Autumn is a crucial season in lawn care. Winter can be a stressful period for lawns so it is essential to prepare them for the intense and cold season ahead. As with most things, preparation is better than intervention. Therefore, taking the time now to ensure your lawn is prepared for winter will prevent a large task come late Spring. In this blog, we will cover exactly what steps to take and how to do them.
Continue to mow your lawn as normal through September. You’ll find that you need to do this less as temperatures begin to get cooler and the days start to become shorter. If you’re going to do serious work on your lawn this autumn, gradually lower your mowing height over the space of a few weeks. You want the grass to be about two centimetres tall for the next job.
Scarification, also known as raking, is the process of removing any built-up dead grass, moss and roots which can suffocate and stress the grass plant. Neglecting to complete this step can lead to a build-up of thatch and moss and in turn negatively impact the overall health of the lawn.
Begin by clearing any fallen leaves. Then use a regular springtime rake or an electric scarifier to remove all dead moss and thatch. An electric scarifier will make this process a lot easier, especially if you have large amounts of moss on your lawn.
We recommend using Greenkeeper’s Moss Guard before scarifying. Greenkeeper’s Moss Guard is a lawn moss treatment that reduces existing moss in lawns and prevents moss from growing back. You’ll see moss start to die off within 7-14 days. You might be surprised at how much debris comes out of the grass when scarifying. Do not let this discourage you as it will allow your lawn to absorb more water and nutrients.
Aeration increases air movement around the roots and improves drainage. This step is especially important if the lawn received a lot of use in summer as this will have caused compaction. Aerating your lawn can easily be done with a garden rake. Put the fork in as far as you can and slightly lean back. You will see the earth move slightly. Alternatively, you can use a hollow tine aerator which removes cores from the lawn and creates much wider holes. You can even purchase boots with spikes on them.
To improve aeration, even more, drop Envii Active Lawn into these holes. As the pellets break down they will encourage earthworm activity in the clay soil so that the roots of the lawn can grow far and wide.
If you wish to go the extra mile on your lawn this autumn, you can top dress. Top dressing can come in a variety of materials. It can be compost, soil and sand. But a good rule of thumb is to use a mix of sand and loam. In this example, we are using a sand and compost mix. You can mix Activelawn in with the top dressing tip. Top dressing is easy to spread the material across the surface of the grass. You need to work it down into the holes created during the aeration process. This can be done with a rubber rake or a soft broom. Be careful not to apply too much top dressing as this can smother the grass and damage the leaves. Working with top dressing is going to enrich your soil and you’ll reap the rewards on the surface of the lawn.
Autumn is also a great time to reseed areas of your lawn that are patchy. It is also a good time to overseed the whole lawn to improve its overall appearance. Ensure you use a lawn seed that suits your needs. Coarser varieties will provide good weather tolerance and finer varieties will provide a good appearance. You can either mix your seed in with the top dressing or disperse the seed evenly over the lawn. Aim for about 30- 40 grams of seed per square meter of grass. Ensure the seed gets good contact with the soil and keep it moist until the seeds are germinated. Wait for your seeds to germinate and grow to at least 5 to 7 cm before moving on to any other jobs.
Apply an autumn feed once overseeding is complete. This can take roughly 14 days. We recommend using Green Keepers Autumn as this autumn lawn feed will improve airflow between the blades of grass, instead of focusing on greening up the lawn. It hardens off the grass for winter and prevents diseases like Fusarium.
Watch the full autumn lawn care video here: