We can’t all be like the dedicated gardeners who use autumn to get their turf in top-notch order to ensure that it goes into the winter looking almost as good as it does in the height of summer.
But we can take a leaf out of their book and use autumn to sow grass seed (or, if we want to spend more, lay turf) – just as long as we choose the right mixture and prepare the area in advance.
It’s also a pretty good time sow a new lawn or renovate an old one.
Seed germinates readily in early autumn when the soil is warm, there is plenty of moisture and the weather is neither too cold nor too hot. Germination should take between seven and 10 days.
For a new lawn, it pays dividends to kill off all previous growth, including deep-rooted perennial weed. Use a glyphosate-based weedkiller to get rid of broadleaved weeds and perennial grasses such as couch and Yorkshire fog, which would otherwise disfigure the overall look of a new lawn.
Remember, this is the only time that you can easily get rid of these weed grasses from a lawn, so if you want a fine grass finish, do the weedkilling right now.
After leaving the treated area for a couple of weeks to allow the roots to be killed off, it’s time to level the surface and improve the soil structure.
Adding a good dressing of lawn soil to your existing soil will lighten the structure and provide a fair amount of food for a thicker, greener lawn. You can also use a lawn dressing to fill in hollows and repair bare patches on an existing lawn.
To ensure the soil doesn’t settle with bumps and hollows, firm the soil by taking a silly walk and shuffling over the whole area; then rake to create as level a surface as possible.
It’s now time to select the grass seed mixture to suit your needs and those of your family – there’s seed for shady areas, tough play areas, front lawn fine areas and for multi-purpose use. Any will produce a great looking lawn because they contain a mixture of the right types of grasses for your chosen area.
If an established lawn is looking thin and contains small bare patches, it’s a good idea to over-seed the area with the same product.