How to: lush the lawn
Strong healthy lawns cope better in winter, stay greener longer and out-compete weeds.
Here’s our autumn checklist for lush lawns.
The lush lawn at Cloudehill. Photo - Robin Powell
Raise the mower blades a notch or two to allow the lawn to grow a little longer. Close mowing slows the rate of growth of both grass blades and roots, which means that turf is less able to cope with challenging weather and trampling feet. For best results raise blade height to 35-45mm for soft leaf buffalo, and 40-50 mm for cool climate grasses such as rye and fescue.
Aerate compacted lawns, including worn tracks ways and shaded areas, using the tines of a garden fork. This allows air, water and nutrients to reach the grass root zone. For big areas of lawn hire an aerator.
Fill in worn patches and level out humps and hollows using lawn top dressing, available in bags or in bulk. Plant runners or viro-cells of grass, (sow quick-growing rye grass in cool climates) and water well.
Feed with controlled release lawn fertiliser to boost turf growth for winter. Finish with a hose-on liquid seaweed to strengthen grass and stimulate root growth.
Weed small invaders as soon as they appear. For large weed invasions use a selective lawn herbicide suited to your lawn type and follow the pack directions.
Watch out for the caterpillar called lawn armyworm. It is active in autumn and can decimate lawns by chewing leaf blades. Look for areas that appear to have been close mown, and weren’t! Control using Conqueror Hose-on or Yates Complete Lawn Insect Control.
New lawns Early to mid autumn is a good time to sow or lay turf for new lawns. The milder weather means there’s less water stress on the newly laid turf or germinating lawn seed. Remember that soft-leaf buffalo needs around six weeks of warm weather to get established before growth slows down in winter.