Caring for your lawn in Autumn
Your lawn has been working hard all year and after the heat (and rain) of Summer it is in need of some care to prepare it for Winter and to get it ready for next year.
Step One – Feeding
Your lawn needs to be fed and there are a wide range of products to do this.
our recommendation would be the Scotts Autumn Lawn Builder, but if you have moss in your lawn then Evergreen Autumn Lawn Care or Westland Aftercut Autumn All in One are your best beat as they both contain a moss killer. For heavier infestations, you should consider Westland Lawnsand or Angus Lawnsand which are the strongest moss killer available. Our bestselling Viano Mo-bacter contains bacteria which eats the moss, so if you want to feed your lawn and get rid of the moss but want to use natural methods and don't want to have to rake the moss out then this is the option for you. We are also now stocking a brand-new Westland product called Lawn Master which works in the same way.
All these are granular products should be applied when the lawn is dry to the touch and should be lightly watered in two days after application if there has been no rain to help activate the product.
Step Two - Scarification & Aeration
Once the product has been applied the lawn will start to green up within a week and if you have used a product with a moss killer then the moss will start to die turning brown or black. At this point you should scarify and aerate your lawn.
Scarification is the process of raking out all the dead grass as well as any dead moss that may be there. The best tool to use is a spring tine rake. Removing this dead material is very important as it can be a habitat for pests and diseases that an attack your lawn.
Aeration is best done with a sturdy garden fork, although you may wish to use a hollow tine aerator or shoes with spikes on called lawn aerating sandals. Over time the top layer of soil becomes compacted stopping air, water and nutrients from reaching the roots of the grass. By making a regular series of holes going as deep as you can and about 30cm between rows you will help to improve the health of your lawn.
Step Three - Top Dressing & Over Seeding
Six weeks after feeding your lawn you and scarifying it your lawn may look thin and moss removal may leave bare patches. It is now that you can address this by using a top dressing of soil which should cover the whole lawn through which the existing grass will grow. At the same time, you can bolster a thinning lawn and fill in bare areas by adding grass seed. To protect the seed from cold wet weather and to deter birds from eating the seed you would apply the top dressing in two stages with the second stage going on top of the seed just thickly enough to hide the seed from view. There are many types of seed to choose from but the best all round seed suitable for most situations is Johnsons Quick Lawn as it is quick to establish, hard wearing and is also shade and drought tolerant. If there is a cold bout of weather and the soil temperature drops below 8 degrees but remains above 3 degrees then Johnsons Anytime Seed would be suitable. The thickness of the top dressing is up to you but a depth of at least 2cm is recommended. The best soil and one of our best sellers is Westland Gro-Sure Lawn Seeding Soil which is a top-quality blend of topsoil and sharp sand which can also be used to fill in any dips in the ground.
Step Four – Aftercare
Finally, when mowing your lawn try to take off only the top third of the grass and as the weather becomes wetter reduce the frequency of your watering, although most lawns will benefit from a good soak once a week depending upon the weather. Any weeds can be removed by hand or killed with a lawn weed killer spot treatment such as Weedol Lawn Weedkiller or Resolva Lawn Weedkiller.