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Evolution5
25-5-8 20kg
A high quality Spring lawn fertiliser with controlled release for upto 5 months

From £28.99
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Autumn Lawn Care

Autumn Lawn Care

With summer over, we should turn our attentions to getting the lawn prepared for the coming winter. The summer growing season can be hard on a lawn; taking nutrients from the soil and, on well used turf, becoming compacted. Feeding and watering during the strong growing season encourages the build-up of thatch that can hold water near the surface, reducing vital air supply to the roots and encouraging the spread of moss and turf diseases.
 
Scarify and aerate the turf.
 
Over the course of time a lawn will gradually build up a layer of thatch on top of the soil. On putting surfaces, such as you find on the golf course or bowling green, thatch will slow the speed of the ball (or wood) so the professionals that maintain such areas pay particular attention to scarification and aeration in order to control its build-up. On formal lawns a small amount of thatch is acceptable as it cushions the grass plants from mechanical wear caused by foot traffic etc. But if left to increase in depth it will make the surface of the lawn hold too much moisture, which can encourage moss and turf diseases.
 
The early autumn is a good time to give the lawn a thorough scarification and carry out deep aeration, since there should be sufficient moisture and soil temperature to permit a good recovery of the grass before the winter sets in. The lawn should never be scarified when the turf is dormant, as the grass plants will be unable to recover and serious thinning of the sward can occur.
 
Repair worn areas
 
Once the scarification and aeration is completed attend to any badly worn areas by re-seeding or re-turfing. Again, this is best carried out in the early autumn (September) while conditions are right for rapid germination and establishment. Left too late in the autumn, newly germinated seedlings can be lost to damping off diseases that can follow a sudden drop in soil temperature. Remove dead grass with a firm rake and make up the level with some suitable soil or compost. ‘John Innes No 2’ is ideal as a filler for repairing worn areas. Firm the soil and then sow at approximately 30g/m² with good quality seed similar to the original lawn mix (i.e. with or without ryegrass), covering with a light dressing of soil to hide the seed from the birds. Keep the repairs well watered once germination has started.
 
Autumn leaves and worms
 
We can expect to see the return of casting worm activity on the lawn, as the increasing moisture levels begin to soften the soil allowing worms to become active again. Whilst we cannot do without earthworms in our gardens, they can be a particular nuisance when they leave muddy worm casts on the surface of the lawn. Therefore it may be prudent to manage the lawn in such a way to discourage the proliferation of casting worms and minimise their activity on our precious grass.
 
A total of twenty eight species of earthworms have been identified In the U.K. and of these, only three species come to the surface to feed and cast. Surface feeding earthworms will drag grass clippings and fallen leaves from trees and shrubs into their burrows, where they are eaten. Therefore, if there are leaves falling on the lawn it makes sense to sweep them up regularly and put them on the compost heap. By denying this food source to the three surface feeding worm species, we can help keep their numbers in check. The other twenty five species of worms will be unaffected by leaf clearing, as they get all of their food from beneath the surface. Leaf litter left on the surface will also block out the light and if left to rot can harm the grass in other ways.
 
Autumn Feeds.
 
Time to put back some of the nutrients lost in the summer by applying an autumn fertiliser. An ideal product for this time of year should contain less nitrogen but more phosphate and potassium to change the emphasis from promoting strong areal growth, to encouraging root development and hardening the grass in preparation for the cold weather. Many autumn fertilisers contain sulphate of iron, which helps to prevent disease and discourage moss. For more information on feeding turf see our guide: ‘How to choose the right fertiliser’.
 
Mowing
 
As autumn progresses, reduce the frequency of mowing to fortnightly or longer. If the summer height of cut was 10mm or less you should consider raising the cut to 15 – 25mm but remember to collect the clippings as a measure to discourage worm casts.