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Lawn Care

How to look after your lawn in Autumn

Essential autumn lawn care tips for a healthy garden

Autumn is a beautiful time of year, the days are getting shorter, and the leaves are starting to turn orange and gold. For our gardens however the change in weather and less sunlight reduces the rate at which plants grow and the risk that your grass may develop moss and weeds grows. Also, coming off of a scorcher of a summer, your grass may show signs of wear and tear. The damp, moist conditions of autumn make it easier to work with soil and to make repairs. 

Autumn is an important time to look after your lawn because it’s the time of year when grass is at its most vulnerable. By taking some simple steps, you can help your lawn to build up its root system and store nutrients, which will help it to survive the cold weather and come back strong in the spring.

In this blog post, we share some tips on how keep your lawn healthy in autumn.

What should you do to your lawn in autumn?

Autumn, like summer and winter provides its own set of challenges. The most noticeable seasonal change is to the trees and their leaves. They fall throughout the autumn period causing multiple issues. Fallen leaves supress the little sunlight grass gets when they cover it, so it’s important to remove them regularly. Additionally, dead leaves can carry pathogens that spread disease to your lawn. Thus, removing them as quickly as possible using a rake or a leaf blower to do so is always a good idea.

Adjust your mowing height. As the weather cools down, the grass starts to grow at a slower rate. Adjusting the cutting height on your lawnmower so that it cuts the grass higher means that you don’t run the risk of over-cutting your grass and damaging areas of your lawn.

You should consider re-doing your lawn’s borders. Summer and increased sunlight promote speedy growth for grass, often meaning that it may overstep the previous borders in your garden. As the growth rate slows in autumn, you may find it best to get out the garden shears and trowel to rejig your garden.

In autumn, as many of us in the UK are aware, the weather starts to turn damp more often than not. Flooding and standing water pose a threat to grass as water doesn’t reach their roots and when grass is covered, it can lose its air supply. One way to tackle this issue is to spike your grass every two to three years to aerate your lawn which allows better water & air flow to the roots.

As the nights and early mornings cool, your grass will freeze and frost over. When it frosts over, the grass become susceptible to breaking. Walking on your grass in these conditions can cause long lasting damage. Consider laying stepping stones so you can access parts of your garden e.g., your washing line or greenhouse, without damaging your lawn in winter.

When should I scarify my lawn in autumn?

Damp conditions, shade and rain promote the perfect conditions for moss to grow. As we enter autumn, you’re likely to see some pop up in your garden, especially in your lawn. Scarifying your lawn can be a suitable solution which involves removing moss, dead grass, clippings, and other debris. If these debris are left on your lawn, it can prevent air and water from reaching the grass roots. The extra thatch can also promote even fungi to grow. You can scarify your lawn with a manual scarifier to remove dead grass without damaging your lawn. Don’t be put off by the rough look of your lawn afterwards, it will promote a healthy lawn that grows back better after.

When should I treat my lawn in autumn?

The wetter conditions after the hot summer months are often enough to repair the damage caused to your lawn by the hotter conditions. Sometimes the change in conditions may not be enough to repair your grass. Autumn provides a good window to feed your lawn to help maintain its health through the winter months. This will help the grass to store nutrients over the winter so that it can grow back strong in the spring.

You may also want to overseed your lawn with an autumn grass feed. Repair any damaged areas. If your lawn has any bare patches, autumn is a good time to repair them. You can do this by overseeding the area with grass seed.

The autumnal environment means your grass is more susceptible than normal to weeds. They grow year round but more so in the late summer months. Checking your garden over and killing weeds early stops their seeds from spreading and ending up with more.

Keep an eye out for diseases such as fusarium patch disease and red thread disease. Summer months often cause discolouration in your lawn such as brown patches. In autumn with more rain and less exposure to direct sunlight, your lawn should be green all over. Fusarium patch disease tends to spring up in the cool autumn weather. Caused by a growing fungus, this disease is noticeable because it will turn areas of your lawn orange/brown. Redthread disease is caused by an underfed lawn or a fungal infection. Its main symptom is red tinged grass and can be eradicated by feeding your grass a nitrogen based food.

If you need help with anything discussed in this article or garden advice, we’re happy to help! Get in touch, and our experts will be able to answer any queries you have.