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How to Renovate a Lawn this Autumn

Autumn_lawn_renovationNow is the time to renovate your lawn, just ahead of the mass of leaves from the trees falling and the night time frosts occurring.

The summer soils are warm and moist, ideal opportunity for getting some new grasses into the lawns.

The process is very easy and flows like one of those flow charts at school - if you are going to blanket over seed your lawn then it does not matter how hard you scalp the lawn or scarify the lawn, if you are not over seeding, do not go too mad otherwise you may not get the recovery from the grasses that are left.

As soon as we get a long term period of frosts, you have lost your opportunity to renovate the lawn following the process below and will have to wait until spring when it is a little warmer and in the more traditional growing season.

The correct process of renovating a lawn and order of performing the tasks is :-

Kill any weeds and moss and leave two weeks for the products to work

Mow the lawn really low with a rotary mower in a couple of directions to remove the volume of the grass and remove clippings, something like setting 3 on a Hayter Mower

Scarify in at least two directions to remove ay dead thatch from the lawn. You will not go ploughing with the scarifier, the blades will just be touching the soil surface at the base of the crown of the grass plant

Clear the scarification debris at the end of the second pass with a leaf blower or rake - the debris may be extensive. Try and get the lawn as 'clean' as possible

Mow the lawn again back on the 'normal' height setting so something like setting 4 on a Hayter Mower which will be higher than the intitial reduction of volume mowing session. This removes the straggly bits of grass and tidies it up a bit

Aerate to a depth with a solid tine to aid percolation of air in and out of the lawn. Tines should be at least 50mm deep minimum

Fertilise with a good autumn and winter lawn fertiliser at around 17 - 35 grams per square metre

Over seed with a desirable seed mixture, allow at least 17 grams per square metre

Top dress (which is optional) with a soil based top dressing/loam material to fill in the micro levels and lute in. Allow around 1 cubic metre of loam material per 250 sqm of lawn as a guide

All the tasks can be completed on the same day or on consecutive days until complete. If you have a break, mow the lawn ahead of continuing with the next task

After Care of the Renovated Lawn:-

Arrange to mow 7 - 10 days after renovating then do not mow for at least 14 days

Continue to mow on a higher mower setting in different directions

Ensure you keep the leaves and autumn debris of the lawns

Keep mowing on a little off and often basis if the weather is not wet under foot or frosty. Grass will never stop growing but slow so if it remains mild over the traditional autumn, winter and spring months, keep mowing. Ensure the mower is sharp.

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