As Brits enjoy periods of warm weather over this summer period, our lawns may be feeling a little different. With the UK experiencing its hottest day ever in early August and more warm weather to come, autumn will provide some welcome respite for many lawns which have turned brown due to the heatwave this year.
As we approach autumn, the nights draw in and the temperature starts to drop making September to November the perfect time to examine your lawn for signs of summer wear and tear, and to treat if necessary.
Lawn care expert David Truby, Managing Director of Greensleeves, believes autumn is the perfect time to start again with your lawn treatment. Here he gives his top tips on how you can prepare to completely renovate your lawn from September.
1. Operation thatch control
Following the extreme warm and dry conditions experienced, it is likely your lawn will have a large amount of brown grass and a thick thatch layer. While a little thatch is normal and healthy, too much can harm your lawn and prevent it from accessing enough moisture, light and nutrients to fully recover back into that luscious green lawn we all love. Thatch can also provide the perfect breeding ground for various diseases and pests. Scarifying your lawn is a great way to solve this problem too.
2. Aerate your lawn
Over the summer soils have become very hard, dry and compacted, preventing moisture from penetrating and slowing down recovery. The best way to combat this is with an aeration treatment. Two great remedies to tackle these issues are hollow tine aeration or spiking. These will both help water, nutrients and air get to penetrate the soil and get to the grass root, ultimately leading to a luscious green lawn in the autumn.
3. Start overseeding
The quickest way to revive your lawn is by carrying out overseeding. Overseeding is a rejuvenating lawn treatment that can be applied in addition to scarification or aeration. Not only does this improve your lawn’s quality, it also repairs bare patches and makes the lawn hardier by increasing shade, drought tolerance and resistance to disease.
4. Feed your lawn
Over the summer months, the prolonged heat, wildlife or general wear and tear will have damaged your lawn. This makes autumn the most important time of year for a lawn feed. Using the correct fertilisers will help your lawn recover from the summer and stay thick and healthy during the cooler part of the year, as well as help to keep away various pests that can harm your turf. At Greensleeves, we have developed a fertiliser specially formulated for the season to give our customers’ lawns the best results.
5. Try to prevent a fungi infestation
Autumn is the time of year we associate with seeing colourful toadstools and other mushrooms. However, there are also pervasive fungi, such as fusarium and red thread, that can infect lawns and cause massive damage.
The first step to treating lawn damage is establishing its cause. Symptoms such as brown spots, patches or sliminess are tell-tale signs of certain fungus types, yet lawn damage can also be caused by moulds, moss, insects and wildlife. While scarification, aeration and overseeding can help reduce a fungus invasion, the best course of action would be to call the professionals to deal with the problem using an expert fungicide formula.
6. Use insecticide
Various insect larvae are active in the autumn, and if they feed on your grassroots, they can cause immense damage. While moss, thatch and other lawn diseases can seriously harm your lawn, the most catastrophic damage is often caused by the larvae and grubs of common insects.
Insect infestations are more common than you might think and can be challenging to treat if you do not know how. At Greensleeves, we offer an environmentally friendly, biological insecticide treatment that targets and eradicates some of the most common damaging insect infestations, such as leatherjackets and chafer grubs.
7. Be on the lookout for moss
Moss often becomes a major issue over the autumn and winter and can completely take over a lawn in a short space of time if left untreated. Being a highly adaptable and resilient plant that flourishes in areas of shade, moisture and low turf quality, moss not only makes your lawn look uneven and gives it a spongy feeling underfoot, but it steals nutrients from your lawn too.
However, if you find moss on your lawn, do not panic! You can treat it with scarification – a mechanical treatment that removes thatch and moss, preventing various lawn diseases and helping to maximise the amount of water and nutrients that can reach the grassroots.
Remember, when it comes to renovating your lawn this autumn, lawn care experts will be able to identify any damage through disease, insects or thatch. Once they have determined the problem, they will be able to bring your lawn back to its usual green, healthy state with lawn treatments and care.