How to take care of your lawns in autumn
After yet another searing summer, it’s now the season where we greet cooler evenings and begin to get ready for the cold winter. Your grass will be relieved as summers can be lengthy and challenging. But with winter comes its own set of challenges. So here are our tips on how to care for your lawn in autumn, before it goes dormant in winter.
Address the impact of summer into winter on your lawn
In numerous regions, summer’s climate conditions can go from one extreme to the next within a day, or sometimes within hours. Hot days combined with times of heavy rainfall were no doubt valuable to your garden, decreasing the need to water as often and keeping your grass green. Now however, you might start to notice some reactions from these climate patterns, with seed heads materialising, and deterioration in both leaf colour and development.
Substantial moisture can bring about a variety of concerns. Initially, it can drain the supplements from your soil before your grass and plants have been able to take advantage of them, resulting in reduced soil richness. You can create a fertiliser to supplement this, by preparing decent NPK fertiliser with compost. To further amplify the efficiency of the fertiliser, add in kelp concentrates to bolster the nitrogen-fixing bacteria in the soil and give an immediate boost to aid in leaf development.
Soil compression is another common concern brought about by increased rainfall. Especially when in conjunction some wear and tear and a hotter climate, the ground has a tendency to solidify, diminishing the quantity of oxygen in the dirt. This essentially suffocates the root system of your garden. Address this by circulating air through via the application of a spiked roller, pitchfork, or even spiked shoes to break up the soil. Consider the use of gypsum to likewise work to separate the soil, and any clay that might be in the subsoil.
Increase your expectations of lawn mowing
Autumn is the perfect time to begin increasing the mowing height of your lawn, especially in sheltered or shaded regions of your garden. You ought to be leaving at least 50mm (5cm) of leaf on your lawn, even up to 60-70mm (6-7cm) in substantial shade. This will offer a superior leaf surface zone for your lawns for photosynthesis, allowing the grass to create essential sugars which are key for its general wellbeing.
Preserving a touch of additional length will likewise be valuable when winter approaches, as the grass leaves tend to end up less frost-affected with just the very tips dying off, leaving green growth underneath.
Getting the soil pH correct
On the off chance that you haven’t checked your soil’s pH levels for some time, pre-winter is an appropriate time to do so. Out of balance pH levels will not only diminish your lawn’s presentation, but they will also reduce the impact of fertilising your lawns. The ideal lawn pH level is 6.5, which is somewhat acidic. It may be that you must adjust a low soil pH. Generally this is achieved by utilising a nitrogen-rich fertiliser such as Sulfate of Ammonia, which will work to diminish alkaline soils.
Improve your lawn before winter arrives
You should always apply a decent fertiliser to your lawn before winter arrives. This is likely the most vital sustenance you will give your grass all year, and the Easter weekend is usually a decent time to put a reminder in your calendar. Ensure your grass is given a decent supply of nourishment with a NPK fertiliser, so that your grass will have the capacity to accomplish a tight sound matt of leaf development to hold out those winter weeds, alongside solid roots to battle the winter coolness.
Many gardeners prefer working during autumn. For one, the soil is warmer, which makes planting favourable. And second, and probably more importantly, the weather is just right — not too cool nor too warm.
If you wish to take advantage of these conditions, here are some helpful tips.
Mulching and composting
If you have not begun mulching your garden, you are missing out on some few crucial benefits like the increased moisture retention of the soil and fewer weeds. Mulches can also improve soil quality by providing much-needed nutrients.
As the trees begin to shed their leaves during autumn, you now have more materials for your garden compost. Apart from fallen leaves, you can use kitchen scraps and lawn clippings to add to your compost heap.
Experts recommend applying fertilisers on lawns twice a year. Autumn is one of the best times to do that as the nutrients you provide can fortify the grass against harsh winter conditions and make it ready for the following season.
Pruning plants and trees
From time to time, trees need to be pruned for two important reasons. First, pruning helps improve the health of the trees. Second, this task improves the overall appearance of the trees and facilitates the growth of new branches.
Perennials like daisy bushes, buddleias, and salvias can also benefit from pruning, making these plants beautiful and ready by summer time. Pruning plants is relatively simple. All you need to do is to remove dead matter, including old flowers. If there are diseased parts, you will need to remove these, but be careful not to put these in your compost bin.
Adding fruit trees to your garden
If you have been thinking of adding a few fruit trees on your property, autumn is the best time to do that. Planting trees in autumn will give these ample time to grow and develop right before summer sets in.
Just remember to space trees, other plants and structures a good distance apart.
Bulbs can add a dash of colour to spring gardens but most of the hard work is done during autumn. Planting the bulbs during autumn gives the plants enough time and room to grow and once spring rolls in, the bulbs are ready to flourish.
Dealing with pests
Consider adding dill to your garden as this herb can repel pests like the Cabbage White Butterfly. Dill can protect veggies like cabbages, broccoli, and cauliflower. Pennyroyal, on the other hand, can help repel mosquitoes.
The autumn season often seems like the most leisurely period of the year, especially with its mellowed fruitfulness. But it’s actually quite a hectic time, particularly for property owners that maintain a lawn or garden. There are so many tasks to stay on top of – leaves need to be raked, perennials need to be tidied up, and it’s a must to keep an eye out for diseased branches and leave.
All these tasks for autumn gardening can be quite overwhelming. Before tackling them, it’s good to work out an “attack plan.” This will streamline the process and ascertain that you’re able to cover everything in a much easier manner.
For your attack plan, one of the things you need to prepare is a checklist. Having a list will allow you to group tasks together properly so you can create a schedule that’s thoroughly efficient.
To help you streamline your autumn gardening, here are the tasks that your autumn gardening checklist should include:
Tidy all the beds.
- Cut back all spent perennials.
- Boost plants with beautiful seed heads.
- Get rid of weeds by removing them from the root to have a head start on spring when weeds are most aggressive and harmful.
- Throw away dead wood and leaves. You don’t want them to become matted lest they suffocate the beds or even your lawn.
- Control vine growth.
Mow the lawn.
- Give your lawn the final buzz before the winter.
Check the pH level of your lawn.
- If pH level is below 5.5, apply chalk or powdered limestone.
- The right pH will support healthy growth in the spring. Grass colour will be more vibrant and it’ll be less susceptible to diseases.
Spread organic fertiliser and compost.
- Give plants food in late autumn so they will be well nourished in the spring after the winter frost has thawed (like what usually happens in many parts of Southern and Central New Zealand).
- Spreading fertiliser will also help control weeds.
Plant perennials and bulbs.
- Autumn is ideal for placing spring bulbs in the ground and planting everything from deciduous trees, shrubs and evergreens.
- Bulbs are easy to grow but make sure to place them where they’ll get loads of sunshine.
- This is a smart way to get a head start in the warm seasons’ garden.
- It is also important in preserving cherished heirloom varieties.
Clean gardening containers and tools.
- Make sure to disinfect pots to remove all traces of soil that could contain bacteria and disease-causing organisms.
- Clean and sharpen tools to prolong good performance and at the same time prevent potential contamination.