How to care for your lawn in the autumn
With the coming of autumn, you really need to consider your garden’s most notable area – the lawn. It probably takes up much of the space, but even if it doesn’t, you should still pay some special attention to it.
According to expert gardeners, autumn is the best time to take a closer look at the lawn and notice if there are any signs of trouble, be it in the form of wear and tear from summer activities, or some disease. If any treatment is required, you best make sure you apply it on time so that it has time to take effect before temperatures drop significantly.
Here are some things you should consider in that regard:
- You can scarify the lawn – scarifying (essentially raking the lawn) is the best way to keep thatch, grass stems, moss and other debris off your lawn. If not completely removing them, such process can at least keep them in check. The major issue comes when thatch gets too thick, as that is when it impedes water and fertiliser penetration. While helpful, scarifying the lawn can also be dangerous, if you aren’t careful. You should never scarify too deeply, as that can potentially rip areas of the turf.
- You can also aerate – aerating the lawn enables air and water circulation through the soil and thus easy access to these components to the roots. If you aerate your garden now, you can bet it will fare better in case of waterlogging and drought. If you have a small area of lawn, you can aerate with a garden fork, with holes being spaced 10-15cm. apart. For clay soils, you can use a hollow-tine aerator every few years.
- Top-dressing the lawn is nice – applying a combination of loam, sand and organic matter is what gardeners call top-dressing. The purpose of this is to improve the texture of soils that are difficult. The process leads to the better root system and thick turf. Some of the best mixes used to top-dress the lawn include three parts loam, six parts sand and a single part compost. You need as much as 2-3kg. per square meter. Once you have applied the dressing, you better work it well into the grass with the back of your rake.
- Flatten problem areas – if you notice any troughs and bumps on the lawn, you can correct them with an edging iron, or spade. With your tool of choice, you should slice through the turf and then roll it back. Fork the ground underneath and remove/add soil as you see fit. You can then replace the turf and water the area thoroughly.
Repair damage done by pests – autumn is an excellent season to repair the damage done by various pests and diseases. Worm casts, leatherjackets and chafer grubs can do multiple forms of damage to the lawn. Identifying these pests and taking action is of crucial importance.
There is much that you can do for your lawn in the autumn. It is up to you to take good care of it so that it looks its best the next growing season.