Autumn care for your lawn
Weather conditions are becoming less and less predictable. With a very varied summer behind us, invest some time and care in your lawn this autumn to make sure it is resilient and healthy ahead of winter. September is the ideal time to renovate your lawn, repairing any damage done over the summer and preparing the lawn for the colder months.
Lawnmower manufacturer and expert in lawn care, Allett, has some top tips for autumn.
Start with scarification. Raking the turf with a scarifier helps to collect and remove all dead matter before it becomes thatch. Thatch retains water, encouraging moss growth, which in turn prevents grass from developing deep roots. This means that the grass will be less tolerant in periods of dry weather next year, as the roots aren’t deep enough in the soil to find moisture. Thatch can also harbour turf diseases like Fusarium, so it’s a good idea to strip it out.
Scarification can be done manually but is an arduous task. A much easier alternative is Allett’s unique lawncare cartridge system, which has multiple functions to help maintain the perfect lawn, including a scarifying option.
There’s no need to use separate machines, the mower can transform into a scarifying rake by simply changing the cartridge.
Scarifying can be tough on your lawn, so aerating it afterwards will help to replenish water, air and nutrients. Relieving compaction in the surface of the lawn allows air and water to penetrate and allowing water to percolate down through the soil, discouraging moss and encouraging grass root development.
Aeration can be done by hand with a garden fork, by poking holes one to two inches deep into the surface. However, for larger lawns, the Allett lawncare system can be fitted with the aerator cartridge to further utilise your lawnmower and get the job done much faster.
After aeration, reseeding sparse areas will thicken up the lawn and help minimise weeds and moss. After reseeding, top dress the lawn with a soil and sand mixture to cover the seed and to level the surface out. Be careful not to bury the grass – make sure it is showing through the top dressing otherwise the grass underneath it will die.
Next, top up the nutrients. Feed the lawn with an autumn/winter-specific fertiliser, as it will be lower in Nitrogen but higher in Phosphate and Potash than a summer fertiliser. Phosphate and Potash promote root development, helping the turf to go into winter with a head start.
When mowing after this autumn lawn care routine, raise the height of the cut 30-40mm. Cutting the grass any shorter can encourage moss spores to germinate. A slightly longer lawn will also be more resilient if there is an unexpected, prolonged dry spell or ‘Indian summer’ ahead.
The Complete Lawncare System features six interchangeable cartridges that fit on to Allett’s Kensington petrol mowers and Liberty 43 battery powered mowers. The system transforms the machine from a traditional mower to a specialist gardening tool simply by changing its cartridges. The system includes an aerator, a lawn brush, dethatcher, verticutter and a 10-bladed cartridge, as well as the walk-behind cylinder lawnmower, all in one machine which eases storage issues and reduces costs.
For further information visit www.allett.co.uk.