Watch Monty Don’s video guide to caring for your lawn in autumn.
Giving your lawn a bit of attention now will get it back into good shape before winter sets in. If you’re looking for the right tools to give you a helping hand, our experts have tested a range of manual and powered aerators and scarifiers – check out the best scarifiers and best aerators reviews.
Revive your lawn, by following these five simple steps.
You Will Need
- Lawn mower
- Spring-tined lawn rake
- Garden fork
- Lawn seed
- Hand fork
- Watering can
- Autumn lawn feed
In autumn, grass grows more slowly, so you can mow less often. Raise the height of your mower blades to 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 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.
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. Read our step-by-step guide to repairing a bare patch in a lawn.
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.