October is an incredibly important month for lawn care and in many cases is the last opportunity to get your lawn ready for the winter ahead. With the days getting shorter, the temperatures getting cooler and the possibility of an increase in rainfall, it can seem as if there’s so much to do in so little time, but Sherborne Turf has all the advice you need to get everything sorted.
If your lawn needs scarifying, October is the best month to do so. Scarification is a process that involves removing organic matter from the base of your grass such as thatch or moss. If it’s the first time you’ve done this, it can be quite daunting to see so much being removed and, though it may not look beautiful to start with, the process will help to improve the health of your lawn by promoting better growth and, by removing the thatch, it will aid water and fertiliser to penetrate more effectively. A good quality rake, such as our Chelwood Rakes, will be effective in smaller areas. For larger areas, our Cobra petrol or electric powered scarifiers are a better option.
Remember, October is the best time to scarify your lawn as at other times of year it may not recover as well. It is also a good idea to fertilise and over seed your lawn after scarifying to ensure a strong, healthy recovery.
Remember to rake your lawn often in order to ensure leaves and other debris are removed before they can block much needed light and air from your grass. For a heavier leaf fall, why not try one of our battery-powered EGO Blowers?
If you are concerned about your lawn becoming waterlogged with the heavier rainfall, a good idea is to aerate (or spike) your lawn. Try using a tubular aerator, such as the Draper Lawn Aerator, on average, every two to three years to allow better movement of air and water. If you are fertilising your lawn, do so after you have aerated in order to improve its effectiveness.
Now is a good time to apply an autumn feed in order to protect it over the winter months. A good autumn feed will be lower in nitrogen and higher in iron, such as Sherborne Turf’s Green and Black Fertiliser, so as to reduce the growth rate and harden the grass for winter. Have a look at our handy guide for more help with fertilisers.
If you have aerated your lawn and feel that the surface needs evening out, an application of top-dressing will smooth the lawn surface and correct any irregularities. Try our Sherborne Turf Top Dressing with a mixture of sand and compost to help improve drainage whilst stimulating healthy grass growth and improving the appearance of the lawn’s surface.
Down in the Southwest of England, there is still time to sow grass seed should you need to, though now is your last opportunity. Explore our wide range of Sherborne Turf Grass Seed here to find the best option for your lawn or ask our experts for a custom mix for lawn repairs. Keep an eye on the weather as particularly heavy rainfall or cold temperatures will prevent germination, where light rainfall and warmer temperatures will encourage it.
It is important to continue mowing your lawn throughout the colder months. We would recommend cutting little and often, then collecting the cuttings and any leaf fall to keep for compost and mulch. Don’t mow when the grass is wet as this can spread disease such as red thread, as well as potentially damaging your mower. A clever way to both mulch and recycle your cuttings is to use a robotic mower such as the Ambrogio. This will do all the work for you, cutting tiny, microscopic amounts on a regular basis whilst mulching the cuttings and leaves in order to leave an incredibly thin layer of mulch on the surface that will help to improve the health of your lawn.
September and October are the best months to lay a new lawn. The main reason being that this time of year, thanks to the wetter, cooler weather, gives a newly laid lawn the perfect opportunity to establish good root growth rather than putting too much energy into sward growth (which it would be more likely to do in the warmer months). The higher rainfall means that you will need to use less water and, as the days shorten and the temperature cools, people will be less likely to walk across the new turf, thereby avoiding compaction, which would in turn limit root growth. By laying turf in October, you will be giving it a good amount of time to properly establish itself and, with the right treatment, it will be ready to fully enjoy when the summer months come around.
If you are planning on laying new turf, remember to prepare the ground thoroughly first, removing larger stones and applying a layer of fertiliser such as our Stripy Green Fertiliser. After the turf is laid, remember to ensure it is well watered (so keep an eye on the weather), avoid walking on it, and give the lawn about three weeks to take root before mowing. When you mow for the first time, keep the mower at its highest setting to avoid stressing the grass, then cut little and often though the winter months.
Remember, if you establish good lawn maintenance now, it will pay off as the weather warms up again next year. If you’d like further advice, feel free to get in touch on 01935 850388.