THIS weekend is the autumn equinox and with it the start of autumn for gardeners, which means a change in how you take care of your lawn.
Over the summer, British lawns experienced regular heatwaves and lots of rain, so many gardens are understandably looking a little worse for wear.
The next few weeks will see mild, damp conditions, and this is ideal for carrying out some simple maintenance on your lawn for it to recover before winter arrives.
Fabulous spoke exclusively to Fantastic Gardeners' landscaper and lawn care expert, Ionel Giuran, about the lawncare jobs to tackle this weekend and next.
Ionel said: “Autumn is a crucial time for lawn care which is the time when the transition from summer to winter requires specific attention to make sure your lawn stays healthy and beautiful.
“However, keep in mind also that every lawn is unique, and your local climate and grass types can influence the timing and specifics of these tasks. That’s why it’s recommended to tailor your approach.
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“Generally, by including the following lawn care tips in your checklist, you'll be able to set yours up for a successful autumn and a strong start to the next growing season.”
Lower your cut
Ionel explained: “As autumn sets in, gradually lower your mowing height, but never remove more than one-third of the grass height in a single mowing session.
“Shorter grass will help prevent disease and allow more sunlight to reach the soil surface.”
Aerate the soil
The expert said: “As summer comes to an end, your lawn might have compacted soil because of heavy foot traffic and the use of lawn equipment. That’s why it’s highly recommended to aerate the soil using a core aerator to improve water, air, and nutrient penetration to the grassroots.”
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Overseed and fertilise
He continued: “Early autumn is the ideal time for overseeding your lawn.
“When doing that, choose a high-quality grass seed blend that suits your region and existing grass type. This will specifically help with filling in thin or bare spots and promote a denser, healthier lawn.
“It’s recommended to do that 45 days before the time that the first frost is expected.”
When it comes to fertiliser, Ionel said: “In early to mid-autumn, apply a balanced, slow-release fertiliser.
“Look for products with a higher ratio of potassium, which should be the third number on the fertilizer label, to strengthen the grass for the upcoming winter and improve its disease resistance. This should typically happen around six weeks before the first expected frost.”
Weed and collect leaves
The landscaper said: “Autumn is a great time to tackle persistent weeds by applying a targeted post-emergent herbicide to control them and prevent them from taking over during the dormant season.
“And fallen autumn leaves can overtake your lawn if they’re left unattended so regularly rake or use a leaf blower to remove them from your lawn's surface.
“Alternatively, consider also running a mulching mower over them to shred them into smaller pieces, which will decompose and enrich the soil over time.”
Maintain your tools and equipment
Ionel said: “Before storing your lawn equipment for the winter, give it a thorough cleaning, sharpen your mower’s blades, and perform any necessary maintenance to make sure it’s ready for use in the spring.”
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