Autumn Care For Your Lawn
As summer turns to autumn, and our thoughts generally begin to move away from the garden, it is still worth bearing in mind that although you might not be able to spend as much time in the garden from a recreational viewpoint, a lot of work still needs to be done.
Taking into consideration that growth in the garden has slowed down, but not stopped completely, the autumn brings with it a whole host of tasks that - if carried out correctly - will keep your lawn looking pristine and healthy all through the autumn and winter period.
MowingAlthough the grass has slowed down in terms of growth, the lawn still requires mowing. It is a worthwhile endeavour raising the height of the grass cut when mowing as it will take a little longer to grow back but do still cut the grass - perhaps once a fortnight if the weather permits.
FeedingAs with most things in the autumn and winter your lawn will struggle to find the food it needs, especially with a dip in temperature and potential wet and frosty conditions. Applying a feed once every so often during these months, either through directly sprinkling onto the grass, or by mixing with water whilst watering, will provide your lawn with the additional nutrients it needs to carry on looking healthy and disease free.
OverseedingThis is very much dependent on the level of wear and tear your lawn has endured during the summer months. With human traffic, and perhaps sports being played on the grass, there may well be those patches of grass that are starting to look tired and wilted. So overseeding in early autumn is the best way to reduce the number of worn spots in your lawn. Simply apply a liberal amount of seed to those areas where wear and tear are visible and treat as you would when lying the lawn for the first time.
Top-dressingAgain, as with feeding, the soil can lose some of its natural nutrients in the autumn so top-dressing is an idea way of bringing the life back into tired soil. Spreading some soil over those uneven parts of your lawn and level them out using the back of your rake and not only will the soil be replenished but your lawn will look level and smooth again.
AerationAeration is as much a part of looking after your lawn at any time of the year as it is in autumn but with the weather turning more to rain it takes on a whole new dimension. Aerating your lawn is important in the months September through to April as this is when we in the United Kingdom seem to have our biggest rain fall and aeration helps the ground relinquish its hold on some of that excess water it has soaked up. Use a hand fork to aerate those parts of the lawn that look as though they are suffering from excess water.
WormsThere is a common misconception among many would-be gardeners that worms are a pest; this is not the case. Worms help to improve the nutrient content of the soil in which your lawn is growing and as such the worms are best left to their own devices. However should worm casts be visible on the lawn allow them to dry out and sweep them away.
Leaves and DebrisAs with the rest of the year it is important to keep the lawn free from leaves and debris. Falling leaves in the autumn and winter can rot quickly and bring disease to your lawn so it is advisable to rake them away as often as you can - or whenever you see a build up of leaves.
ScarificationScarification is the procedure of pulling a rake through the grass sward to drag away any dead grass matter, roots or moss that may be festering within your lawn. Doing this one a fortnight - or more often if you can - helps reduce the chances of disease spreading into the grass. If you wait until the moss turns brown or black then it will come away from the lawn with minimal effort and minimal damage to your lawn.
Using these steps you should be able to keep your lawn a condition similar to that of the spring and summer months.