Autumn is the busiest and most important season for lawn care. Lawn treatments carried out now will pay dividends the following spring and summer. Here are my top ten autumn lawn care tips.
- Keep mowing as and when required but raise the cutting blade a little.
- Apply a good quality autumn/winter formula feed.
- A seaweed lawn treatment in autumn will green up the grass and prepare it for winter
- If needed, apply lawn treatments for moss and/or weeds
- Aerate the lawn to relieve any summer compaction
- Scarify to improve air circulation and reduce the risk of disease
- Trim trees and hedges to alleviate shade
- Be vigilant and watch out for autumn lawn diseases such as redthread and fusarium patch
- When autumn leaves start falling, be sure to sweep them off the lawn at least every other day.
- Go outside and have fun – enjoy your lawn in every way you can.
Mowing your lawn in autumn
A sensible mowing regime is the single best treatment you can give your lawn at any time of year. Regular mowing encourages a dense sward with a velvety texture and discourages all but the most determined of weeds. However, scalping your lawn stresses the plants and can affect colour, wear tolerance and disease resistance.
In autumn your lawn wants to harvest as much sunlight as possible to give the plants enough energy to survive the winter. Raise the mower blades a little to help the plants. For a family lawn in autumn time I recommend a mowing height of 5-7cm (2 to 2.5 inches). Don’t forget to trim the edges for a nice neat finish.
A slightly longer lawn lends itself to stripes. Here’s how to mow stripes in your lawn.
Feeding your lawn in autumn
Grass growth will start to slow down as the temperature cools and the days get shorter. In autumn, the plants start to shift their focus from growing leaves to strengthening their root system. And for that, they need the right balance of nutrients.
What you feed your lawn now, will determine how it performs next spring and summer. Choose a professional quality feed with a low nitrogen content but plenty of phosphorus (for root health) and potassium (for disease resistance).
I also recommend a seaweed based lawn treatment at this time of year. It’s absorbed by the leaves and supplies a good dose of the plant equivalent of our vitamins and minerals.
Treating weeds in your lawn
If you’ve been troubled by weeds in the lawn this summer but not managed to control them, now is the time to treat them.
I’m not a big fan of spraying herbicides about willy-nilly. I prefer to use professional quality sprays that are specific to the weeds you are tackling and only apply where it’s needed.
Personally, I think there’s no better treatment for weeds than having a well fed, dense sward so that they can’t invade in the first place. So consider feeding, mowing, aeration and scarifying as weed control.
Autumn lawn renovations
The term renovations refers to aeration, scarification, overseeding and topdressing. Overseeding and topdressing are only needed if a lawn is uneven and the grass is thinning. Aeration and Scarification though are an annual essential if you want your lawn to thrive – especially on clay soils.
This video explains sums up autumn lawn care and shows Premier Lawns at work on a lawn in Belfast
Shade and your lawn
Whenever you try to grow a lawn in the shade of a hedge, trees or even shrubs, the grass will be competing for sunlight. The deeper the shade, the harder the grass has to work to harness the energy it needs from the sun. And the harder the grass has to work, the harder you have to work to keep it healthy.
If at all possible, make the most of autumn to prune those trees, shrubs and hedges and allow more light into the lawn.
Need help with hedge trimming? Read our blog
Autumn lawn diseases to look out for
Fungal lawn disease love autumn weather. It’s warm, it’s damp and the conditions are perfect for fungal growth. If strange, odd-coloured patches appear in your lawn and you know you haven’t spilt anything on it, then you could have a dose of a late summer lawn disease.
This article will help you to assess the situation and decide what action to take. Late summer lawn diseases
As always, If you are at all worried about your lawn, please get in touch.
What to do with autumn leaves
It’s so important to remove all of those fallen leaves from your lawn. We’ve talked a lot about the importance of sunlight for lawns. A coating of leaves will block the sunlight and, if left for very long, will kill the grass.
If you have the space, why not gather the leaves into one place and let them rot down. Leafmould is an invaluable (free!) mulch and your leaf pile will be a fabulous refuge for winter wildlife.
Fun Fun Fun
Finally, please don’t look upon your lawn as a big list of jobs to be tackled. Call in the experts to do the work while you have fun on your amazing outdoor carpet.
Here are some awesome autumn activities for the whole family (including the dog) to enjoy on your lawn. Fun ideas for making the most of your lawn this autumn
Need help with autumn lawn care? Contact Premier Lawns for advice and a no obligation quote.