Now School’s Back, There’s Work to be Done!
Don’t worry! The work I’m talking about is nothing too arduous – just good, sensible autumn lawn care. And as the last of the summer flowers fade, it will restore a lovely healthy green to your garden – and it will set your lawn up brilliantly for the winter ahead.
Autumn is such a beautiful season, but it’s also when the garden looks – well, frankly, it’s looks a bit tired doesn’t it? We’ve had the kind of mixed weather that has produced some superb flowerbeds and borders, but now it’s all getting a bit straggly. But don’t fret, once you have renovated, your lawn will keeping giving pleasure for many more months yet!
But if you have children (or even adults who like to muck about outside like children) – your lawn will have worked particularly hard this summer – and it will be showing it! Don’t be misled by the return of stronger green growth; the lawn as a whole really needs a bit of a reconditioning. So, now the holidays are past, why not embark on a simple programme of autumn lawn care?
What Your Lawn Needs in Autumn
As you clear away the dying annuals, cut back the perennials and start lifting the fallen leaves, you’ll get a really good view of your lawn – and although I can’t see it myself, I can still tell you what the problems will be – and how you can put these right.
Ball games, BBQs, or even just lying out on the grass will all have added to the soil compaction beneath the surface. This means that the spaces for oxygen have been squeezed out. Oxygen is vital for the grass and for the great number of really useful little micro-organisms that keep the earth healthy and alive.
Aeration: Let the Roots Breathe
So, one job you must do is aeration. Unless you have a very small lawn, you’re best hiring or buying a hollow-tine machine. This extracts cores of earth in its hollow prongs without squashing the surrounding soil. You can then rake the cores off or break them down with the scarifier so they don’t encourage disease.
Scarification : Clear Out Dead Matter
Between the soil and the surface grass lies the thatch – and after a busy and dry summer this needs a good clear out with a light scarification. Removing much of the accumulated dead matter will help water to percolate to the grass roots and reinvigorate the grass. It can also helps prevent disease and moss.
Feeding: Build The Plants Up For Winter
What about feeding? Definitely! Find a quality feed intended for autumn use (such as our own Rejuvenator), and once you’ve aerated and scarified, give the lawn a really good feed. It really needs this during its last growth spurt of the year and to keep it healthy during the worst part of the winter.
Those three tasks, together, will help your lawn to recover from heavy summer use – but even with light use, they are important parts of good basic lawn care.
However, if you find yourself with time on your hands with the children back at school, what some repairs? I bet there are some patches that could so with reseeding – or maybe small areas that are struggling due to prevailing shade and would benefit from shade-tolerant grasses being added. Autumn’s usually a good time for sowing and you can expect pretty good germination (but remember to keep the seedbed moist).
For larger areas, consider returfing. Being autumn you shouldn’t have to worry so much about watering (but keep an eye on the rain); just be sure to do your site preparation properly before ordering your turf – it doesn’t like having to hang around!
Finally, the grass will continue to grow through the autumn and into the winter. Don’t neglect your mower blade! Keep it really sharp for a clean cut and remember the golden rule – never cut more than one-third of the current length at a time.
Relax and Enjoy the Lawn
I love the smell of autumn rain on a healthy lawn. Do these little jobs and then reward yourself with a quiet stroll around the lawn – you’ll practically feel it thanking you.