Lawn feederMaintenance

  • Mow less frequently and raise the height of cut as the growth rate starts to slow into autumn. This will help the grass withstand the last of the warm, dry weather, and also make it more resilient to being walked on when wet weather arrives.

  • Add grass clippings to the compost heap in thin layers. Too much all at once is likely to cause wet, poorly aerated conditions, resulting in smelly slime rather than compost.

  • Apply an autumn lawn feed if your grass needs a boost – do this after scarifying and aerating but before applying a top dressing. Autumn feed is rich in potassium and phosphorus, to encourage hardiness and root growth. Don’t feed with leftover summer feed, as this contains too much nitrogen, which stimulates lush growth that would be vulnerable to disease at this time of year.

  • Start autumn lawn care, including raking and spiking the lawn, to remedy any summer damage and get it into good shape for next year. 

  • Plant spring-flowering bulbs in lawns to add colour and pollinator-friendly flowers – great choices include snowdrops, crocuses and daffodils. Just remember that you’ll have to leave the area unmown for several months in spring, from once the leaves starts to appear until they die back. So it’s usually best to plant in specific areas where the grass can be left unmown, rather than scattering them across the whole lawn. 

New lawns

  • Prepare the ground for a new lawn by forking over, weeding, levelling and firming lightly. Doing this several weeks in advance gives the soil time to settle, so you have an even surface for sowing or laying turf.

  • Sow a new lawn on prepared ground – now is an ideal time, as the grass will have plenty of time to get established over autumn.

  • Lay turf onto prepared soil and keep well watered so it roots in well. Avoid walking on newly laid turf – leave it undisturbed for several weeks to allow the new roots to establish.

  • Sow a wildflower meadow or plant wildflower plugs into existing lawns

  • See our video guide to creating a new lawn.

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Advice from the RHS

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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.