Three things you must do for your lawn this Autumn
Any lawn care service will tell you that autumn into winter is a key time for the health of lawns. The weather starts to get cooler, the days get shorter, and the garden looks less appealing. However, there is lots to be done now to gain rewards later!
These three things are vital for the health of your lawn right now, and work as building blocks for next year. The best bit is that they're very easy to do...
Autumn Through the Eyes of a Lawn Care Service
We understand that our enthusiasm for lawns might outstrip some. With the return of shorter days we get that the garden might be slipping down your to-do list as we enter the final weeks of the year.
However, this is likely exactly why you need to be reading this!
While lawns may need slightly less care at this time of year, we find a lot of lawns don't get the care that they require across November and December. Some homeowners can go from one extreme to the other, when in reality the conditions haven't changed all that much (we do spend the summer moaning about the weather, remember!).
The work completed now sets a lawn up for spring. A robust autumn programme means that the lawn can continue to thrive during those crisp winter days. Mistakes can be expensive - every year we come across lawns in need of avoidable spring renovation where these three must-do's have not been followed. Click away at your peril!
1) Leaf Clearance
Leaves are really bad for your grass.
Your lawn is starting to slow down at this time of year. There is less light and growth naturally with the seasons. If not kept on top of, leaves left on your lawn compound the seasonal battles against:
- Moss development - it's damp and dark under those leaves
- Poor grass colour and thinning grass coverage - light and air movement is vital for healthy grass
- Disease resistance - both red thread and fusarium are common November lawn diseases
Every lawn is different - you may not suffer from too much leaf fall, or you may get swamped. Due to this, leaf clearance could be a daily or weekly job. If you're lucky, it might not a job at all for your garden (but we do love trees)!
A good quality mower will hoover up leaves where the recent fall isn't too dense. Otherwise a leaf rake (taking care not to be too aggressive with the grass) or a leaf blower / leaf vac could be good tools for the job.
To get the best from liquid applications for your lawn (if this be a DIY treatment or one from a lawn care service) clear leaves beforehand for the best results. Lawns with a few leaves are good for treatment, but lawns with a lot of leaves will impact the consistency of the applications made.
For example, if treating a lawn for moss, you want to be treating the whole lawn for moss rather than just the leaf-less areas!
I warned you of peril! Leaves can be an autumn lawn care horror!
2) Regular Lawn Mowing
Lawn mowing doesn't stop in October!
Grass continues to grow when the soil temperature is above 5c. The soil temperature is impacted by both day and night time temperatures over the last two weeks. The soil takes days and often weeks to lose warmth when cooler weather does arrive. November usually sees as much grass growth as March, with December sometimes not all that far behind!
It's all the more important to keep on top of your mowing at this time of year due to periods where the lawn may be a little wet for you to cut. We find that homeowners can use damp conditions as an excuse not to mow - however this can depend on the quality of the mower available and the length of the grass. We use minimal nitrogen within our autumn lawn care treatment applications so we're not encouraging unnecessary growth.
7 KLC autumn mowing tips:
- When the grass is damp, if possible, brush the lawn to knock moisture off the grass leaf before cutting
- Mow in the afternoons where possible as mornings will certainly be damp - if this be because of morning dew or overnight rain
- If the weather has been bad, look for consecutive dry days before mowing. Take care with turns
- Continue to mow every 10-14 days. If there is an unsuitable weekend, at least your lawn hasn't got away
- Do not cut your lawn any lower than 30mm, ideally leaving it at 35-45mm. The grass needs as much leaf area as possible to produce food. When your lawn is softer, your mower could be digging in
- Check your mower blade and clean the cutting deck after use. Basic maintenance is important
- Don't be tempted to stop mowing before mid-November at the very earliest. Most 'last' cuts are usually early December in the West Midlands
3) Use an Independent Lawn Care Service for Autumn and Winter Treatments
Not only is grass growing, but moss if left untreated will quickly become an issue in lawns. A lawn care service will apply a range of treatments at this time of year.
An independent lawn care service has the ability to tailor treatments to the needs of new lawns. The options are endless with granular and liquid fertilisers both having their part to play, the possibility of a late weed control application, and the correct rate at which to treat for moss.
We have carried out a record number of lawn aerations as part of our lawn care service across September and October, but further bookings may now be too late for this year. These aerated and treated lawns in Redditch are doing well!
A Lawn Care Service for Aeration in the Autumn?
We love lawn aeration. However, we wouldn't advise aerating much beyond the first few days of November on what are largely clay soils within our service area. Professional lawn aeration machines are heavy bits of kit - 3-4 times the weight of a typical lawn mower. Aeration can cause more compaction than it relieves if it is carried out in the wrong conditions.
By this stage in the year (and given we're always booked a number of weeks ahead) we often advise that lawn treatments are the best place to start, and to get mechanical work booked for the spring to include scarification, aeration and overseeding. If you wait for spring then there is the likely risk that the capacity that we have will have been booked and the opportunity missed!
One of our experienced team will be able to advise at the time of a lawn survey on the best course of action to get the best from your lawn and garden.
Can We Help?
If we can help with your lawn this year and into next, then please feel free to get in touch via the contact form below, or you can call us on 01827 438975. You can also gain a costed lawn care service programme by completing an Instant Estimate. We look forward to meeting you and your garden shortly!