scarifying a lawnImproving

In many colder areas, this month is the last opportunity to scarify, aerate and top dress lawns. Scarification removes layers of thatch and can be done with either a spring-tine rake or a powered scarifier.


Feeding

Afterwards apply an autumn lawn feed; these are low in nitrogen, so discouraging lush green growth that would only succumb to cold and diseases over the winter months.


Sowing

This is definitely your last chance to sow grass seed in mild areas of the UK. Cover newly sown areas with clear polythene to protect them from cold or fierce rain, if these are forecast in your area. Light to moderate rain will aid germination.


Mowing

This is the last chance to mow recently sown grass areas, to neaten them up before the winter. Don’t cut lower than 2.5cm (1in). Top-dressing with the mower will also prevent weeds getting out of hand.


Troubleshooting

Rake fallen leaves off lawns before they block out light and air penetration to the grass. On large lawns a leaf-blower will make the job much easier, but only powerful models are capable of shifting leaves from damp lawns.

To assist walking over lawns plagued with worm casts or muddy areas, consider laying paths or stepping-stones across main routes of access, so that the lawn is not spoiled by treading in the winter weather.

Toadstools and fairy rings appearing in the lawn may be a sign that scarification and autumn lawn care is necessary.

It is too late to apply a weedkiller now - effectiveness will be much reduced. A final mow will keep weeds in hand until the spring, when weedkillers can again be used.

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