Giving your lawn some autumn TLC
David Fortune has recently left the corporate world and set up a lawn treatment business. He explains what you need to help your lawn recover from summer and withstand the winter ahead.
How is your lawn looking as summer draws to a close?
Lush & green?
Parched & thirsty?
Patchy & weedy?
Do you know that autumn is THE most important time to give your lawn an extra bit of TLC? Your perennials and pots may also be looking past their best but if you give your lawn some attention now, it will be better prepared for the vagaries of our unpredictable winter ahead, when most other plants are bare and will be ready for a growth spurt in spring.
The most important tasks at this time of year are getting air, nutrients and water to the roots, removing dead grass, thatch, moss and weeds. Autumn lawn care jobs can include:
* Moss control
* Lawn scarification
* Lawn aeration
* Over seeding
* Feeding the lawn
These jobs should be done in this order, starting with killing off the moss and weeds; followed by scarification two weeks later to get rid of all the unwanted material.
Next hollow tine aeration alleviates soil compaction and involves perforating the soil and allowing air, water and nutrients to penetrate the grass roots. This helps the roots grow deeply and produce a stronger, more vigorous lawn. One of the main reasons for aerating is to alleviate soil compaction and this can only be done by hollow tine aeration.
Compacted soils have too many solid particles in a certain volume or space, which prevents proper circulation of air, water and nutrients within the soil. Excess lawn thatch or heavy organic debris buried under the grass surface can also starve the roots of essential nutrients as well as moisture and air.
Once the scarification and aeration has been completed the lawn surface will be left with grooves and holes, this creates the ideal seed bed, perfect for over seeding.
Applying an autumn - winter fertiliser or lawn feed will help build a strong sward and maintain the health of the lawn during the winter and give it a head start during the spring time.
* Other useful tips include raising your mower height and don't forget to keep your blade sharp, otherwise you tear the grass.
* Occasionally brush the lawn: Light brushing is done to keep the surface of the lawn clean and free of any debris such as leaves, twigs and worm-casts. Try to do this task when the surface is dry as worm-casts smear when the soil is wet which creates more problems.
* Keep an eye out for disease and pest activity. Red thread seems now to be having a much longer season than ever before and keep an eye on the birds – if they're busy, it's a sure sign that some grubs may be lurking!
* Remove heavy dews from the lawn: During periods of heavy dew, fusarium patch disease may become a problem, removing dew will help discourage this disease.
* When leaves start to fall, try and remove as quickly and as often as possible. Leaves that are allowed to lie for any length of time are one of the biggest enemies of grass, as they stop light and air reaching the roots making it easier for moss to grow. They stop it from drying naturally during the daytime and act as an insulation layer, creating perfect breeding conditions for diseases
*If the weather continues to be warm, your lawn will still continue to grow for months to come. Continue to cut the grass as and when it needs it, it is a myth that the grass doesn't require cutting through the winter, once a month is usually sufficient during the winter months.
You can of course do all this for yourself, or alternatively I would be happy to help you with these tasks, for a very small charge!
Thanks for reading, I am always happy to provide you with a free lawn consultation.
020 8363 4110
Read more about aeration and scarification here
David Fortune explains what you need to help your lawn recover from summer and withstand the winter ahead.