We expect a lot from a lawn these days and the autumn is a great time to get it ready for the winter but also, it aids a lawn to recover from the winter period.
The first thing to do is remove the thatch (a thin layer of dead grass) which builds up during the summer and the autumn is a good time to rake this out (scarify). Use a spring tine rake, it will not only remove the thatch but also rake out some of the moss if present.
Secondly, aerate the lawn. During the summer the lawn will suffer from compaction due to hard use, this impedes drainage and may stop air getting to the grass roots. Making holes with a garden fork every 20cm or so will help. A hollow tine aerator removes cores of soil and opens the lawn up.
A combination of hollow thinning and top dressing will help to improve the soil structure in the long term. Hollow thinning is hard work and if your lawn area is large it may be worth hiring a powered aerator.
The next thing to do is thicken the turf. This can be done by over seeding (scattering grass seed over the affected area). If you have not already raked the lawn you will need to prick the surface over with either a fork or a rake to encourage the seed to ‘stick’. Use a stiff broom to work the seed into the turf and remember to water the area regularly to get the seed to germinate. Also remember you have to keep the birds off the seed by either covering with a net or setting up bird scarer’s Top dressing is the next process.
Spreading a mixture of soil, compost and sand (readily available as Evergreen Lawn soil) this helps improve the soil structure. This can also be used to fill hollows and achieve an even surface. Work into the hollow patches with a broom or a plank of wood.
The final task is feeding. If your grass looks pale and thin, it may need feeding. Use an autumn lawn feed such as Evergreen Autumn Lawn care complete which will also tackle any moss that is present as well.
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