September Lawn Tips
- After a great Bank Holiday weekend, we have to come to terms that summer has now officially ended and it’s time to start planning the renovations for your lawn. The work you do this autumn will have positive effect on the look of your lawn next spring/summer.
These renovations can be —
- Scarification to remove the thatch build-up (excess organic matter on the surface of the soil). Thatch acts like a sponge, encouraging the proliferation of moss and reducing the need for the grass to develop a deep root base. This makes the grass plant less tolerant of dry weather as the roots cannot find moisture. Thatch can also harbour turf diseases such Fusarium.
- Aerating the lawn with either solid or hollow tines. The alleviation of compaction in the surface of the lawn will allow the movement of both air and water though the top layer of the turf. This helps with drainage and therefore helping prevent moss, and also encourages root development within the lawn. When hollow tining, the cores will have to be removed, these can either be disposed of or recycled as a dressing for the spring or next autumn.
- Reseeding the lawn in areas where the grass is thin or patchy, but also as a way of adding newer more vigorous grasses to the turf sward.
- Top dressing the lawn with a soil/sand mix can be used to cover the recently applied seed and also to remove dips and hollows. Once applied, use the back of a garden rake to level off the dressing. Do not bury the grass, always ensue that it is showing though the top dressing otherwise you can ‘suffocate’ the lawn and kill the grass beneath it.
- Fertilise the lawn with an autumn, winter fertiliser, these are usually low in Nitrogen but have a higher amount of Phosphate and Potash than summer feeds. These two last nutrients help with root development and strengthen the plant’s cell walls, therefore allowing the turf to go into winter with stronger and healthier plants. I would advise using a slow release fertiliser as this will release nutrient into the lawn without you having to deal with a growth flush
- Raise the height of cut after renovations to 30-40mm; any lower and you encourage the build-up of moss within the lawn. The less light that can get to base of the sward the less moss spores that are able to germinate.
- Continue to trim lawn edges, as and when required, with edging shears to keep them looking neat and tidy.
As always at this time of year there is talk of heat waves and Indian Summers, and sometimes it happens. Please keep an eye on the forecasts before starting your renovations, as any prolonged dry spells after this week can have a detrimental effect — be prepared to irrigate.