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How to give tired lawns an autumn boost


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:

How to do it

Mowing lawn

Raise your cutting height


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.

Raking thatch out of lawn

Rake out thatch and moss

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.

Spiking lawn with garden fork

Aerate to boost growth

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.

Sowing lawn seed

Repair summer wear and tear

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.

Applying lawn feed

Apply autumn feed

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.

Discuss this project

Talkback: How to give tired lawns an autumn boost
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greencan 21/09/2013 at 15:45

What feed do you recommend?

David Tierney 06/08/2014 at 11:49

Brilliant i have had a lawn disaster this summer i really wish i had found your site before will look braw next year