October Lawn Care: What Should I Do to My Lawn in October?

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

Lawn treatment in October might sound like too much work. But when accomplished one step at a time, it can help your lawn brave the winter with grace.

You can start October lawn care by first mowing your lawn. Aerate and scarify it to improve nutrient absorption. Next, top dress and feed your lawn, overseed any bare patches, lay new turf if necessary and don’t forget to get rid of weeds and moss. Yes, it’s that simple to prepare your lawn for the winter.

October is also the last chance to tackle a few lawn care tasks. So, make the most of it without delay. But first, take a look at what October weather will be like this year.

What’s the weather going to be like in 2022?

While making plans for your autumn lawn, it’s best to check the monthly weather outlook. This will help you prepare better for mowing, sowing, weeding, feeding and other October lawn tasks.

What’s more, the October weather forecast will also keep you on top of your lawn care game. That way, you can take the necessary steps to help your lawn brave the winter months.

Early October weather

From 2nd-11th October you can expect low pressure in the northern and north-western parts of the UK. In other words, heavy rains and even thunderstorms.

On the other hand, the southern and eastern parts of the UK will experience drier days. Still, there’s a chance of rainfall in these parts too.

Mid to late October weather

From 12-26th October the weather looks more unpredictable, but nothing worrisome for your lawn. The overall temperature is likely to be slightly above average.

The northern parts of the UK will be seeing the wettest weather. That’s because low pressure is likely to prevail. But the southern parts will have even drier and more settled conditions.

What’s the proper lawn treatment in October?

From mowing your lawn to aerating and scarifying it the right way, here are the proper October lawn care practices you should follow:

Mowing the lawn in October

October is the time when grass growth slows down. You can still mow your lawn, but don’t overdo it. Too much mowing will stress the grass and prevent root growth for weeks.

Adjust your mowing frequency to twice a month or less. At the same time, raise your mower blades by at least one setting. If your lawn has a moss problem, make sure to keep grass growth 1 to 2 cm above the moss. 

Tip: Never mow a wet or frosty lawn. It can seriously damage the grass.

leaves on grass autumn

Image credit: @kolmenkotirannikolla

Can you aerate the lawn in October?

Autumn, and in particular October, is the perfect time for aerating your lawn. That’s because the soil is heavy and compacted after a well-spent summer on the lawn.

You can use a garden fork or rake for the purpose. You can also rent a petrol-powered aerator for a large lawn. These will poke holes into the soil and reduce compaction.

That’s not all, aerating your lawn in October will improve drainage and allow nutrients to reach the grass roots. This will support the overall health of your grass and also help to control lawn weeds and moss.

Can you sow grass seed in October?

Yes, you can start sowing grass seed in October. In fact, this is your last chance to overseed your lawn. You can fix bald or thinning patches and repair any summer wear.

To overseed, simply loosen the soil with a fork. Then scatter the grass seed for October in small areas. Lightly cover the seeds with compost and water the lawn.

For quick germination, keep the soil moist by watering lightly and frequently. The bare patches will hopefully green up again before winter sets in.

grass germination

Image credit: @shojikomatsu_offical

Can you lay turf in October?

Yes, you can lay turf in October. But there are a few key points you’ll have to consider for the best results. 

Make sure the ground isn’t wet while laying a new lawn. Otherwise, mix it with some dry topsoil to improve soil consistency. Also, lay the turf on the same day you receive it since October turf is fragile and quite perishable.

Don’t allow your newly laid turf to dry out. You can give it a good soaking once in a while. But avoid overwatering, especially during rainy October days.

Have a look at our comprehensive guide to laying turf for more details.

Can you scarify the lawn in October?

Yes, you can scarify the lawn in October, but like most other autumn lawn care practices, this is your last chance to tackle the task. Leave it any later and your grass might not recover.

Start by watering your lawn thoroughly. You can also make a note to scarify after it rains. Gently rake out the layer of thatch, debris, and moss. Scarifying will keep your lawn healthy all through winter, allowing air, nutrients, and water to reach the root zone.

Make sure you assess your lawn before you start scarifying. Check for thatch or dead grass. Also, ensure that the temperatures are not too low for a good recovery, otherwise, you might be better off leaving this task until spring.

scarifying lawn in october

Image credit: @greencontourscapetown

Can you weed and feed the lawn in October?

It’s best to weed and feed your lawn in October, before leaving it untouched during the colder months. We’ll discuss both weeding and feeding one by one.

Weeding October lawn

Weeds can continue to plague your October lawn. Dandelion, plantain and clover may slowly overpower your grass. But you don’t have to sit back and tolerate them.

Simply apply organic weed control all over your lawn, taking care to avoid newly seeded areas. Use spot treatments on tougher weeds.

Feeding October lawn

October lawn feed readies your grass to brave the rough weather. It also protects your lawn from the ravages of winter pests and diseases.

You can apply any autumn-winter lawn feed. Since it’s low in nitrogen and high in potassium and phosphorus, it helps to build stronger roots and discourages lush growth.

Can you remove moss in October?

Yes, October is the perfect time to control lawn moss. Wet and cold autumn days are most likely to encourage moss growth. Moss can make a lawn unsightly and overwhelm the grass.

To remove mosses, you can first try raking them out. But be gentle since you don’t want to hurt the grass. If raking does not help, try chemical moss killers containing ferrous sulphate.

These methods will control moss but not help you get rid of it permanently. For more solid results, work on soil compaction, improve drainage and check that the soil pH is balanced.

removing moss in october

Image credit: @joeslawncareltd

Can you topdress the lawn in October?

Yes, your lawn will benefit from a bit of October topdressing. It will not only improve the soil structure but also reduce thatch, improve lawn drainage and strengthen grass roots.

You can apply a mix of compost and sand to your lawn. Then work this material down into the sward. It will give your lawn grass a good nutrient boost. What’s more, the grass will also get some protection against frost, ice and snow.

Tip: Light topdressing is more appropriate in October. Too much material will suffocate the grass and do more harm than good.

What should you put on the lawn in October?

There are a few things you should put on your lawn in October, like weed and moss killer, lawn feed, seeds, and new turf. That way, your lawn will be better prepared for the colder months and reward you with fresh greenery in spring.

You can start by first aerating and scarifying your lawn. Next, remove weeds and mosses manually or with chemicals.

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

Then feed your lawn, and finally, overseed. You can also lay new turf if the ground isn’t frozen.

October is also a good time to rake any fallen leaves, trim the lawn edges and fix uneven lawn patches. You can also consider laying stepping stones to avoid walking over your delicate winter grass.

The wrap up

The October lawn care routine is different from that in spring and summer. The grass growth is slow, the weather is harsh and the ground is beginning to freeze.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t maintain a healthy lawn even in the worst of conditions. Stick to the few lawn treatment tips we’ve discussed above to keep your lawn looking good.

The right mowing, aerating, scarifying, overseeding, weeding and feeding practices can lead to a great lawn in winter. Try it for yourself and you’ll see.


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