David's blog - September
School’s back – time to repair your lawn
This year, between the usual summer drenchings, we’ve had some really dry and warm weather and I hope that means you’ve been enjoying your garden and lawn. If you have children – or even just friends who visit with children – your lawn will have worked especially hard this year. Now that children are back to school, it’s time to do some important repair work.
Sounds serious, repair work, but really it’s just routine autumn care, and your lawn will soon look fabulously healthy once more. Even though it's warm and wet it's still a brilliant time to give your lawn a make-over and it prepare it for winter.
Children, and grown-up children too, definitely add to the summer wear and tear. A family or play lawn is not much different to a football pitch. We run up and down, compressing the top part of the soil and wearing down the grass; but, unlike at Wembley, we’re not continually helping it to recover afterwards. However, this autumn you can make up for that. There’s isn't much that can’t be done at this time of year so there’s no excuse…
Aerating will loosen up the compressed soil and let in some valuable oxygen. Don’t use a garden fork as the solid prongs just squash the soil even more. Use a hollow-tine aerating fork for small areas, and hire a machine for larger lawns.
Scarifying will remove some of the dusty thatch that has built up through the summer and ensure that autumn rain reaches the grass roots.
Feeding your lawn with a good autumn lawn fertiliser will give the grass a real boost during its autumn growth and build up strength, in preparation for harsher winter conditions.
Repairs can be done now, as well as creating any new areas of lawn. Seeds will germinate well in mild autumn conditions, and you could introduce new grass varieties too - perhaps some shade-tolerant grass for those dark corners? And while turf can be laid at almost any time of the year, doing it in the autumn can mean less watering - great for saving on water bills.
Top soil is a good way to finish off your autumn make-over after aerating and scarifying. A good quality top-dressing can really improve the growing conditions and it's also useful for leveling out any small dips and bumps.
Tools for the job:
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