grasses, but TifTuf is great for dogs. In fact we have installed it in several dog off leash areas across Brisbane where is has proven to be a great success.

      1. Hi we laid our Tifturf about two and a half months ago, watered as per instructions. I’m cutting it about 25mm but I have dead patches, (a lot). we have a dog as well and look really brown. am I cutting too high, do I need to water more. please help as I’m really down about the look of my grass.

        1. There are 3 factors to consider; scalping, dry patches and lawn grubs.

          If you mow TifTuf too infrequently you will scalp sections and cause brown patches. This can be corrected by mowing more frequently.
          Lawns are made up of thousands of individual plants, so some areas of a lawn can require more water. This can lead to dry patches, which can be addressed by watering those areas more.
          Finally, lawn grubs will attack in an area causing patches, treating the area with lawn grub killer is the best way to address this.

          Our advice would be to start with the soapy bucket test to see if you have lawn grubs. (VIDEO LINK TO THIS PROCESS).

          If you don’t have lawn grubs the best course of action is to increase mowing and increase watering in those particular areas.

  22. Hi. I previously had lush tiftuf. It grew really well in all conditions. In late July, I top dressed my tiftuf but we then fled Melbourne for South Aus to be with our extended family. When I returned, the grass was full of weeds. What is a good herbicide to use? I’ve previously used weed n feed but that did more damage than good.

    1. For broadleaf weeds and clover we recommend Amgrow Bin-Die

  23. My TiffTuff is a few months old and is regularly mowed and watered twice weekly.
    Green on top but starting to brown at the surface.
    I’ve never fertilised it but thinking it needs top dressing.
    Recommendations on how thick the top dressing needs to be? I was crucified for applying too much to the previous Sir Walter. If I blow it again you may need to call 000

    1. Is the brown in patches? Normally when we see scalped patches in TifTuf it is because the surface is uneven, and so top dressing is the perfect way to address that.

  24. I laid TiffTuff from Jimboomba about 3 months ago in Brisbane. Initially it was lush and green but now it is sparse and has bare/dead patches. It has been watered regularly and now it is raining frequently. I gave it a light topdressing a few weeks ago. Initially I delayed mowing and it grew quite long but now I am mowing more frequently. Will it start to spread? Should I do something about the mat of dead grass in between the green patches?

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