It’s important to use the autumn months to prepare your lawn for the impending winter, and also to improve the condition and health of your lawn for the upcoming spring. September and early October is the ideal time to get your lawn in shape before the temperatures drop, so find out how to look after your lawn this autumn in 3 simple steps with tips from Paynes Turf.
Step 1. Scarify your lawn
Scarifying removes layers of thatch in your lawn and allows the grass to ‘breathe’. Thatch is a build-up of dead plant material which forms from roots, moss, and dead grass. To remove thatch, drag a spring-tined rake towards you in short, quick movements, then place the waste on the compost or in the garden recycle bin. Autumn is the best time to scarify, as the lawn will have plenty of time to recover and regenerate before the following spring.
Step 2. Aerate your lawn
Aerating a lawn involves spiking holes into the turf to allow water to drain away from the roots, as well as allowing air and nutrients to reach the roots of the grass. Aerating will improve the health of your lawn, prevent waterlogging, relieve compaction, and encourage root growth. To aerate a small lawn, use a garden fork to poke holes into the turf to a depth of around 15cm, and approximately 15cm apart all across the lawn. For larger lawns hire a spiking machine from a DIY or garden centre. Aerate your lawn every two to three years.
Step 3. Add a top-dressing
The addition of a top-dressing will assist drainage, even out any low areas, and will provide much needed nutrients to the roots of the grass. When the lawn is dry, simply spread the top dressing on the lawn then work in with the back of a rake or brush in with a stiff broom making sure to level the surface – you don’t want to end up with a lumpy lawn! If you are applying a top dressing to smooth out the lawn because it is uneven, apply 3-4 Kg per square metre (depending upon how uneven the lawn is), but don’t smother the grass – as a general rule 75% of the grass leaf should be visible. If your lawn is very uneven you may have to repeat this process in the spring, and then again the following autumn to even it up. For regular lawn care maintenance, use 1Kg of top dressing per square metre.