After a summer acting as a pitch, picnic spot and playground, your lawn can look a little ragged. Once the family retreats indoors this season, you can get to work to send your patch of green into winter revitalised. Follow our five point autumn lawn care plan and it'll bounce back better than ever!
Rake off autumn leaves: Leaves left on the grass will eventually cause it to die – so keep raking till leaf fall has finished. Stack them so that they rot down so they turn into leaf-mould which can be used as a good soil conditioner.
Treat for moss: Kill off any moss before you start using specially-formulated lawn moss killer – those which are blended with a lawn tonic help your grass bounce back in double-quick time. You’ll find a good range of brands on the shelves in our garden centre here. Moss is often found in shady patches under trees and hedges. Apply two or three weeks before you scarify to get the best effect. While you’re at it, remove large weeds by hand or with a spot weed killer, too; and mow the lawn short so you can reach the thatch easily.
Rake and scarify: Scarifying is just a fancy word for removing all the debris which has built up at the base of grass shoots during the year. It’s mostly just dead grass and moss, but it can form into a dense thatch up to 1-2cm thick which prevents air from circulating and chokes your grass. Use a metal spring-tined rake to vigorously tease up debris, dead moss and old grass clippings - this will help your lawn breathe and give the grass enough space to thicken up for a lush green lawn next year.
Choose a dry day (if the weather isn’t ideal, put the job off until it improves), and scarify in the afternoon so the dew has had time to evaporate off the grass.
Work your way methodically across the lawn, scraping out as much as you can of the old debris. You’ll be surprised what you can pull out! It’s quite a workout, so allow plenty of time and take regular rests. All the debris can go onto the compost heap; you’ll find after you’ve thoroughly scarified the lawn it looks quite a mess – but don’t worry, it will bounce back in no time with a beautiful sward of healthy, vigorous green.
Aerate: Compacted areas should be aerated with a garden fork. Push the fork into the ground as far as possible and wiggle back and forth to open up drainage holes every 10cm across the lawn.
Top dress: With a blend of loam, compost and sand (available ready-mixed from the garden centre), brush over the top of the lawn. Finish with an autumn lawn feed and your lawn is good to go!
Click here to see our top lawn care products to get the job done!