Top 5 Autumn Lawn Care Tips

Having a garden and a lawn to take care of can be a lot of work, especially as every season comes with it’s new challenges and a new pile of chores.

These 5 top autumn lawn care tips are some that should not be overlooked if you want to ensure that your garden stays healthy, undamaged and attractive over the colder months.

Scarifying your lawn

Scarifying is the process of raking a lawn to reduce the layers of thatch in the lawn. This could include a collection of debris, dead grass and old moss, that could prevent water and fertiliser from penetrating the roots of the grass.

Autumn is an ideal time to scarify your lawn, as you can rake a little deeper, than if you were doing it in spring, when you would have to be more careful and delicate.

If you don’t scarify, debris will build up and lead to many other problems. Thatchy and mossy lawns will not be very wear or drought tolerant.

Mowing your lawn the week before you plan to scarify can be a great way to prep your garden for its impending makeover. This will remove any excess grass and dice up any thatch patches, making it easier to shift later on.

You may also want to apply moss killer to your lawn the week before your scheduled scarify day, to make the process as easy as possible.

Adjust the setting on your mower

As the weather starts to get colder, the grass will be growing much more slowly. This is the best time to adjust the cutting height on your lawn mower, so that it cuts the grass higher.

As a rule of thumb, an optimal height for grass in the cooler seasons generally is about 2 1/2 inches or 5.6 cm. And at each mowing, you should only be removing about the top 1/3 of the grass blade. Consequently, a good time to mow lawns is when your grass is about 3 2/3 inches or 9.3 cm high.
Mowing about about once a fortnight until about mid-October should suffice, depending on the weather conditions.

Aerate your lawn

Aeration is one of the key factors to having a well maintained lawn. The process of aerating is essentially spiking the lawn to allow for more air and nutrients (e.g. water) to get absorbed to the grass roots. This will help your lawn survive through more extreme weather conditions, such as waterlogging or a drought.

There are many different methods of aerating your lawn, based on the size of your lawn and soil type. You can either use a spike aerator, where you simply use a tool to pole holes into the ground with a solid tine or fork. However, for the best results, use an aerating tool or machine that actually removes plugs of soil.

This is an autumn lawn care tip you won’t want to miss and you’ll thank yourself for in the spring!

Consider laying stepping stones

Autumn is the perfect time to consider laying stepping stones across your lawn, ready to protect vulnerable winter lawns from foot traffic and harsh weather conditions.

Well placed stepping stones allow easy access to areas of the garden, such as the shed, compost bin or washing line, without the risk of damaging the delicate grass.

They can also be placed for decorative purposes. As well as being functional, a stepping stone path can add an attractive feature to your garden; giving it shape, focus and symmetry. Laying stepping stones is a relatively simple and low-cost way to enhance your outdoor space. You can often do it yourself.

Improve drainage

Areas of the lawn that get the most traffic in the warmer months, such as seating areas and play areas often become very compacted and the grass may be damaged, which can cause problems with drainage, weeds and moss.

This can be improved by pushing a garden fork into the ground as far as you can and wiggling it back and forth to create air channels. Repeat this every 4 inches or 10 cm across the lawn. Then brush a sandy top dressing across the surface of the lawn, so that it fills the holes, allowing air and water into the lawn. This can also be done with an aerating machine.

This will massively help your garden over the winter months, so that by the time it gets to spring you will have less trouble planting plants and flowers and your grass won’t die.

In conclusion, autumn is one of the most important times for lawns. Depending on the weather condition, size of your garden and any other contributing factors, these 5 lawn care tips will help you keep your garden safe and still looking good over the colder months.