- Give the grass a seasonal low-nitrogen feed
- Hit on the head any mosses that may be thinking of taking hold.
Most gardeners tend to do the majority of their annual lawn maintenance (if they do any at all) in the spring. But autumn, too, is a time to make corrections after the summer foot traffic, heat and sun (even with this year’s dismal sunshine levels!), and to prepare the grass for winter. Some work carried out now will vastly improve your lawn for next year. So, what’s to be done?
To start with, don’t stop mowing! My rule is always to mow the grass whenever it needs it – whatever the time of year. From November to March there is usually a winter break from mowing but if we have a mild winter the grass will carry on growing – so you should carry on mowing!
From now onwards, with the cooler nights, heavy autumn dews are increasingly common, so before you mow make sure you brush away the excessive moisture. If you don’t, it will soon clog up your mower.
Wormcasts, too, are a bit of an issue now. These little mounds of soil – the spoil created by worms as they tunnel through the soil under a lawn – are a particular nuisance on fine, closely mown lawns. If you leave them they kill the patch of grass underneath them, and this is made worse if you walk on them and flatten them. When seen, sweep them away with a stiff brush.
So, apart from brushing off dew and wormcasts and mowing, for me the two most important autumn lawn jobs are:
Last year for the first time I used Aftercut Autumn All in One – a new product, formulated especially to keep lawn grass healthy and strong over the winter period. It is best applied from between now and November.
It has a Westland’s unique Even-Flo swivel distributor head which makes application on to the lawn easy and smooth. It also contains a mixture of nutrients, but unlike spring and summer lawn feeds which have a high nitrogen content (this essential element encourages soft, leafy growth), the autumn mix is proportionately higher in phosphates and potassium, to increase hardiness.
Even better, Aftercut Autumn All in One is a combined feed and moss killer. If your lawn is susceptible to moss, a cool, damp autumn will see its return following a summer of absence. After a few days of applying this product, the moss will turn black, at which point you should rake it out by hand or with a mechanical scarifier.
As autumn leaves fall make sure you collect them on a regular basis – at least once a week. If you leave them, and they get wet with rain or dew, they will start to decompose in situ, compact themselves, and kill the grass underneath. They’ll also become slippery and dangerous to walk on.
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