The days are getting shorter and the temperature is getting a little cooler, meaning Autumn is just around the corner.
Autumn is a key time to give your lawn some TLC after a summer of wear and tear, and to prepare the lawn to handle winter and minimise its ill effects.
This is the ideal season to fertilise, check for bugs, for soil pH and compaction.
Autumn is the perfect time to fertilise to encourage strong root development, winter colour & overall health.
Fertilise in March or April, or earlier if it’s a cooler climate. The fertiliser won’t be as effective if the ground temperature gets too cool.
The best fertiliser to use is a good slow-release NPK fertiliser such as the Sir Walter Fertiliser. It contains optimum levels of Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P), and Potassium (K) plus essential minerals and trace elements, to provide nutrients to maintain a healthy lawn.
PRO TIP: Synthetic fertilisers can change the pH levels of soil, so test the soil using a simple soil test kit. The optimum level is around 6.5. If it’s lower, then “sweeten” the soil with lime and dolomite. For a higher pH, add a gradual application of sulphate of ammonia to rebalance.
Grubs & Worms
Check for lawn grubs that are active late in summer into autumn. These can cause a lot of damage. Treat them immediately to minimise damage. If necessary, fertilise afterward to help the lawn repair itself before winter.
Soil compaction may exist from extensive rainfall, or in heavily shaded areas that tend to stay damp. When the soil becomes compacted, the roots aren’t able to breathe, and the lawn will thin out and eventually die. Use a pitch fork or strap-on aerator sandals to aerate the soil. For clay soils, apply of lime and gypsum as well.
Synthetic fertilisers can change the pH levels of soil, so regularly test the soil using a simple soil test kit. The optimum level is around 6.5. If it’s lower, then “sweeten” the soil with lime and dolomite. For a higher pH, add a gradual applications of sulphate ammonia to rebalance.
PRO TIP:Mow less frequently in autumn. Leave more length on the leaf to allow the lawn to be better equipped for photosynthesis and therefore weed suppression. When it comes to shaded areas, the longer the length, the better chance it will have against frostbite.