Autumn Maintenance Tips

September to October

Check your lawns for signs of wear and tear during the summer months, treatments applied at this time will have time to take effect before the temperatures drops and growth slows up or stops.

The following treatments can be carried out in the autumn.

Scarifying

This can be achieved through regular raking and will keep thatch at an acceptable level. Thatch layers greater than 3/8th of an inch will prevent water and fertiliser from penetrating.

For small areas rake vigorously but carefully with a spring-tined rake to remove thatch. For larger areas hire a scarifer or use a mower attachments.

Turf can be damaged if scarified too deeply. Do not scarify in spring – opt instead for a light raking, as the lawn may not recover in dry summer conditions.

Expect that scarifying a lawn can leave a lawn looking unsightly, it is important that you only scarify when grass is still growing or you will risk leaving an unsightly lawn over the winter months which will be weak and prone to weed and disease.

Aerating

It is very important to have good air movement if you want a thriving lawn. By aerating (or spiking) your lawn you will encourage better movement of air and water in the soil. A compacted lawn with limited air movement is detrimental in times of draught and very wet conditions.

This important task should be carried out every 2 to 3 years. Concentrate on areas where there is heavy wear and shade as these areas will really benefit from increased air movement.

Spike small areas using a garden fork, spacing holes 10-15cm (4-6in) apart and deep.

For clay or waterlogged soils use a hollow-tine aerator every three to four years. A hollow-tine aerator will remove plugs of soil from the lawn. Sweep to remove the soil debris from the plugs and then rake a top-dressing into the holes this will improve air and moisture penetration.

You can hire hand held or mechanical equipment depending on the size of the job in hand.

Top-dressing

To achieve a beautifully manicured lawn apply a well rotted organic top dressing. This will correct surface irregularities and improve the texture of difficult soils, encouraging greater rooting and denser thickening of turf.

Apply 2-3 kg per sqm and back rake to spready evenly.