It’s time to prep your lawn for Autumn months

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Autumn is the most important time of the year for lawn care, especially if you want to have a green and healthy lawn all year long. As we leave the dry heat of summer, the days will soon get shorter and the temperature will get cooler; however, your lawn will still be in its growing phase.

Now is the time to think about how you will prepare your prized lawns before the cooler weather arrives in March, April and May.

Don’t cut the grass too short:

When mowing your lawn, try not to cut the grass too short. Of course, you may argue that it a) looks better and b) means you don’t have to mow the lawn as often, but it is best to leave some length in your lawn.

Some lawns don’t grow as well as they should if they are cut too short. This is because longer grass is not as prone to either scorching (which can still happen on unseasonably warm days) or frost damage when it begins to cool down in March. Another benefit of keeping the grass a little longer is the ‘shadowing’ effect the taller blades of grass can have, as these blades will curtail the growth of weeds that need sunlight to thrive.

However, that doesn’t mean you should neglect the lawn altogether as mowing regularly prevents weeds from seeding and spreading throughout your lawn. By mowing off some of the excess grass length, you can alleviate the stress on your lawn and as a result, encourage the lawn to become thicker.

Watering and feeding:

As we approach autumn, it’s important to adjust your watering schedule keeping in mind natural rainfall, shorter days and lower temperatures. If you follow the rule of 2.5cms of water per week across the entire lawn, you should be providing your lawn with an adequate amount of water.

If you have received rain, or rain is on the horizon, don’t water your grass unless it needs it. A good way to tell whether your lawn is overwatered, fine or dehydrated is by carefully sticking a screwdriver into the grass – the easier the screwdriver goes into the soil will help you determine what your lawn needs.

An Ipswich Autumn isn’t as cold as other parts of Australia, meaning it’s still really important to fertilise during this time. Aim to have it in optimum condition by Easter and you’re likely to see your lawn survive the winter months. The best type of fertilisers to use during March and April would be controlled-released, as the nutrients are released slowly and continually into the lawn.

This in turn allows the grass to take up the nutrients as it needs them, and they are less likely to runoff into local native bushland or waterways.

Pests and Weeding:

Since your lawn is still in its growing phase during the autumn months, weeds can still be an issue. It is important to combat weeds before winter, otherwise by the time spring rolls around, weeds like bindi’s have already spread their seed – making them impossible to eradicate.

Paying close attention to your lawn to identify weed invasion will avoid that from happening. If the problem is tackled early enough, you’re more than likely to rid weeds by pulling them out by hand.

You are best to remove weeds after rain or watering as the soil is looser and the weeds will come away more easily, roots and all. However, if it escalates into a bigger problem it is best to consult your local nursery about which herbicides are best to combat the problem. It’s also important to look out for white curl grubs and army worms at this time of year. Again, consult your local nursery on what to use. These type of pests usually cause circular yellow patches in your grass, and are treated with granules.