We know what you’re thinking. Autumn might just be the best season of them all. It’s just a matter of embracing the chill. Stocking up on a few cases of mulled wine. Lighting the garden firepit and sitting back as the verdant green leaves morph into shades of yellow, orange and red. Oh and, one other thing: now is the perfect time to get your lawn in shape for the winter, with Autumn Lawn Care Hacks To Do Right Now
From fertilising your lawn to getting any weeds under control, taking advantage of cool autumn weather is a great way to improve the health and appearance of your garden. It’s like our grandfather used to say to Sean Connery, “a little lawn care now will pave the way for a lush, green carpet next spring.” What?! He might have.
Either way, here are some easy-peasy, autumn lawn care hacks that you can do right away.
Adjust Your Mower Height
When it comes to mowing, one of the most effective things you can do to take the stress off your lawn is adjust the height of your mower deck. Translation: raise it in the summer to reduce any chance of heat stress or drought. Then drop it back down to a more normal mowing height of around 3 inches come autumn.
By mowing your lawn slightly shorter at this time of year, you’re actually helping your grass out by reducing the chance of it getting matted when the leaves start to fall. Just don’t go too short or your roots will weaken and those nasty weeds will make their move.
Fork Any Compacted Areas
In the same way log burners get a lot of use in the winter, lawns get a lot of use in the summer. The problem is, all those areas that saw some heavy traffic over the summer will be pretty compacted right about now. So head to your shed, grab a fork and start breaking up any patches of soil that feel extra-compacted. The reason for this is simple: it’s about to rain a lot and that’s when you’ll want your lawn to drain quickly. As a general rule of thumb, try and push your fork at least six inches into the soil to get the best aeration-slash-drainage results.
Apply Some Autumn Fertiliser
If you’re reading this, own a garden and you live in the UK, take it from us: autumn is the best time to fertilise your lawn. That’s because almost every type of grass that grows in our climate responds super-well to a couple of autumn feeds: one early on and one again nearer November. You won’t notice anything immediately, but you will find your neighbours asking you how you managed to get your grass so green come next spring. Making you the unspoken boss!
Get To Work On Those Weeds
Urgh, weeds. They’re just the worst. Instead of strapping a big, yellow, plastic pack on your back and spraying your lawn with herbicides. You could try choking out any weeds with some different techniques instead. Set your mower deck to the proper height, aerate your soil and throw some fertiliser about to give your lawn some extra nutrients. That’s how to create a healthy, lush lawn. Of course, if a few of the bigger weeds are still hanging around, the best thing you can do is pull them out with your hands, roots n’ all.
Check For Any Thatch
In case you’re wondering what thatch is, it’s that layer of dead organic matter that sits near the surface of the soil in your lawn. Now most of the time, thatch is fine. But a thick layer of thatch, that’s where problems can start to happen, such as disease and pest problems. Not to mention drought and cold weather damage too.
Like we said, less than an inch of thatch is fine. But if there’s more than that you’ll want to get rid of it, which is best done with a bit of professional scarification — something we’re experts on.
Time To Aerate Your Lawn
Another seasonal lawn care treatment that’s pretty good at a) getting rid of thatch and b) keeping your lawn super-healthy is aeration. Not only does it reduce any thick thatch build-up but it also improves drainage, loosens any compacted soil and lets everything from air to water get down to the deepest parts of your grass roots.
That said, not all aerators are born equal. The ultimate are core aerators, which pull-out plugs of soil as they move across your lawn, breaking up the thatch, leaving holes for better aeration and improving the overall soil structure. As for timing, aerating your grasses in early autumn is a good move.
Get Rid of Those Fallen Leaves
Whether you mulch your fallen leaves or add them to your compost bin, remove them from your lawn before they turn into a matted carpet that suffocates your grass. How you remove them is up to you. Some people prefer picking up their rake and sweating a bit, while others go for the leaf blower option. As for our recommendation, using a mulching mower is a quick and effective way to shred those leaves nice and small so they fall in between your grass blades and work as organic feed. topdressing.