Our lawns get well used during the summer and can begin to show serious signs of wear by autumn. The cooler weather is a great time to give the grass some care and make sure it regains health and vigour for next year.
Here is our guide to creating a lush lawn that — when followed regularly — will give you excellent results and a beautiful turf you can be proud of.
Apply these steps to your lawn in the autumn (or spring) to give it new life for summer. If you are looking to design a new lawn area for your garden or revive an existing lawn, just reach out to our garden design team here.
Step 1: Clear Out
As a first, remove any weeds that have popped up in the lawn. You can do this by hand, pulling the weeds out with the root or using a hand weeding tool. If the weeds are widespread, spray with a low toxicity weedkiller.
Clear our any dead plant material from your lawn. This may be old grass, debris, and moss — collectively known as thatch — which builds up on the surface and prevents moisture and nutrients from penetrating the soil and feeding the grass roots.
This is most easily done by scarifying the lawn with a lawn scarifier or a metal rake. The idea is to scratch the lawn surface, which will release the thatch. You can then easily rake it off for disposal or compost.
As the lawn is actively used, soil compaction prevents air and water from circulating around the grass roots. To restore circulation, aerate the lawn with a fork by piercing the ground to a depth of 4 to 6 inches. Carry on doing this in straight lines along the entire lawn surface, spacing the holes regularly at around 12 inches. Aerating once a year is sufficient for most lawns and can also improve waterlogged areas.
If the lawn shows thin or dry patches, treat the affected areas by reseeding them with grass seed that matches your existing lawn. Mow and water the lawn well just prior to spreading the seed, which you can do by hand or using a seed spreader.
Cover with a thin dusting of soil to prevent birds from eating the seeds. You can do this with a garden sieve. If your lawn is waterlogged, you can adjust the composition of the soil by adding organic matter.
Keep watering the lawn regularly to encourage germination, and you should see the first new seedlings emerge after about 2 weeks. Avoid walking on the grass until the seedlings are well-established.
Add seed to the lawn once a year to maintain a healthy and beautiful appearance.
Spread lawn feed according to product instructions. Usually, you can feed twice a year, in the spring and autumn. In spring, feed with a fertiliser high in nitrogen to encourage vigorous green growth. In autumn, a feed high in potash and phosphates will help protect the grass from coming frosts and ice.
Mowing frequency is dictated by time of year. In the summer, mowing can be as often as once a week as the grass grows quickly, and in the winter only when absolutely necessary.
In the autumn, lift up the mower blades to reduce stress on the grass and only cut the grass if required. Don’t remove more than one third of the grass height and avoid mowing when the soil is wet, which damages the grass.
Keep watering the lawn regularly to encourage lush growth. If the lawn looks dull or loses its uprightness, these are certain signs that it needs water.
Remove surface debris such as twigs and leaves, which you can compost. Cut back branches that cast shade over the grass.
We hope that this guide has helped outline the steps to reinvigorate your lawn. If you are looking to design a new lawn area for your garden or for help to revive an existing lawn, just reach out to our garden design team here.