Autumn Lawn Care Summary
As we move into the late summer period, it’s important to prepare your lawn for the colder temperatures that will follow. Here are some top tips to help you care for your lawn during autumn:
- Watering: Don’t think that because the temperatures outside are no longer consistently high, you can totally forget about watering in the autumn. Fall lawn care for cool-season grasses includes ensuring that lawns receive enough water in the autumn to carry them through the long winter.
- Mowing: As the leaves fall, rake them away regularly. You should complete a final mow, around the beginning of November, whenever it is dry.
- Aeration: During the summer months, excessive usage and dry conditions can compact the soil under the lawn. Aeration can help prevent this and improve the health of your lawn.
- Scarification: Removing thatch from your lawn can help improve air, water, and nutrient flow to the grass roots.
- Fertilisation: Autumn is a great time to fertilise your lawn. Look for a fertiliser with a high potassium content to help your lawn withstand the winter months.
By following these tips, you can help ensure that your lawn stays healthy and beautiful throughout the autumn and winter months.
Why Do I Need To Perform Autumn Lawn Care?
As a gardener, I know that autumn lawn care is essential for maintaining a healthy lawn throughout the year. By taking the time to perform lawn maintenance in the autumn, I can ensure that my lawn’s roots remain strong and protected over the colder weather. This is because the cooler temperatures and higher rainfall can lead to increased stress on the grass, making it more susceptible to damage.
Additionally, performing autumn lawn care can save me time in the long run. When spring rolls around, my lawn will be ready for me to start working on without much preparation, as I have already taken the necessary steps to maintain it. So, by investing a little time and effort in autumn lawn care, I can enjoy a healthy and lush lawn all year round.
Step By Step Guide On Autumn Lawn Care
Now that we understand the importance of maintaining a healthy lawn throughout the autumn, we need to start thinking about what we will do to take care of it. There are quite a few jobs that you’ll need to do and this can feel overwhelming, but don’t worry, I’ve put together an easy step by step guide to take you through.
Autumn Leaf Removal
Removing fallen leaves from your lawn is a crucial part of autumn lawn care. If left unattended, the grass underneath the leaves may not grow well and suffocate due to lack of light and air. You can use a leaf collection function on a lawn mower to make the task easier, but if you don’t have this function, raking the leaves is also effective. You can also purchase leaf blowers and vacuums to make the job even easier. Ensure that the leaves are dry before you begin to prevent clogging and aid with the mulching process.
In any case, it is essential that you perform this part of your lawn care otherwise the grass underneath the leaves won’t grow as well and may suffocate due to lack of light and air.
Scarifying involves removing any moss or thatch that may have formed on the lawn. Thatch is a buildup of dry grass, moss, and other debris that can restrict water flow to the grass roots. Scarifying in the autumn is ideal as the roots are well-established, and it won’t damage the lawn. You can use a manual wire lawn rake, but it can be physically demanding, especially if you have a large lawn.
Alternatively, you can purchase a powered lawn scarifier that will make the job quicker and easier. You can choose from an electric, cordless, or petrol scarifier, depending on your needs.
There are pros and cons of each, so why not take a look at my article “Best Lawn Scarifier Reviews UK – Rakes & Aerators” to ensure that you choose the right tool for you and your garden.
Autumn Mowing and Edging
During autumn, you won’t need to mow your lawn as frequently as you did during summer. Gradually reduce the frequency of mowing over the course of the season. The grass won’t grow as quickly during autumn, so adjust your cutting height accordingly. By the end of autumn, you should have two final cuts that are much shorter than usual.
This prepares the lawn for winter and ensures that the roots get better sunlight exposure, which encourages growth and health. Before the cold sets in, sort out the lawn edges, which typically become overgrown during summer.
Use a large piece of wood to ensure a straight edge and a more intricate cutting tool like a set of lawn scissors or half-moon edging knife to get the neatest finish.
