The height of the growing season is coming to an end as the days begin to get shorter in autumn. However, in the beginning of the season, the soil will still be holding onto a lot of warmth, helping it to actively grow. As the season goes on, this growth will eventually slow as your lawn prepares for winter dormancy. The goal for autumn is to get the lawn in the best condition possible before the winter. So check out the tips below to get your lawn in great shape!
Summer is always a busy time, especially around all the festive holidays, like Christmas, New Years, and Australia Day. If your house is the place to be, then your soil may be compacted from heavy foot traffic. Soil that is too compacted may not get enough water, oxygen, or nutrients, which is damaging. To overcome this, aeration is essential to get water and oxygen circulating your soil again. For small lawn areas, simply dig a fork halfway down into the soil and repeat across the area. For larger properties, though, it will save you precious time to use a mechanical aerator.
Even though your lawn may have recovered quickly from the heavy summer traffic, it is less likely to bounce back the same in cooler months. Lawn growth slows down in the cooler seasons, so heavy traffic areas won’t repair as quickly as in the growing season. Each property has individual challenges, whether caused by foot traffic, pets, livestock, or even the local postie. These problems can be solved in different ways, including fencing off certain areas, having designated areas for kids and pets activities, or chatting with the mailman.
Summertime is tough on your lawn, so in the autumn it’s a great idea to fertilise and regenerate essential nutrients. A slow-release granular fertiliser is a sustainable means of giving your lawn important nutrients, which gradually release over a period of up to 12 weeks after application. In doing this, your lawn can recover from the summer stress and prepare for the cooler months ahead.
Your watering schedule in early autumn will be about twice a week as the lawn recovers from summer but as the season gets colder, you could water once every 7 - 10 days. To avoid fungal issues, you should water in the mornings, which minimises evaporation. A deep and thorough water will train the roots to go deeper into the soil and an infrequent watering schedule trains them to use water more effectively.
Lawn pests can become very active in autumn as your lawn is stressed and susceptible following the humid summer. These pests can either be root feeding or surface dwelling, which require different types of treatments. To prevent infestations, applying a suitable insecticide is recommended. These can be discussed more in depth with your local garden shop or Hustler retailer, to ensure you get the most effective product for your lawn.
The best way to prevent weeds is to have a lawn care routine for each season and to manage it well. However, weeds will almost always find a way to pop up all-year round. Going into cooler months, weeds can out compete your turf, so in autumn it’s important to remove any weeds as they pop up to prepare for winter. On larger properties, pulling weeds out can be time consuming, but it is the best tactic for small outbreaks. For larger outbreaks, an appropriate herbicide is ideal.
Compared to your summer mowing schedule, you’ll be mowing less frequently in the transitioning and cooler months. In early autumn, you’ll still want to mow once a week but as the temperatures drop, you may only mow once a fortnight. Raise your mower height to help your grass make the most of the sunlight as days get shorter. When setting the height, aim to only mow less than a third of the grass height.
With less frequent mowing, watering, and fertilising, you’ll have more spare time on your hands. Use your time wisely to start preparing for the seasons ahead by servicing equipment and researching lawn care tips just like you are now! Find your local Hustler retailer today for any questions about lawn care tips and product recommendations.