During autumn the days get colder and sorter but the soil is still quite warm therefore our lawn keeps growing. I love this time of the year and always busy getting my garden ready for the winter months.

It is the perfect time of the year to give some love to our grass by mowing, watering and fertilizing it and to get rid of unwanted pests, weeds and diseases.

Mowing your lawn in the autumn

Mowing your lawn in the autumn

We have to be careful with the mowing though, not to go too short, the best is to keep our grass slightly longer (30 – 50mm depending on the type of your grass) during the cool winter months. As the soil temperature goes down the growth of the lawn will significantly slow down and we can go twice as long without mowing it compare to the summer months. While we don’t need to mow very often during winter it is still extremely important to maintain our lawn well and keep it healthy to prevent bare patches and weed infections.

It is also important to let more sun to reach your lawn so if possible cut back branches of surrounding trees and bushes.

For long–term maintenance, airing your lawn is vital.  To test how compact your grass is drive your garden fork into the ground and if it does not go too deep then it might need some oxygen and water. On small areas the best way to aerate your soil is to wiggle a pitchfork in the soil every 100mm.

Airing is highly recommended before fertilization for greater results, that way the roots get more nutrition, your grass stays green longer and also it will strengthen up for the winter.

Use slow release fertilizer that provides constant nourishing over the long period. If you don’t see good response to your autumn lawn maintenance then you might have acted a bit too late, the soil is already too cold or the pH level is not optimal. pH testing kits can be sourced from your local garden center or hardware store or even from online.

Healthy lawn

Healthy lawn

Watering is also essential during winter but moderation is the key, as fungal diseases spread very easily this time of the year, so just make sure you only water your turf when it really needs it and early morning is the best time to do it on cold days.

Looking after your lawn during the autumn months will definitely pay off for the next season. Doing the right thing in the autumn will make an enormous difference to your lawn during the next season.

Clean your equipment after the last use of the season, as you’ll be most likely storing them in the garden shed for the next few weeks and to maintain your gardening machinery and tools before you store them is always a good idea.

It is worth getting out to the backyard during these beautiful autumn days, and make sure you have a lot of fun.

17 Comments

  • John says:

    Lawn care to me is one of the most hated things to do especially in the summer. You have some really good advice in your article though that will hopefully help this next summer to have a healthier lawn. How often should you fertilize the lawn because I am getting conflicting information? Thank you for this helpful advice I look forward to hearing more from you.

    • Krisztian says:

      Hi John,

      I agree, it does take some work to keep up with the lawn in the summer months…

      Regarding how often you should fertilise your lawn, it really depends on what type of fertiliser you use.
      With slow release fertiliser, you can get away with one application at the beginning of the season, when you might also consider adding some top soil.

      If you use a ‘lawn care’ product including Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium, then you should follow the instructions on the product. Generally speaking you’ll need to use them 2 – 4 times during the season, depending on your climate.

      I hope it helps.

  • Linda says:

    I’ve been fighting my yard for 4 years now, every spring I over seed and break up the bare patches and put seed down to try and get it filled in but I can’t get it to stay. It starts coming up and dies when it gets about mowing length , it just dries up. Am I planting the wrong kind of seed? Why do I have clumps of grass but it isn’t full?

    • Krisztian says:

      Hello Linda, it should not be a seed issue, try to plant the same type of grass seeds that you already have and that should be good enough. Make sure you water the newly planted patches if you can and take it easy on the fertiliser on those areas until your new plants are well rooted and established. I hope it helps.

  • Thomas says:

    This is great information to have and I’ll keep it and use it this Autumn for sure. As the weather heats up for Summer what should you do for lawn care? Just mow and water or do you fertilize at all in the summer? It gets so hot here and they put us on water restrictions when it gets really hot and we have no rain, is there anything to do to save your yard?

    • Krisztian says:

      Hi Thomas,

      Water restrictions always cause problems with keeping your lawn nice and green.

      Unfortunately the best thing we can do is choosing a variety of grass that does not require too much water, one that can get by on smaller quantities of water.

      The Buffalo varieties are very good for dry areas as they tolerate drought very well.

      My other suggestion is that, water your lawn less frequently if you can and when you do water, give them a nice soaking ‘drink’, so the soil gets wet deep down and that encourages the root system of your plants to go deeper. This way, you can ‘train’ your lawn to tap into water in a bit deeper ground.

      Cheers.

  • Alan says:

    You had some really great advice in your article. I can’t wait until Autumn to try some of these remedies for a bad yard. What can I do to try and help it this summer though, anything? I really want a nice yard but we don’t have a sprinkler system and we didn’t put sod down we had to seed which came in spotty. How do you fix this without starting over?

    • Krisztian says:

      Hi Alan,

      Best is probably to replant the areas that did not come up well, and take it easy on the fertilisers until you have your new patches established. That is the best I can think of…

  • Carl says:

    I hate our yard because we have clay that you can’t even get grass to grow on. If you do get any to grow it dies in about two weeks. Will airing help this kind of soil or what should I do? You were talking about sticking the garden fork in the ground to see how far it goes in, my soil would probably break it off before it penetrated it.

    • Krisztian says:

      Good day Carl,

      Clay is always a bit of an issue when it comes to your backyard, however it can be fixed. Could take a bit of a time to get clay right, however, generally speaking it is worth it as clay soil is reach in nutrients and after the stickiness is gone, they become very fertile.

      You can use dolomite and lime to break down clay soils. In case your soil pH is 6.5 or higher (neutral to alkaline), use gypsum to breakdown your clay soil.

      It could take a couple of years to see the results, however it is worth doing for sure.

      I hope it helps.

  • Raul says:

    Carl I agree with Krisztian on this I used gypsum on my soil and even though it took awhile for it to fix the soil it did finally work and the grass came in really well that year. My yard was very iron deficient too though. Krisztian is Gypsum the best for low iron as well? I hope so because it did finally work.

  • Tara says:

    Carl I agree with Krisztian on this I used gypsum on my soil and even though it took awhile for it to fix the soil it did finally work and the grass came in really well that year. My yard was very iron deficient too though. Krisztian is Gypsum the best for low iron as well? I hope so because it did finally work.

  • Mitsue says:

    Thank you for taking the time to answer some of the comments that people left. The question that they have asked were things that I wanted to know as well so that was good. You have done a great job with this article by the way and with your answers there isn’t anything that people shouldn’t be able to do with their lawn.

  • Franklin says:

    How do you get Gypsum on your yard? Is it in granules that you spread like fertilizer? I have heard about this stuff before but I didn’t know if it worked or not. Now that you have confirmed it I will definitely look into it more. I need to find out where to get this first off, then how to apply it. Thanks again for the advice.

    • Krisztian says:

      Hello Franklin, you can get gypsum in hardware stores (at the gardening sections), garden centres and landscape suppliers. It is an off white (greyish) coloured powder and you sprinkle it over the soil, ideally under your top soil. If you have lawn already, you can do this after the aeration, so the gypsum gets into the soil easily.
      I hope it helps.

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  • Ethanhh says:

    Wonderful post! You’ve made some really helpful statements and I appreciate the time you’ve taken within your producing. It’s easy to find that you simply have an understanding about lawns. I’m looking forward to implement these tips and make a wonderful lawn.

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