When it comes to lawn care, autumn is an important period. Since there are a lot of tasks to cover, we advise you to distribute your time accordingly, so you can spare yourself the stress.
This means starting early and making sure you dedicate enough time to doing each task the right way. This guarantees that the lawn grass will benefit to the fullest from your autumn maintenance.
Why is autumn lawn care essential?
- Autumn is a preparational period for the upcoming winter season when your lawn will go into dormancy. Now is the time to supply it with all the nutrients, water and sunlight it needs to make it to spring.
- Providing proper lawn care in the autumn ensures the grass’ healthy development in spring. It is also a suitable time for planting new grass.
- Autumn is the best time for active weed control. The weather conditions help some types of weeds to thrive. It’s best to deal with them now to prevent a more serious weed infestation in the upcoming months.
- With the right autumn lawn treatment, you will have fewer things to worry about once the spring arrives. You may not even have to attend to your yard as often.
Aerating the lawn is a priority
You will see for yourself how necessary it is to aerate your lawn after the busy summer months. Take into consideration the high temperatures, the frequent bbq parties, and all the time spent in outdoor games with your dog.
This means you can easily end up with compacted lawn soil. This is not a favourable environment for the grass to thrive since the nutrients and oxygen can barely penetrate and reach its roots.
Thinning of the blades or loss of grass in some areas can be clear signs that lawn compaction has occurred. The best test is to try and push a tine fork into the soil. If it’s hard to do it, then it’s definitely time to aerate.
You can follow the steps from our detailed guide on How to Aerate & How to Dethatch Lawn.
Cut the grass shorter
This is necessary to give the grass easy access to sunlight, as the temperature drops. Start mowing lower with the arrival of autumn and continue throughout the following months.
However, remember the grass blades need to stay longer (at least 3.0 cm) as autumn transitions into winter. This will strengthen the lawn and help it easily get through the cooler months when it won’t need as much care.
Speaking of securing your lawn’s autumn sunbaths, you will need to clean some fallen leaves and debris, too. This can be done twice a week or more often, depending on the weather in your Australian area.
Focus on removing any leaves or branches from the turf, but also on clearing out the areas surrounding the lawn.
Feed the lawn generously
Applying a lawn fertiliser is always a good idea. Still, feeding the grass in autumn is quite essential because it gives it the necessary nutrients to remain green even during the winter season. The other most suitable time to apply fertiliser is early in the spring.
So, pick the most suitable food for your lawn in autumn. This means a high-quality lawn fertiliser from a specialised store, with a slow-releasing formula and lower nitrogen levels.
To get the dosage right, you will need to measure your yard. This could be a bit tricky even with instructions provided at the back of the lawn fertilising product. So, don’t hesitate to consult with an expert, if not sure how to proceed, or just check our step-by-step process on How to Fertilise Your Lawn for a Greener Turf.
Fertilise and water properly
Some types of lawn grasses, like Kikuyu, won’t give a chance to any weeds to thrive in their presence. However, not all of them are so resistant to intruders. So, taking some preventive measures will make weed control easier for you.
The first step is feeding your lawn at least twice a year (preferably in spring and autumn). This will keep it healthy and green, as well as less susceptible to weeds in the long run. The second is to water the right amount.
As autumn comes to an end, you will have to reduce watering, but you can also make it more effective. Give a chance to the moisture to penetrate deeper into the soil, all the way to the grassroots, by watering slower and for longer periods, either in the morning or afternoon.
There is one particular weed that may give you most troubles this season and that’s bindii. Since it usually starts growing during autumn, chances are you will notice it in your lawn.
Don’t underestimate it, even if there are just a few plants in your yard, because it can spread quite fast. The sooner you take measures, the better. You have two options to get rid of this weed:
- In case of a small bindii infestation – Pluck the weed out by hand, as you try to get the whole root out. Do this to all plants as soon as you notice them.
- In case of a large bindii infestation – Manual work won’t be enough in this case. Instead, you will need an effective herbicide. Bindii is quite common, so it won’t be hard to find a suitable product at the local gardening store.
Now, to sum it up
- Regardless of where you live in Australia, investing more time and efforts in lawn care this autumn will let you enjoy a healthy green yard as soon as spring arrives.
- Aerating and fertilising are the two main tasks to focus on. They will help your lawn get safely through the upcoming cooler season and develop better in the future.
- Keep your lawn’s grass a bit shorter while the weather is still favourable. Prepare the green blades for the approaching winter by letting them grow higher and stronger.
Need a hand with your lawn’s autumn maintenance?
Fantastic Gardeners is available for assistance anytime!