Lawn grass dying turning brown in dry drought hot weather

How to give tired lawns an autumn boost

Do it:

Sep, Oct

Takes just:

an afternoon

At its best:

Sep, Oct, Nov

Summer can be tough on lawns, so autumn is the ideal time to get them back into good shape, before the winter cold sets in. Revive your lawn, by following these five simple steps:

You will need

Lawn mower

Long-tined rake

Garden fork

Lawn seed

Hand fork

Watering can

Autumn lawn feed


In autumn, the rate at which grass grows starts to slow, so you can mow less regularly. You can also raise the height of your mower blades by about 1-2cm, so they're at about 4cm. Collect the clippings and put them on the compost heap to prevent possible disease problems in damp weather. Never mow a wet or frosty lawn, as this can damage the grass.

Rake the lawn vigorously with a springy, long-tined lawn rake to remove moss, creeping stems and trodden-in decaying material that has accumulated over the summer. The lawn will end up looking rather ravaged, but not for long - the grass will recover quickly and be more healthy as a result.

Following heavy use over summer, lawns can become compacted, so spike the surface with a garden fork, about 8cm deep every 15cm. This boosts grass root growth and improves surface drainage, preventing waterlogging over the winter.

In autumn, the rate at which grass grows starts to slow, so you can mow less regularly.

After suffering drought and lots of wear over the summer, lawns are often left with bald or thinning patches. To repair them, simply loosen the bare soil with a fork and scatter grass seed over the surface. Cover with compost then water in, and the bald patches will green up again before winter sets in.

After a rainy spell, sprinkle autumn lawn feed or organic fertiliser all over the lawn, following the manufacturer’s instructions. This will toughen up the grass and encourage strong roots, without causing soft growth that needs extra mowing.


Discover more ideas and inspiration

Related content

How to improve your lawn

What lawn feed should I apply?

Top lawn care tips

Related offers


Subscriber only content

Save 15% on bark mulch

With this offer, you'll save 15 per cent on a 1000-litre bulk bag of bark mulch. Please enter offer code at checkout to claim your discount. Price includes delivery.

Unlock now