Autumn lawncare in the garden

5 min read

autumn wildflower maintenance

Autumn Lawncare –

Autumn Lawncare – Autumn is an ideal time of year to pay attention to your lawn. Damage during the summer may have left it looking lacklustre. But it needs to be strong enough to cope with the onslaught of winter. You’ve now got a perfect window of opportunity to fix your lawn, and get it in good shape for the harsh months ahead. Here are some top lawn care tasks to complete this autumn.

Autumn lawncare – scarify the lawn

Scarifying is the process of removing thatch in the lawn by raking it over. Thatch is an accumulation of old grass, moss and other debris, which prevent water and feed reaching the grass roots.

Sweep up leaves

As autumn gets underway, leaves fall off the trees and may start to accumulate on your lawn. Get into the habit of regularly sweeping the leaves away and placing them in plastic bags to create leaf mould. Leaves left on the grass can cause damage to the lawn, and may even spread disease.


If your turf is looking patchy, thin or worn, autumn is a good time to add some much-needed density to the surface. Sowing grass seeds can help to make your lawn look lush again, so that it retains its good looks over the winter months.

Autumn feed

Continue to feed your lawn over autumn, so that it is strong and healthy enough to withstand winter weather. For the best results, use a high quality lawn feed that is specially formulated for use at this time of year, like Vivid Green or Rejuvenator Fertiliser. An autumn lawn feed is high in potash and phosphates, which can help to protect the lawn from frost damage over the winter months.

Top dressing

By autumn, soil can be low in nutrients and look in poor condition. By adding a top dressing, such as you can improve the condition of the soil and promote strong root growth. Make sure to properly rake the top dressing into your turf for best results.

Autumn Mowing Regime

The experts say that growth will begin to slow this month and you’ll need to mow less often.  I’ve not noticed that happening in my garden and I’m still out there every 4-5 days.  Mow your lawn when it needs it.  If you’re not planning on scarifying or topdressing, start to increase the cutting height a little.  Longer grass is more robust in a harsh winter.

Feeding Your Lawn in Autumn

It’s time to switch to an autumn/winter lawn feed.  If you’re scarifying, do that before you feed and the extra nutrients will help the grasses flourish afterwards.


Turfonline Rejuvenator has exactly the right balance of nutrients to encourage strong root growth.  At the same time it won’t encourage the blades of grass to become so lush that they’re susceptible to damage by frost or disease.


Having said that scarification can turn an ordinary (or a poor) lawn into something beautiful.  It takes out the dead grass and the moss that accumulate on top of the soil.  That allows water to percolate into the lawn and drain away quicker.  It also gives the roots a breath of fresh air.

Greenkeepers will scarify several times a year.  For a lawn though, once a year should be enough.  Autumn is the perfect time of year because the grass can recover overwinter and really spring into life next year.

When it’s my turn to scarify, I hire a machine to do it.  I’m tempted this year to hire a lawn care company to help.  They’ve got the equipment, they’re in better physical shape than me and they do all the tidying afterwards while I provide tea and cakes.


Hollow tine aeration will help with drainage.  But don’t do it if the weather is likely to be hot and dry in the next few weeks. There’s a danger that the lawn could dry out.

If you’re bothered by lumps and bumps in the surface of your lawn, it’s a good idea to follow aeration by topdressing. Topdressing involves spreading a thin layer of nutritious but well-draining soil on the surface of the lawn.  It will level the surface and improve the soil beneath the lawn.

Watch out For Lawn Diseases

Be on the alert for disease.  There’s nothing you can do to prevent it other than keeping your mower blades sharp, not letting the lawn get too long (or too short) and ensuring the plants are well fed.  A healthy lawn is better at resisting disease in the same way that a healthy child doesn’t get as many winter colds.

If you spot the signs of fusarium patch disease, frost will normally kill the fungus that causes it.  However you can avoid spreading it by disinfecting your lawn mower blades and trying not to walk through infected patches.  If you’re really worried – consult your local lawn-care company.  They may have a chemical treatment for it (there are none that are licenced for sale in garden centres etc)

Toadstools in Your Lawn?

In essence, don’t panic, toadstools in the lawn are nearly always harmless.  Don’t fry them up for breakfast though unless they’ve been identified by an expert.

Seeding and Turfing

Autumn brings the perfect weather conditions for sowing grass seed or laying turf.  So now is the time to repair bald bits and replace really tired lawns.

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