As temperatures start to head south, many Aussies turn their minds to prepping their lawns for the cooler months ahead. It’s a good idea too. After all, autumn lawn care is a time to get back on track after months of high temperatures, humidity and rain.
Autumn lawn care
The main purpose of autumn lawn care is to get your lawn in good shape before its winter dormancy. The healthier your lawn is heading into those cooler temperatures, the healthier it will be when the warmth of spring arrives.
To give you a little boost (and your lawns!) here are our top seven tips for getting your lawn ready for autumn (and to stay healthy into winter).
5 Tips for Excellent Autumn Lawn Care
Tip 1 – Maximise the sunshine
First up, it’s important that your autumn lawn care includes maximising the amount of sunshine getting through to the grass blades. Trim away any overhanging branches or hedging that throws shade. Tidy away – or move around – play equipment, toys, furniture or pots that block sunlight or cause shadowing through the day. And consider taking down any shade cloth or umbrellas you’ve been using during the summer.
Tip 2 – Weed your lawn
Eliminating weeds from your lawn means the grass blades won’t be competing for sunshine, water or nutrients. Weeding your lawn in autumn and treating it with a multipurpose herbicide and fertiliser will give your lawn a boost. And it will help to minimise and control the spread of weeds. A good choice is Lawn Solutions Oxafert.
Tip 3 – Aerate your lawn
We recommend aerating your lawn twice each year – in autumn and in spring. So for autumn lawn care, it’s time to aerate. Aerating helps your lawn to absorb water, improves drainage and encourages root growth.
All you need to aerate your lawn is a garden fork. Drive it down around 100 mm into the soil and wiggle the fork back and forth. This breaks up the soil allowing for increased air flow, improved drainage and better water penetration. Repeat the process across your lawn, at regularly spaced intervals.
Aerating your lawn is particularly beneficial if your soil is compacted. If you have a clay-based soil, applying a gypsum clay breaker will help.
Tip 4 – Feed and water your lawn
Just as humans love to settle in with comfort food as the weather cools down, your lawn loves a feed to top up its nutrients. Fertilising your lawn as part of its autumn lawn care will help to keep it healthy and green through winter.
A premium lawn fertiliser is an excellent ‘comfort food’ for your lawn, giving it an extra boost of nutrition as autumn arrives. The slow-release granules contain trace elements and nutrients, for long-lasting nourishment.
Another excellent fertiliser option for autumn lawn care is ECO 88 Lawn Food. It helps to boost chlorophyll production, for a green, healthy lawn.
Tip 5 – Adjust your watering schedule
As an extra tip, autumn is the time to reduce your regular watering schedule. In autumn, your lawn will most likely need water every seven to 10 days to keep it healthy and safe from moisture stress. Keep an eye on your lawn for wilting leaf blades, or blades that lose their colour. Another tell-tale sign that your lawn needs a water is if a noticeable footprint is left behind when someone walks across the grass.
Tip 6 – Adjust your mowing schedule
As the temperatures drop, it’s important to adjust your mowing schedule to account for the slower grass growth. Autumn is a real transition time for mowing, particularly in the warm climate of southeast Queensland. In summer we recommend your grass blades sit around 3cm and in winter around 6cm – so autumn is somewhere in between.
When winter arrives, you’ll only need to mow your own on occasion – or not at all if the grass is dormant. In autumn it’s important to ‘know your lawn’. Mow it as it continues to grow, but don’t cut it as short as you would in the warmer, fast-growing seasons. Aim for the ‘rule of one third’ – to never cut more than one third of the grass with each mow.
Tip 7 – Consider laying more turf
If you have bare patches in your lawn, or are looking to lay a new lawn, autumn is a great time. There’s still some good warmth in the ground which can promote root establishment before the cold of winter fully sets in.
Buffalo grasses are an excellent choice as they are robust and hardy. Consider Sir Walter or even Palmetto. TifTuf is another great choice, particularly if you’re looking for a longer, more ornamental law.
Talk to the experts!
You’ve come to the right place for your autumn lawn care tips. At Rock’n’Soil we can help you with lawn care tips all year-round. Visit our product info and how to pages for up-to-date information on caring for your lawn and garden through the year. If there’s anything else, get in touch with our expert team, we’d love to help.