Lawn and order

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The lawn has had a bit of a hard time this year, so to say thank-you for all it’s had to put up with, give it a bit of TLC.

All those small, and not-so-small bald bits need re-seeding or re-turfing.

The soil should be warm enough to help with germination, and assuming you have prepared it correctly with a balanced fertiliser designed to apply before seeding or turfing, it will establish fast and develop stronger roots and shoots.

Autumn is as good a time as any to rake through your lawn to remove any thatch accumulated over months of mowing.

This raking, or, more correctly, scarifying, will help to remove all the thatch and much of the moss that becomes a fixture in the majority of lawns.

Garden centres will sell mechanical scarifiers and some will hire them out for the weekend.

Or, if your lawn isn’t too large and you aren’t afraid of a bit of hard work, you could do your autumn work-out with a spring-tine fork – it’s good exercise.

What you won’t be able to rake out are clumps of coarse grass such as Yorkshire fog, wall barley or cocksfoot, that produce large thick grass leaves and usually a raised mound where roots push up the clump.

To get rid of these you will have to dig out the grass plants, roots and all, and then level the site and re-seed.

And if your lawn hasn’t been fed since summer, a dressing of a proprietary weedkiller/fertiliser, such as EverGreen Autumn, will not only sort out any moss that has become established, but will also provide all the nutrients to harden off growth so your lawn is prepared for all the weather the winter can throw at it.

When winter finally arrives, try to keep off the lawn when it’s covered in snow and ice. And if it’s waterlogged, give it a wide berth – compacting the grass and soil will mean more work next spring to repair the damage, and that’s a chore best left to the masochist.

That doesn’t mean that occasionally, just occasionally, there won’t be work to do – if there’s another surprise warm spell, it may pay to trim the lawn edges just to keep things looking tidy.

And clear away the debris of errant autumn leaves before they have time to turn to mush.

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