7 Easy Autumn Lawn Care Steps

7 Easy Autumn Lawn Care Steps

Following a long hot summer, most of your lawn’s autumn care work involves returning it to good health for the cooler months when the grass can go dormant.

Here are 7 top tips to make your lawn strong and vibrant this autumn.

1. Aeration

Following a busy summer of traffic from parties, kids and pets your lawn’s soil could be compacted.

Soil compaction means your lawn’s roots are not able to receive enough, water, oxygen or nutrients.

The must-do activity for autumn is to aerate which helps de-compact the soil and allows water and air to move down into the profile.

The process is easy – drive a fork halfway down into the ground and wiggle it, remove, repeat across the lawn.

If you have a large lawn area, it can pay to hire a coring machine or aerator.

Learn more about Aeration.

2. Weeds 

Before you start your autumn care prep make sure your lawn is free of weeds.

Depending on the size of your lawn you may be able to remove weeds by hand.

If your lawn has too many weeds to remove by hand a post-emergent herbicide is recommended.

Before applying a post-emergent herbicide first consult your Nursery or Garden Centre to check that the chemical is suitable for your lawn variety.

For more info on Top 10 Weeds found in lawns.

3. Pests

Lawn pests are often rife after a long hot summer due to humid and dry conditions that have stressed out your lawn and made it more susceptible.

The best plan is to first try and identify what pest you have on your lawn and then ask your Nursery or Garden Centre what the appropriate insecticide to use.

The most common lawn insect pests are Curl Grub (the larvae of beetles like the African Black Beetle) and Lawn Army Worm.

4. Diseases

Like with lawn pests, diseases can appear after a long hot summer when the grass is tired and stressed.

Many common lawn diseases include Brown Patch and Dollar Spot, which appear as dying spots and patches of lawn.

Lawn diseases can also be more common in areas with compacted or poorly drained soil

The trick to controlling lawn diseases is to keep your lawn healthy and well fed.

The most common lawn diseases can be controlled with a fungicide but consult your Nursery and Garden centre first for advice.


5. Fertilising 

Fertilising at the end of summer – start of autumn – is the best way to green-up your lawn and make it stronger, and better able, to resist damage from extreme cold, even frost.

Autumn fertilising also helps a lawn’s recovery from any stress it may have faced at the end of summer from pests and diseases.

Your autumn fertilising application will firstly be determined by the sort of grass you have (warm or cool season) – consult your Nursery or Garden Centre for more advice.

For both warm and cool season grasses, mid-autumn represents a great time to fertilise.

For warm season grass, slow release fertilisers are great for building your lawn’s strength over an extended period in the lead up to winter.

For cool season grasses the worst of the summer heat has passed, so they will respond well to a meal in order to mend themselves.

6. Watering

During autumn if you notice the leaf blades on your lawn starting to wilt then it is time to water.

Remember windy, warm autumn weather can be just as drying for your lawn as a hot, summer’s day.

During autumn it is best to water in the mornings as evening watering can encourage fungus growth when the lawn stays damp overnight.

Water your lawn early in the morning thoroughly for about 15 minutes, twice a week, so your lawn can absorb the moisture more effectively.

By watering your lawn thoroughly and deeply you encourage the development of strong root growth in your lawn.

If you are short of water – water only the parts of the lawn that are drying out or where you want it to stay green.

Ever wondered about reducing water usage on home lawns?

7. Mowing 

In autumn, your lawn is storing energy for winter therefore mowing frequency should decrease to allow growth.

Before mowing clear any leaves to allow your lawn as much sunlight as possible. 

If your lawn doesn’t need mowing but has lots of leaves, raise your mower’s cutting height to the limit, fit the catcher and use it like a vacuum cleaner.

For more info on when you should or shouldn’t mow with a catcher.

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