Apply spring fertiliser, if you haven't already done so. If you applied this earlier in the year, you can now use a good brand of feed and weed on your lawn. Keep your lawnmower clean and the blades sharp. Cut lawns no shorter than half an inch. To keep your lawn tidy, trim the edges with long-handled shears. Remove perennial weeds by hand.
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If you haven't already done so, apply feed and weed this month. If the weather is warm, raise the height of your lawnmower cut and leave the clippings on the lawn to provide a mulch and retain moisture. Spiking the lawn when soft after rain, will help further rain to penetrate to the roots.
If you are adamant about maintaining a green lawn then you will have to water it in July unless we are having a particularly poor summer. However some people take the opportunity to have a mowing holiday and let the lawn go a bit brown in the sure knowledge that it will turn green again as soon as the next rain occurs. To keep it in optimum condition you should apply weed and feed – make sure it gets watered in within a few days and keep the lawn well aerated by spiking it regularly.
You will need to continue watering your lawn in the evenings during hot weather to maintain any sort of greenness and the regular application of a good weed and feed is essential when the grass is actively growing to maintain nutrient levels and keep difficult weeds such as clover and daisies at bay. If you are planning a new lawn then preparations should be well under way now so that any subsurface work has had time to bed in and a smooth level surface can be prepared which has had a good balanced fertilizer applied and raked in. Mid September to mid October is the ideal time to both seed and turf new lawn areas when temperatures are beginning to cool but light levels are still good and rain almost guaranteed.
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Where the lawn has been damaged, carry out repairs by reseeding or lay replacement turf. Aerate the lawn with a hand fork or special turf aerator. Apply a good quality topdressing and brush in well. Scarify or rake the lawn which will remove debris and let air and water penetrate the soil. Apply a proprietary Autumn fertiliser. To repair a patch by reseeding, cut out the damaged turf and loosen the soil. Add sieved soil to the hole until level with the surface. Sow the seed and cover with a thin layer of sieved soil. Protect the area from birds (old CDs on string strung between posts should work nicely).
Newly seeded lawns should not have their first cut until the grass is 3 inches long so that plenty of root has formed before cutting. October is considered the best month for laying a new lawn using turf as there will be enough rain to keep the turf well watered and hence get established before the winter sets in. However, lawns only need to be watered for 28 days before they are established so can be laid all year round. The area to be turfed needs to be weed free and well cultivated although a coarse tilth is adequate. Make sure the bed has had time to settle well before laying the turf - a good treading may be required if the bed is dry to ensure that it has settled fully and hence prevent unwanted hollows forming later on. The main thing to remember about laying turves is to make sure they are as closely butted together as possible so that the joins quickly become invisible otherwise your lawn will look more like a brick wall with gaps between the turves. Established lawns need a lot of attention this month - keep them well aerated and scarified and treat with autumn fertilizer.
Laying of turf can continue throughout the winter, but if
possible, complete laying this month.
If you are looking to lay a new lawn and can afford to leave the ground bare, prepare the bed now and leave until Spring before turfing or seeding. Double-dig the new area, removing all perennial roots such as bindweed, couch grass and dock. Dig in some manure and leave the ground bare for the frost to break down. Final preparation can be left until Spring.
If you didn't apply an autumn lawn fertiliser in September, do it now. It is important that you use the correct type of fertiliser, as those for autumn are specifically formulated, i.e. don't finish off your box of Spring lawn fertiliser.
Give your mower a good clean and oil and store away for winter.
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If you have areas to seed in Spring, prepare the beds now, digging the ground over and applying well rotted manure. If you have the space why not sow a small area that you can transplant in Spring to replace damaged areas. Continue leatherjacket treatment and make sure you finish aerating the lawn. If the grass has stopped growing and mowing is no longer required, give your equipment a good clean and oil before storing in a dry place.
Lawns can still be aerated if the ground is not too wet. Make a note of wet patches so that you can introduce more drainage in Spring or if the weather is favourable dig over wet patches and returf.
If you are intending to create a new lawn in Spring continue to prepare the area when the weather conditions permit - if it is wet then leave it until later in the month or until March. Established lawns will need aeration and scarification in dry conditions. An application of lawn sand towards the end of the month will help control daisies and clover. If you have a problem with moss it will be apparent now and you will need to treat the underlying cause - probably poor drainage.
for lawn feed and topdressing products. Lawn seed and turf also available.
If you prepared a new lawn bed in the autumn, it will now
be ready for final preparation. It may need a final dig over, removing all
perennial weeds, before raking in several directions to give a fine tilth.
This will help to kill annual weeds and remove stones. Tread the bed over
to consolidate the ground and provide an even surface. Wait until the weather
has started to warm up and apply a pre-seeding fertiliser and lightly rake
into the surface approximately a week before you wish to seed. Sow half your
seed in one direction and the rest at right angles. Lightly rake the surface.
The seed should begin to germinate in about 14 days. Leave the grass until
it is about 3 in. high before giving a light mow when the ground is dry. Your
mower needs to be sharp or it may lift the seedlings.
For established lawns, re-seed any worn areas after levelling any depressions. At the edge of the lawn, damaged turves can be cut out and turned round, thereby allowing you to fill the gap. Continue to aerate the lawn which helps to maintain it and aid drainage. Apply a spring lawn fertiliser towards the end of the month, ensuring an even spread. Selective weedkiller can be applied a couple of weeks after the fertiliser if the weather is warm and damp.
If seeding of new beds was delayed last month, this should
be undertaken now (see March). Mow the lawn at a height of 2 in., cutting
twice a week if the grass is growing quickly; this will help to reduce annual
It is also time to complete the treatment of bare patches in established lawns, mowing, aerating and applying spring fertiliser. If the weather is dry and your soil light, firm the lawn with a light roller; your lawnmower roller may be adequate for this. On each successive mowing, the blades can be lowered fractionally but never cut below half an inch.
Gardening infomation, hints and tips on how to maintain a perfect lawn throughout the gardening year including feeding, watering, mowing and other general care advice.