As Autumn rolls in it follows extremes of weather during the spring and summer months, (cold, dry, hot, wet repeat) and it is the ideal time to carry out work on your lawn to help it repair and recover.
Work carried out now will reap reward during next year’s growing season, by encouraging deeper roots and a healthier root zone for a great looking lawn.
This should continue and maybe raise height of cut a little to 30-35 mm (1 – 1 ½ inches)
Regular mowing is still important to help the lawn remain thick and healthy a well as mow up an leaves which fall.
An autumn feed is very different from the feed you apply in the growing season. This balanced autumn feed is designed to promote good colour, tackle early moss and help the grass produce additional root growth, so it will be lower in Nitrogen, but higher in Phosphate and Potassium.
This the mechanical process which removes dead grass, moss and thatch from deep within the lawn. Some grasses require this process each year due to the prostrate (horizontal growth habit) which grows throughout spring and summer. even grass which don’t produce thatch, such as rye grass can benefit from an annual scarification/dethatch. Only a scarifier can lift out this thatch and moss effectively.
Autumn is the best time to carry this, sometimes aggressive process, as lawn recovery is always assured going in to milder, wetter conditions as opposed to doing it in the spring heading to warmer, drier conditions.
Regular aeration of a lawn is key to helping keep the soil open and aerated. Having air in the soil is important for the health of the soil and the microbes that live in it as well as for a healthy grass plant. Most activities we carry on the lawn squeeze the air out of it eg -walking, running, mowing, rolling. An annual aeration can help reduce the compaction and restore air pockets I and relive compaction.
Soil compaction is a frequent cause of turf deterioration and moss invasion. For optimal effectiveness the lawn needs aerating in the autumn.
In combinations with aerating, apply a dressing of turf dressing (sieved soil:sand mixture) will help keep the holes open longer and grass healthier. don’t use sharp sand from a builders merchant as this sand is angular in shape and not suitable for top dressing. Always use a top dressing sand which is made up of round grains of sands (miniature marbles) which will aid drainage and ensure air pockets within the soil.
The autumn provides an ideal opportunity to introduce new more vigorous grasses in to a tired lawn.
About our President – Richard Salmon
Richard started his career studying Agriculture at Writtle University College in the 1980’s. He then qualified as an agronomist (BASIS), advising farmers as well as green keepers / groundsman on growing crops and grass. He started his own Lawn Care business in 2000, and soon afterwards the UK Lawn Care Network in 2004 (now the UK Lawn Care Association).
Richard Salmon is Honorary President of UK Lawn Care Association in recognition for his work to the lawn care sector.