Evening Out The Lawn
Over summer, your lawn may have developed uneven areas due to use by family and pets. You need to even out these bumps to prevent flooding in certain areas while others remain too dry. Use a half-moon edger to shave uneven areas before laying down fresh turf.
Ensure that you fully aerate the lawn as well. Fill in any dips in the lawn, such as around steps or football goal posts, with good quality weed-free topsoil and either seeded or turf laid over the top. This should be done before the weather turns too cold and icy.
Aerating your lawn ensures that it gets all the correct nutrients and helps to avoid soil compaction. Use a garden fork to spike the lawn so that air can pass through and around it more easily. This will also protect the lawn during extreme periods such as heavy rainfall and drought.
See my article “Best type of lawn aerators” if you would like to learn more.
Feeding The Lawn in Autumn
Applying an autumn lawn feed will help to protect your lawn from diseases that become more of a risk at this time of year. Choose a feed designed for autumn as the mix will contain additional potassium, which will give the lawn added protection against the frost. Organic lawn feeds tend to give much more long-lasting results.
They ensure that the grass stays a healthy colour throughout the season, giving it a far greater aesthetic appeal when most other things in the garden are starting to die off.
In addition to this, the roots will be given a nutrient boost, so your grass will be stronger to deal with the colder and unkind months ahead.
By following these simple steps, you can maintain a healthy and lush lawn throughout the autumn season.
When is the best time to fertilise my lawn in the autumn?
The best time to fertilise your lawn in the autumn is during the early part of the season, around mid-September to mid-October. This will give the grass enough nutrients to grow and stay healthy during the winter months. It is important to choose a fertiliser that is specifically designed for autumn use, as these contain the right balance of nutrients to support the grass during this time.
How often should I water my lawn during the autumn months?
During the autumn months, you should water your lawn less frequently than during the summer. It is recommended to water your lawn once a week, or every 10 days, depending on the weather conditions. Be sure to water your lawn deeply, to encourage the roots to grow deeper and better withstand the winter months.
What are the most important steps to take when preparing my lawn for winter?
There are several important steps to take when preparing your lawn for winter. These include: Raking up fallen leaves and debris to prevent them from blocking sunlight and air from reaching the grass. Mowing the lawn to a shorter length to prevent snow mould from forming. Aerating the soil to improve drainage and allow air and nutrients to reach the roots. Applying a winter fertiliser to provide the grass with the necessary nutrients to survive the winter months.
What is the recommended height to cut my grass during the autumn?
The recommended height to cut your grass during the autumn is around 60mm. This will help to protect the grass from the cold and frosty weather, while still allowing enough light and air to reach the roots.
What types of grass seed are best suited for autumn planting?
Cool-season grasses such as fescue, ryegrass and bluegrass are best suited for autumn planting. These grasses will germinate quickly in the cooler temperatures, and establish strong roots before the winter months. Be sure to choose a grass seed that is suitable for your climate and soil type.
What are the most effective ways to control weeds in my lawn during the autumn season?
The most effective ways to control weeds in your lawn during the autumn season include: Removing weeds by hand or with a weed puller. Applying a pre-emergent herbicide to prevent weed seeds from germinating. Applying a post-emergent herbicide to kill existing weeds. Maintaining a healthy lawn through regular watering, fertilising and mowing, which will help to prevent weeds from taking hold.
As a seasoned expert in the field of garden power tools, I have dedicated over a decade to working with and reviewing a wide variety of lawn mowers. My extensive experience has allowed me to gain a deep understanding of the benefits and limitations of different types of mowers and garden tools.
Over the years, I have honed my skills in writing informative articles and creating helpful videos for various blogs and publications. This has given me the ability to not only recognise what makes a good lawn mower, but also to help you choose the perfect garden tool for your specific needs and requirements.
With my wealth of knowledge and expertise, I am confident that I can provide you with valuable insights and recommendations when it comes to selecting the right lawn mower for your lawn. So, whether you're looking for a battery cordless, electric, petrol, or robotic mower, you can trust in my expertise to guide you towards the best option for your garden.