Autumn is an important season for taking care of your lawn. It is important to use the last months of the growing season to strengthen and prepare the lawn for the rigours of winter. The effort put into a lawn in autumn will improve the quality and health of the lawn right through into the following spring and beyond.
As the days grow shorter and the temperatures begin to fall the rate at which the grass grows will slow, meaning that the lawn will need mowing less frequently. It is also a good idea to raise the height of cut as winter approaches. As always maintain your mower in good condition and keep the blades sharp.
An autumn feed will supply your lawn with the essential nutrients it needs to strengthen itself for winter. As autumn progresses damp, still conditions can lead to diseases such as fusarium patch. Applying an autumn lawn food in early autumn will help combat these by strengthening the grass plants as well as giving your lawn an attractive green colour.
Broadleaf weed treatment
Broadleaf weeds can be treated using a suitable selective herbicide or an all-in-one treatment. Alternatively weed them out by hand or using a knife/mechanical weeder remembering to get the root of the weed out.
Depending upon the wear and tear that the lawn has received over the previous months you may want to overseed the lawn in early autumn. Rolawn recommends a mix of our Medallion® Lawn Seed with our Lawn Topdressing brushed into the surface of the lawn. The seed will germinate ahead of winter and fill in any sparse or thinner areas. Using Medallion® Lawn Seed will add the highest rated cultivars to any lawn giving a thicker, denser sward.
Alternatively, our Minster Pro® seed mix is available which will introduce a higher percentage of fine fescue types.
If your lawn has become uneven then top dressing will even out any low areas. A rate of 1–3 kg per square metre will be sufficient when brushed into the lawn surface especially in lower areas. It is a good idea to add our Medallion® Lawn seed to a topdressing to help fill in any thin areas It is always best to carry out topdressing when the lawn is dry. Top dressing also helps break down thatch and aids drainage.
Dealing with moss
If moss is a problem on your lawn you will need to scarify it out. You may also consider applying a moss-killer product before scarifying. This will help to kill and remove more of the moss, allow the moss to turn brown/black before scarifying. After this it may be appropriate to overseed using Rolawn Lawn Seed if taking the moss out leaves the lawn thin in some areas.
Scarification reduces the build up of dead grass matter, roots and moss which can cause increased stress to the grass plants. Scarification can be done using a spring-tine rake by vigorously pulling the rake through the grass sward. Electric or petrol scarifiers are also available for hire from local garden centres or DIY stores.
Clear the lawn of leaves and debris
As leaves start to fall from the trees use a light rake or brush to keep the lawn free of leaves and debris. Specialist leaf sweepers and lawn vacuums are available for hire from local garden centres or DIY stores for larger lawns.
Cut back vegetation
As Turf is a green plant organism, it relies on light as well as the correct balance of heat, water, air and food. Foliage and surrounding shrubs and trees around the lawn should be cut back where possible to reduce competition for essential nutrients and water; also, to avoid leaving parts of the turf in constant shade.
Aerate consolidated areas of the lawn with a fork or with a spiking machine. These are available for hire from local garden centres or DIY stores for larger lawns. This will relieve compaction, improve drainage and allow more air into the root system leading to a healthier lawn.
Dealing with worms
Remember worms improve the nutrient content of a soil and are beneficial to the soil structure. Worm casts are best left to dry and then swept or brushed away with a stiff brush.
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Further information on lawn aftercare procedures and pests and diseases can be found in our Information Centre. You may also like our seasonal lawn care guide.