After the cracking summer that Britain’s experienced in 2013 you’ll probably have noticed that your garden is looking a little worse for wear. As your summer plants begin to die off in order to make way for the winter you may notice your grass has become a little lack lustre as the demand of the summer heat wave takes its toll.
When September arrives you generally have two options when it comes to your lawn; if it’s still relatively healthy, not covered in brown patches or bald spots, then it can easily be nursed back to its previous lusciousness. If it’s gone passed the point of no return then you have the option to wait for spring to arrive, when you can plant grass seed and hopefully watch it thrive, or you can lay some turf and have summer looking grass all year round.
Revitalise Your Lawn
If you choose to revitalise your slightly dull looking lawn after the dry summer then there are a few things that you’ll need to do to help bring your lawn back to life.
Controlling Moss in the Lawn
Moss in the grass is a huge problem in the autumn and winter months as it thrives in damp areas, so you should start by trying your best to control it.
Moss can generally be found around trees and hedges and the only way to remove it is by spreading a moss killer over affected areas. An effective and cheap moss killer can be made at home.
Take 35 grams of Sulphate of Iron and mix into 1 litre of hot water. When completely dissolved add into 9 litres of water. You may find it easier to mix half a litre into 5 litres twice depending on the size of your watering can. Apply with a fine rose
Once the moss has turned black you will have to rake the surface of the lawn vigorously with a spring tine rake or run a mechanical scarifier over to remove it.
To prevent it from returning it’s essential to remove anything from the surface of the lawn such as grass clippings, leaves and low lying shrubs that could prevent effective drainage.
Preparing for Winter Rain
When the moss has been taken care of it’s a good idea to live in anticipation of the weather and prepare your lawn for some heavy rain. During a winter in Britain rain is inevitable and if your lawn hasn’t been properly prepared it’s likely to become waterlogged – which is just as damaging as not having any water. On a dry day take to your lawn with your garden fork and push it into the grass at around 10cm intervals in order to create air channels in the soil which will allow the water to drain through freely when it rains.
Once there are air channels all over the lawn you should pour an even layer of sand onto the surface so that it fills the holes. The sand will ensure that air can continue passing through the ground even when it rains which reduces the danger of a flooded or waterlogged garden.
Feeding the Lawn
The final step to perking up your tired lawn is to feed it. Rather than choosing a generic lawn fertiliser you should use one that’s specific to the season as this will definitely provide it with the nutrients that it needs to survive the winter. Autumnal lawn fertilisers are high in phosphates and potash which helps with the strength and development of the roots and also helps to protect it against ice and frost. You can find a recipe for home made lawn fertiliser on the site here: Lawn Sand Mixes and Recipes
If you’re lucky enough to encounter a dry spell through autumn and winter then make the most of it and clear your lawn of any leaves and debris as a thick layer over your grass will lead to the moss returning and weakening of the grass.
It’ll take a while for the turf to become fully established and until it reaches this stage it’s essential to keep it well watered. You should water newly laid turf at least twice a week in order to help it along, once the lawn has settled into the ground you won’t need to water it as often.
If you encounter a particularly dry spell then make sure you water it more regularly otherwise you could find yourself laying more turf next year.
Following all of these simple steps will ensure that your garden remains looking healthy throughout the year, no matter what the weather throws at it.
Article basis supplied by Turfland, a British company who specialise in the supply of top quality turf to professionals and home owners alike. They supplied the turf for several episodes of Alan Titchmarsh’s Love Your Garden on ITV.
Lawn Care Guides
- Artificial Grass Can be the Answer
- Renovating a Lawn Restoring an Old or Damaged Lawn
- Monthly Lawn Care Guide, Through the Year Lawn Guide
- Lawn Sand & Feed Mixes, Top Dressing, Moss Killer Recipe
- Removing & Controlling Lawn Moss Improve Your Lawn
- How to Lay Turf – Laying new turf to replace a lawn