• Rake any remaining fallen leaves from lawns so they don’t smother the grass, blocking out light and moisture.
  • Mow your lawn if the weather stays mild, as grass continues to grow in temperatures above 5°C (41°F). But raise the cutting height to 2–4cm (1–1½in) – about 5mm (¼in) higher than in summer. 
  • Repair bare patchesespecially around lawn edges, using turf cut from other areas of the garden if available.
  • Re-cut lawn edges with a half-moon edging iron or flat-bladed spade, to neaten up the appearance of the garden and save work next season. Also maintain a 7.5cm (3in) ‘gutter’ around the lawn edges to prevent grass spreading into your borders.

Problem solving

  • Look out for waterlogging  after winter rain. To improve drainage, spike the lawn with a garden fork or mechanical aerator, then brush a mix of sharp sand and loam into the holes. See our guide to autumn  lawn care.
  • If your lawn gets damaged and muddy due to being walked over regularly in wet weather, consider laying stepping stones across it. Set them level with the soil surface so they don’t interfere with mowing.
  • Avoid walking on a frosty lawn as this can damage the blades of grass, which go brittle in the cold. It may even leave brown footprints that can take ages to disappear. 
  • Algae can appear on lawns with poor drainage or excessive shade, or under the drip-line of trees.
  • Yellow or brown patches at this time of year may be caused by the fungal disease fusarium patch, especially in wet weather and in overfed, lush lawns that have been left a bit too long.
  • See all our lawn care advice.

Gardeners' calendar

Find out what to do this month with our gardeners' calendar

Advice from the RHS

Get involved

The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.