No matter how brown and crunchy your lawn looked in the summer I bet it’s come back to life and is looking green now (if a little patchy) after cooler days with dewy mornings and the odd autumn down pour – amazing how resilient grass actually is. The wonderful thing about a lawn is it not only “frames” a garden and helps show off the plants but it’s a good reliable inexpensive surface that will put up well with a lot of wear and tear.
At this time of year it is worth putting a little effort in to give your lawn a boost – makes all the difference next year.
First off tackle the hard warn areas, these tend to be the “walk ways” used regularly that become compacted and bare due repeated walking up and down – or goalie positions – that if left become muddy puddles in the winter. Aerate the area (this improves the root growth of the grass) using a fork (or hollow tine / also known as coring) push it in 5-7cm and about 5cm apart over the compacted area which also helps with drainage.
Really bare areas can be top dressed with a sandy top soil which you can make up yourself – 6 parts medium-fine sand, 3 parts sieved soil and 1 part peat or leaf mould – alternatively buy it pre mixed, makes life much easier then over sow with grass seed. You’ll still be cutting the grass on a regular basis and if you’re like me being in a mild area you may be cutting the grass right up until Christmas.
Come the autumn I tend to set the cut a little higher, it’s a great way to collect the leaves – saves all the raking! And it chops the leaves up a bit so that they compost down more easily. If the leaves are “soft” so from things like apple, plum, birch it’s worth composting it in a separate bin as they rot down into a wonderful compost referred to as leaf mould – fantastic for using with lily bulbs, rhododendrons, camellias and other ericaceous plants.
I know removing the leaves goes on and on, basically through to spring but if you leave them on the lawn and it’ll cause the grass to die back therefore more patches, so just keep going with collecting the leaves.
The one last thing that’s really worth doing to the lawn now is putting on an autumn fertiliser, these days you can get an all in one, off the shelf, that not only feeds but also gets rid of weeds and is easy to apply – what can be simpler!