Whilst the warm and dry summer weather is delightful, it can be bad for the health of the grass and lawn area in your garden. This means that it can need a little caring for to help it recover before it has to tackle the cold and the frosts that winter brings. This guide will provide you with a few ideas on how to look after your lawn as we move from Autumn into Winter.
Deal With Moss
Some people will be lucky enough that their lawn isn’t affected by moss, but if yours does have this issue, it is something that should be dealt with. The easiest solution is to apply autumn fertiliser and moss killer to the affected area. It may take up to two weeks for the moss to turn black, which is when you know it is dead.
Scarify the Lawn
Scarifying the lawn with a rake will remove all debris, old grass stems and dead grass, otherwise known as thatch, from the area. This is important because layers of thatch thicker than 1cm can prevent water and fertiliser from penetrating into the soil, but you should also take care not to over-scarify as this could damage the turf. If your lawn area is small, a wire handheld rake will suffice; you should only use electrically-powered machines for large areas.
Aerate the Lawn
Aerating your lawn will relieve compaction and allow water and air around the roots of your plants. Most average-sized lawns will only need aerating every two to three years and can be done using a hand-held fork and creating 10 to 15cm deep holes, spaced about the same distance apart. You should focus specifically on areas that you know tend to hold the most water after it has rained. However, you should only do this if the soil is dry enough to crumble in your hands, otherwise you could end up creating more clumps in the soil than you had beforehand.
Cover Bare Patches
If any areas of your lawn are looking bare after the drying summer weather, or because they have been damaged by moss, you should overseed these areas. You should then feed the soil with a low-nitrogen feed, designed for autumn. Using a feed that is high in nitrogen might encourage damaging infections in the grass.
Increase Cutting Length
As the temperatures decrease and the weather becomes wetter, you should increase the cutting length of your lawn, especially if it is in use. This means that when you cut your lawn, the grass will still be at a long enough length to protect the soil from frost damage. The ideal cutting length for autumn winter time is around 4 cm, which means your lawn can still look neat and tidy, but will be able to withstand the winter weather.
Whilst there is actually little you can do to prevent the winter weather from affecting your garden at all, following this advice will mean it is in a better condition to face the cold and damp weather that is to come.