And just like that, we’re nearly in October and autumn is fully underway. But don’t think that because the sun is gone so are your gardening jobs. With autumn come some essential gardening jobs and autumn lawn care is one of them.
A picture-perfect lawn is not an easy garden trend to achieve. But with consistent year-round lawn care, it’s an achievable garden idea. So don’t skip on your lawn-tending chores this season as advised by our wise gardening experts and the all-knowing garden guru, Monty Don.
Autumn lawn care tips
If you’re after some lawn ideas for this autumn, then you’ve come to the right place. There are several things that you should be doing to your lawn this season to protect it so that come spring, it is healthy and vibrant green again.
1. Monty Don's autumn lawn care tip
You better believe, then, that our ears pricked up when the garden guru shared his ultimate autumn lawn care tips with his fans.
'This is an ideal time of year to either sow or turf new grass or to repair patches and worn areas on your lawn,' explains Monty Don in the latest instalment of his popular gardening blog.
The green-fingered expert goes on to explain that a worn area of grass will need to be raked, weeded, scattered with grass seed, and watered well.
And, even if your lawn has somehow made it through the summer unscathed, you're still not off the hook: Monty Don's ultimate autumn lawn care tip – to aerate your lawn – absolutely applies to you.
'It is always a good idea to aerate at this time of year,' he says.
Christopher O'Donoghue, one of the co-directors at Gardens Revived, absolutely agrees with Monty Don's ultimate autumn lawn care tip.
'The soil is still warm from the summer months in September,' he explains, 'and this promotes better grass growth and root development, which is essential for recovery after aeration.'
A gardener with over a decade of experience under his belt, Christopher set up Gardens Revived with his brother, Andrew, in 2018 to create a thriving family business. Together, they have worked on residential gardens, listed buildings and gardens, flower shows and large estates with some exceeding 70 acres – many with historical significance.
'Aerating your lawn in September also helps grass to establish itself before weeds can take hold,' continues Christopher.
'It allows water, air, and nutrients to penetrate deeper into the soil, too, which helps to ramp up the stored resources for your lawn over the cold winter months ahead.'
And, as if that weren't more than enough reasons to get aerating, Christopher also points out that doing so is a must for anyone looking to overseed, thicken or introduce new varieties to their lawns this September.
'Aerating your lawn provides an ideal environment or seed germination and establishment,' says Christopher, adding that it also leads to better overall lawn health.
So, how do you go about making Monty Don's ultimate lawn care tip a reality? Well, thankfully, the horticulturalist has shared his step-by-step guide to tackling this all-important gardening task.
What you will need
While you're likely more focused on trawling through the ultimate heatwave watering guide right now, remember that the hot weather is expected to give way to more traditional autumnal climes very soon.
With this in mind, then, it's a good idea to heed Monty Don's autumn lawn care tip and start gathering the equipment you need to aerate your garden this month.
- A garden fork, like this one from Amazon (you could also consider hiring or buying a powered aerator)
- Ready-made top dressing, like this peat-free option by Miracle-Gro
- A stiff brush
- A wire rake
2. Sowing grass seeds
As Monty already mentioned, this time of year is perfect for sowing new grass seeds. Just leave it no later than October and make sure the temperature is not too low when you do so.
‘September is regarded as the best month for sowing, but it’s still possible to do this in October,’ says Chris McIlroy, grass expert at The Grass People. ‘Just be aware of any sudden drops in temperature that might be coming as your grass seeds will need day and night temperatures of at least 10C for the two weeks after you have sown, for germination.’
3. Scarifying your lawn
Scarifying simply means removing dead thatch from your lawn, which are the brown bits found beneath the green grass (to put it quite plainly). The best way of removing them is with a spring tine rake.
‘Scarifying twice a year can be beneficial for some lawns, especially if they have a significant thatch buildup or moss issues,’ says Steve Chilton, garden expert at LeisureBench. ‘However, not all lawns require scarification, so it's best to assess your lawn's condition and needs before deciding on the frequency.’
4. Removing leaves and debris
It’s important to keep your lawn as clear from everything as possible to let it breath and avoid any damage.
‘We strongly emphasise the importance of consistently removing leaves from your lawn,’ advises Steve Taylor, technical manager at GreenThumb. ‘They may seem harmless, but allowing leaves to gather on your lawn can block out sunlight and air which your grass needs to survive. Removing leaves from your lawn is key to allow as much autumn sun as possible to reach your grass and protect its delicacy at this time of the year.’
Chris agrees and adds, ‘Do make sure you clear debris and leaves from your lawn to protect it from damage and disease. It’s also worth removing things like garden furniture and trampolines from your lawn if they won’t be in use during the winter months, and switching them to a hard-standing area instead.’
Easy as, right? Consider this our next big gardening job (after sussing out how to take lavender cuttings, obviously).
Is it OK to scarify lawn in September?
September is an ideal time of year to scarify your lawn, as vigorously raking away thatch and debris helps reduce air circulation between the grass plants, which can lead to fungal problems over the months ahead.
When should I treat my lawn in autumn?
While it's not necessary to feed your lawn over the autumn months, doing so can give your grass a much-needed boost. Use a feed specifically formulated for autumn application, and be sure to apply it just before rain is forecast, at the rate specified on the packet – usually about a handful per sq m (sq yd).
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Kayleigh Dray became Ideal Home’s Acting Content Editor in the spring of 2023, and is very excited to get to work. She joins the team after a decade-long career working as a journalist and editor across a number of leading lifestyle brands, both in-house and as a freelancer.
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