Lawn care isn’t just a spring and summer job. Even though your lawn might get more use in those seasons, it’s important to keep it in good shape so it’s prepared for the cooler months too.
With the unpredictable British weather of scorching seasons followed by extreme chills, our lawns can go through a lot throughout the year. So, here are some tips to give your lawn some TLC this autumn and prepare it for winter, so that next year it’s healthier and stronger.
So long, summer
Once the summer months have ended, you may have noticed some problem areas that have developed or that need a little tidy up. Use this time to scarify your lawn, using a spring-tined rake to get rid of any thatch which is debris made up from moss and dead grass. Once this debris has been removed from your lawn, your grass has more space to grow, and if you also aerate your lawn you will let water and air move more freely and reach the roots.
Not only will this benefit growth, but it will increase the likelihood of the lawn dealing with waterlogging or drought. Aerating can be done using a garden fork by spiking the lawn to make small pockets in the soil.
After this, a top-dressing like EverGreen® Lawn Dressing can be applied which will improve soil structure by increasing aeration. Not only that, but it can be used to repair lumps and bumps in your lawn, by firming the dressing into holes so that the lawn is level.
With debris cleared and the lawn levelled out, keep your lawn luscious by applying some lawn feed. For use between September and November, Miracle-Gro® EverGreen® Autumn Lawn Care will encourage robust roots whilst killing moss that can be raked out after 2 weeks.
This specialised feed and moss control method that is low in nitrogen, meaning it won’t encourage any new growth on top, but it will encourage the roots to grow stronger and healthier.
Alternatively, EverGreen® Premium Plus Autumn & Spring Lawn Food has a slow-release formula which provides food for 3 months as well as helping the lawn to cope with extreme weather conditions such as cold, heat and drought through the year.
The enhanced winter protection means you are preparing and protecting your lawn from the stresses of winter. To ensure the best coverage, a handy spreader like the Wizz Year-Round Spreader will mean you can accurately and evenly spread feed.
Once the care products have been applied, it’s ideal to keep from walking on the lawn. With this in mind, if your shed, greenhouse or compost heap is situated where you need to get across the lawn, consider fitting a walkway or path using bark chippings or stepping-stones.
Keep up with your care by gathering any fallen leaves from your lawn. Not only will this save the lawn from suffocating and weakening, but you can add the materials to your compost heap to break down with the rest of your waste. Or, if there are quite a few leaves, gather them into a hessian bag so that moisture can get in and leave the bag behind your shed. After a year or so, you’ll have leaf mould which can be used as soil conditioner in your garden, for free!
In the event that we have a white Christmas, or get spells of snow throughout winter, here’s something to look out for. Fusarium patch which is also known as snow mould is caused by fungus and can commonly be seen after snow has thawed, creating brown straw-like patches in the grass. However, there are a few ways to reduce the likelihood that snow mould getting you in a flurry.
Firstly, when clearing pathways and drives, don’t dump the rest of the snow on your lawn to build up and secondly, if your kids decide to recreate Frosty the Snowman, it’s best to clear it away rather than leaving it to slowly melt over time.
If your grass does show signs of snow mould, wait until spring to fix the problem. In spring you can then rake and spike the affected patch, before adding seed and fertiliser like Patch Magic® Grass Seed, Feed & Coir which guarantees beautiful grass.
Simply, rake, shake and water the area and new shoots of grass can be seen in as little as 4 days! To protect the problem area from birds, straw can be used as a cover, but be sure to take this off when the seeds are germinating and keep the patch moist by watering regularly.
With these tips, your lawn will be prepared for the weather come rain or shine in winter. Keep your lawn luscious so it can bounce back from autumn and winter weather, ready for the season of sun.
This article is a special feature by David Domoney, professional horticulturalist and television presenter, and our Ambassador for Miracle-Gro.