Cooler nights and chilly mornings will be a welcome relief to your lawn after a scorching summer, but a change in season can bring with it a few challenges. Autumn is the best time to get your new lawn in tip top shape in order to help it thrive during the upcoming winter months.
Move your mowing height
Usually your lawn takes off in summer thanks to periods of high rainfall and hot days; but you might notice that in autumn your lawn growth is reduced. As such it’s a good idea to raise you mowing height, especially in areas that are shaded.
For lawns in heavy shade we suggest you leave up to 60-70mm of leaf on your lawn and about 50mm elsewhere. What this does is provide a larger surface area for your new lawn for photosynthesis, put simply this will help it produce much-needed sugars.
Mowing tip: Avoid mowing your new lawn with its wet or stressed and never cut more than one-third of the leaf blade; generally this means mowing about once a week.
Fertilise to encourage hardiness
If you’ve had hot days and high rainfall you might start to notice thinning of the leaf growth or a loss of colour in your lawn. This is because heavy rainfall can leech the nutrients from your soil before your lawn is able to use them. To counteract this we suggest you use a good slow release mineral fertiliser.
You could consider one that is high in phosphorus and potassium. Phosphorus helps to promote strong root development and hardiness, and potassium will help to reduce the loss of water through the blades and help your lawn withstand cold stress.
Did you know? A well-maintained lawn should require little weeding or none at all. Depending on the weeds, hand weeding is generally the best solution if a few sprouts pop up.
Keep your new lawn aerated
High rainfall in summer can also cause soil compaction, particularly when followed by high use. What happens is soil tends to harden to reduce how much oxygen is in the soil and this chokes the root system of your lawn.
We suggest aerating your lawn about once or twice a year, ideally in autumn. It’s a simple process of punching 8-10cm deep holds throughout your lawn to loosen soil and let air in. Your lawn will then be better able to absorb water and nutrients and allow active and healthy micro-organisms to thrive.
Tip: An inexpensive tool that will effectively aerate smaller areas of lawn is a pitchfork or spading fork. Punch holes as deep as possible and rock fork to enlarge them.
Show your new lawn a little TLC
If you’ve got a bit carried with backyard cricket sessions or weekly barbecues your new lawn might have taken a battering this summer. If it’s a little worse for the wear or has some yellow patches, it’s best to repair it in autumn so it’s in good shape for winter.
Also, make sure you keep on top of raking leaves from your lawn; sure it’s not the best job in the world but you don’t want the leaves to create a blanket and smother your lawn.
Don’t forget, we’re happy to show you around our farm and help you choose the best turf variety for your project, just call us on 5496 9790 to make an appointment.