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Autumn lawn maintenance

27 September 2011
Autumn lawn maintenance

Article courtesy of Amateur Gardening - Britains leading weekly Gardening magazine available each Tuesday.

 Reinstating edges  
Overtime, border plantings can encroach on the lawn as they bulk, leading to brown patches underneath them. The borders plants can be regularly pruned to keep thme in check. But is these plants are to be allowed to mature it may be better to remove some of the lawn to do away with the browning problem. For a straight edge use a plank as a cutting line, for curves use a length of garden hose. Which ever you choose, use a flat bladed half mon along the length to create a neat edge. A broken edge can be fixed by lifting the turf around it, turning it around so the broken edge is now in the lawn. Then reseeding the area to fill it in.

 Bumps and hollows  
Bumps are scalped with regular mowing while hollows allow paches of longer grass to remain. In order to level the ground a ‘door’ needs opened in the turf. Peel back the area, then for bumps, remove soil until the desired level is reached. For hollows add more soil before closing the door and firming down.

Worm casts
Worm acticiy increases through autumn and their casts will soon be all too apparent. Leaving them in situ runs the risk of them being trodden in and weed seedling settling and establishing. There is no chemical treatment. Instead it is best to regularly sweep the lawn to kncok the casts back under the grass. Do this on dry daus when the casts can easily crumble back in to the lawn

Thinning grass
There is no need to pull up an area of grass because it has worn thin, it can be overseeded . Simply rake the area to lift dead material then apply your chosen lawn seed at half the recommended doage for new lawns. One down, work the seed in using a broom or rake. Keep watered and leave uncut for three to four weeks. Bare ptches are best reseeded from scratch (see steps below).

Leather jacket control
If crane flies (daddy long legs) are still out and about, laying eggs in your lawn, their young (leatherjackets) will soon hatch to start eating away at grass roots. An application of Provado Lawn Grub Killer, applied in early evening with a watering can and then watered should halt them in their tracks and prevent brown patches appearing.

Weed control
There is still enough time to tackle lawn weeds with a selective weedkiller. These can be spot sprayed on troublesome weeds, on a fine day when soil is moist. Weeds need to be in active growth so don’t delay is you still need to carry out this job. Don’t use weedkillers on establishing lawns

Reseeding bare patches, step-by-step.

1 Clear the patch of dead material then loosen the soil, bring in a small amount of top soil to raise the level is needed.

2 Make a topsoil and seed mix and apply to the hole. Alternatively try a branded product such as Miracle Gro Patch Magic.

3 Once in place, gently firm level then water, keeping moist until established. Do not cut the area for three or four weeks.

Article courtesy of Amateur Gardening - Britains leading weekly Gardening magazine available each Tuesday.