Preparing Your Lawn For Winter
Come the end of summer, lawns are starting to look pale, tired and worn out, mostly down to the fact that most of the nutrients in the soil have been used up, as well as the wear and tear that it’s suffered over the summer months.
October is the time to spend time on your lawn ahead of winter. This is when general tidying up should be done, as well as giving the grass its final cut of the year.
Tackling moss and thatch
Moss and thatch can affect your lawn’s health. Moss is caused by a combination of moisture in your lawn and weak grass. Likely to happen in wetter seasons like Spring and Autumn, moss relies on moisture to spread. A common problem on lawns, thatch is a layer of dead grass, roots and other matter. Building up over time, it thickens robbing the soil of air and prevents water absorption. Both issues are fixable.
Start by controlling moss, which is often found in shaded areas under trees or hedges. Treat by spreading a moss killer across the lawn, and within two weeks, the weed will have died and turned black. To prevent it from thriving in the future, it makes sense to tackle its cause. Either remove branches or lower hedges that cast shade or improve drainage.
Remove the dead moss by vigorously raking the surface with a lawn Scarifyer which you can buy or hire from Gammies Groundcare Ltd on 01307468556. At the same time, you’ll remove masses of old grass clippings and other debris that can build up on the surface of the lawn, forming a layer called thatch.
This can hinder drainage and encourages weeds and turf diseases. Throw the material into a wheelbarrow and put it on your compost heap when finished. If you have a large garden.
Areas of the lawn that get heavy traffic, such as play areas, often become very compacted and can be prone to problems with drainage, weeds and moss. Improve by pushing a garden fork into the ground as far as you can then wiggle it backwards and forwards to make air channels. Repeat this every 10cm (4in) across the lawn.
Brush a sandy top dressing across the surface of the lawn so that it fills the holes, allowing air and water into the lawn – ready mixed bags can be bought from garden centres.
On larger lawns, you could hire a powered aerating machine or if your lawn is very heavy, use a hollow Coring tool that removes plugs of grass, which can be filled with top dressing, You can hire or buy these machines from Gammies Groundcare Ltd on 01307468556.
Feeding your lawn
To finish off, perk up tired lawns by giving them a feed. Use an autumn lawn fertiliser, which is high in phosphates and potash. This will help strong roots to develop, which will produce healthy leaves.
Don’t be tempted to use a spring fertiliser. These contain high levels of nitrogen, which encourages soft, sappy leaf growth that’s vulnerable to disease and could be damaged by frost.
If your lawn is in a hosepipe ban area, wait until you’ve had some decent rain and the grass is actively growing before carrying out any work.
At Gammies Groundcare Ltd, we have an extensive range of specialist groundcare equipment available for hire and to buy. This includes ride-on mowers, Scarifyers, Lawn Corers, Fertilizer spreaders, robotic mowers and hedge trimmers. Get in touch with the team by calling us on 01307 468556, emailing us at [email protected] or visiting us at Station Yard, Forfar, Angus, DD8 3BT.