Autumn Lawn Care: 9 Grass Treatments in the Correct Order

By   | Last Updated :   September 4, 2022 | Filed In :   DIY & How To

Autumn lawn care will help your grass to get through the cold winter months. Not to mention that it will help fix any summer wear and tear. By looking after your lawn in autumn, you’ll ensure that it stays lush and healthy and ready to bounce right back in early spring.

Autumn grass treatment is best done in the correct order. Begin by levelling the lawn. Next, scarify, aerate, topdress and feed it. You will also have to kill weeds and mosses, neaten up the edges and finally, overseed bare patches. Follow these nine steps for a greener and happier lawn next spring.

All set? Let’s get started!

Why autumn is the best time to get your lawn healthy

care of your lawn in autumn

Take care of your lawn in autumn and it’ll breeze through winter. Image credit: @sue_l_baigent

Following a long and hot summer, autumn is the perfect time to give your lawn a makeover. Here’s why:

Autumn lawn treatments to properly care for your grass

From levelling to overseeding, you can treat your lawn grass in 9 easy steps. Follow these autumn lawn treatment steps in the right order to give your lawn the care it needs.

autumn lawn care grass treatment

Credit: By bondarillia

1. Level the lawn if necessary

Start by dealing with any mounds and low spots in your lawn. Inspect your lawn thoroughly and mark all the areas that look rather uneven. Simply prepare a levelling mix of equal parts of soil and sand. Next, spread it across your lawn.

If you have to fill any large, low spots, remove the turf and fill it with the levelling mix. Then put the turf back in its place. If you have to flatten high spots, dig up and remove the excess earth.

Read our guide to levelling a bumpy lawn for more details.

2. Scarify

autumn lawn care scarifying

Scarifying is an important part of autumn lawn care. Image credit: @hawkergardenservices

The build-up of dead grass can make it difficult for water and nutrients to reach the grass roots, so you need to scarify your lawn by giving it a vigorous comb.

You can use a petrol-powered scarifier if you have a sweeping lawn, otherwise, a metal spring-tine rake is good enough, too. Scarifying will help remove the dense layer of thatch and turn lacklustre patches into lush greenery.

Tip: While scarifying, work in lines across your lawn. Go up and down, slowly tearing up the thatch.

More on this: What to Do After Scarifying a Lawn: 9 Steps to Revive Grass 

3. Aerate

Aeration allows more air and nutrients to get to the grass roots. It also helps your lawn to survive periods of drought and waterlogging, especially by the end of summer.

You can aerate small areas with a garden fork. Drive the fork 10 cm deep at regular intervals. If the soil is heavily compacted, you may need a hollow-tine aerator for best results.

4. Topdress

topdressing lawn in autumn

Topdress your lawn in autumn to get it winter-ready. Image credit: @rasennerd

Time to topdress your lawn. This will improve the soil structure, encourage stronger roots and keep your lawn healthy and happy, even during the colder months.

You can apply a ready-mixed topdress formulation. You can also make your custom mix to suit your soil.

A blend of 50/50 compost and sand works best for most UK gardeners. Spread the mix evenly over the lawn with the back of a rake, working it well into the grass roots.

5. Feed

Autumn feed for grass should be rich in phosphate and potassium. This will ensure that the roots are growing strong even during winters. Don’t pick a nitrogen-rich feed, as it will promote new, vulnerable growth that might not survive the colder months.

You can opt for a liquid or solid autumn lawn fertiliser. Apply it just before the rain forecast for the feed to get to the roots. Otherwise, water your lawn well after autumn weed and feed.

Learn more: When to Feed a Lawn: Best Time to Fertilise Grass in UK

6. Kill weeds

autumn lawn care weeding

Get on top of any weeds. Image credit: @mkamuda

Weeds rob your lawn grass of valuable nutrients and water. They also suffocate the grass and spread rapidly. Dealing with them is another important step during your autumn lawn care routine.

You can hand-weed small lawns. But for bigger lawns, you may need to apply organic herbicides, use a flame weeder or spray a DIY vinegar and soap weedkiller.

7. Remove moss

Moss is rather annoying and stubborn and it can plague any shady and damp areas of your lawn. You can get rid of moss without damaging the grass using lawn sand.

Start by raking out the moss. A good brisk comb with a bow rake will usually do the job. Is the moss stubborn? Spray a chemical moss killer over the area. Check out our full guide on dealing with moss on your lawn.

Tip: To keep moss from reappearing, correct any soil imbalances. These include low soil pH, poor drainage, and compacted soil.

8. Edge

autumn lawn trim

Give your lawn the final tidy of the year. Image credit: @mlgardenmaintenance

Next, how about some finishing touches? Cut the lawn edges with a half-moon edger or a simple spade. This will help define the lawn edge, stop the grass from spreading into the borders and make it easier to clip the sides with a pair of shears.

Edging will transform the look of your autumn lawn and will make autumn grass care like weeding and mulching borders quicker and easier.

9. Overseed

Finally, overseed the areas where the grass is sparse. This will fill in the bare patches and make the grass grow thick and lush.

Simply break up the soil surface using a rake and sow grass seeds. Then, rake the seeds in and water your lawn deeply.

Tip: While overseeding, work when the air is calm. This will ensure that the seeds are distributed evenly.

Pests and diseases

Red thread, snow mould, lawn mushrooms. Heard of these? They are common diseases and fungi that you need to watch out for in autumn. Let’s take a closer look at them.

Laetisaria fuciformis read thread lawn

Laetisaria fuciformis, also known as red thread. Image credit: @ukrainsky_gazony

patches of snow mould on lawn

Patches of snow mould. Image credit: @oeslawncareltd

leatherjacket larvae on a spade

Leatherjacket larvae can damage a lawn. Image credit: @lifeonplot27

digging bees and wasps

Digging bees and wasps will tunnel into bare patches of lawn. Image credit: @chorley1990

lawn fairy rings

Lawn fairy rings are a sign of a healthy lawn, but you can easily remove them. Image credit: @myfloridaphotography

brown patch on lawn

Brown patch is a common lawn disease. Image credit: @turfprolv

slime mould on grass

Slime mould grows up the grass blades in order to spore. Image credit: @m_borden

Last cut of the year

Autumn mowing is not the same as spring or summer mowing. The grass growth is very slow, the ground is often damp, and winter is fast approaching. Here are some tips for mowing your lawn in autumn.

You might also like: When should you stop mowing your lawn? last cut of the year

Caring for autumn lawn

Caring for an autumn lawn is not very demanding. But a bit of upkeep like scarification, aeration and topdressing will ready it for the colder months.

Autumn is also a good time to repair uneven spots in your lawn and fertilise it. At the same time, you can get rid of weeds, mosses and other pests and diseases.

In short, looking after your lawn in autumn will award you with a greener, lusher and happier turf the following spring.


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