As the days get shorter and the garden begins to wind down, autumn is the best time to prepare your lawn for winter if you want great results for next year. Having endured some extreme heat this summer, as well as a heavier footfall over the school holidays and the relief of some much needed rainfall, now is the time to give it a boost so it’s in tip top shape next spring.
To maintain a great looking lawn over the following months, we recommend following our simple steps.
Preparing your lawn
Cutting the grass plays a huge part in maintenance throughout the year, even in the autumn months. As the days grow shorter and the temperatures begins to fall, the grass growth will be slow meaning you don’t have to mow as frequently. Start raising the cutting height of your mower to a minimum of 2cm or 1in. We recommend you mow your lawn no more than once a fortnight unless the weather is incredibly mild.
Raking the lawn before mowing will help to keep grass and clover ‘runners’ under control, as well as clearing up autumn leaves. This is an important task to do throughout autumn, because if left on the lawn, the leaves will rot down and smother the blades of grass, causing damage and releasing pathogens, which could cause disease.
Time to remove weeds and moss
If moss and weeds are a problem on your lawn you will need treat them before scarifying them out. Both need to be controlled, because not only are they are unsightly in your lawn, but because they deprive the blades of grass of light, water, space, and essential nutrients needed for growth.
There are many products on the market available for moss control, but we recommend Aftercut All in One Autumn which is specially formulated for the colder months. It usually takes 10-14 days for the moss killer to take effect, before you can begin to scarify.
Scarifying with a rake allows you to reduce the layers of moss and thatch in the lawn that can prevent water and fertiliser from reaching the roots of the grass where it is needed the most for healthy growth. We recommend you scarify before overseeding to thicken and repair your lawn and remove any dead material.
Over the course of the year, areas of your lawn will experience heavy footfall through children playing, family entertaining and everyday traffic as the sun shines. This often causes the soil to become compacted which can cause problems with drainage, weeds, and moss. This can be resolved by aeration, a simple process of perforating the soil with a garden fork to create small holes in your lawn to allow air, water, and nutrients to penetrate the grass roots.
If you notice numerous dips, lumps and bumps caused by uneven ground, this can be resolved by flattening with an edging iron or spade to slice through the turf before carefully rolling it back.
After the daily wear and tear over summer, your turf may become thin and patchy, so autumn is the ideal time to rejuvenate your lawn through over seeding patches, when the ground is warm and there is frequent rain. Over seeding will thicken your lawn and crowd out unsightly weeds, as well as improving both its health and appearance.
For a quick fix on smaller areas, we recommend Gro-Sure Smart Patch Spreader which will treat up patches caused by dog urine, shade and high traffic, and helps to aid strong root development.
For larger areas, we recommend Smart Lawn Seed Fast Start for filling in thin and bare areas of your lawn. This mix germinates in all conditions: full sun, worn and shady areas and at lower temperatures, making it ideal for the autumn months. It contains high-quality grass seed varieties that have been treated with Aqua Gel technology that retains water, for improved germination results.
By following these simple steps with your grass now and you'll have a head start on a healthy lawn for next spring.