The hot and dry weather gave us a great opportunity to get out and enjoy the natural beauty of Niagara this summer, but the extreme heat was bound to do a number on our lawns. September is an important month for revitalizing your lawn and making sure that it is fit to last the winter, so here are some useful tips for caring for your lawn in autumn.
Control the moss!
- Moss is usually found in patches under trees or hedges, and it should be treated by spreading mosskiller across the lawn. In two weeks the weed will dry out and turn black.
- To reduce chances of the moss coming back in full force, try removing those branches or lover hedges that cast shade.
- Get rid of dead moss by thoroughly cleaning the surface with a spring-tined lawn rake - at the same time you'll be removing old grass clipping and other debris that might otherwise build up on the surface of the lawn and form a layer called thatch.
- Thatch hinders drainage and encourages the growth of weeds, so be sure to rake it up along with the moss and then simply pile it on top of your compost heap.
Improve the drainage
- Those sections of your lawn that experience the heaviest traffic will become hardened, which can lead to problems with drainage, moss, and weeds. To remedy this, push a garden fork into the ground as far as possible and then simply wiggle it back and forth to make air channels (repeat every 10 centimeters/4 inches across the lawn).
- Brush a sandy top dressing across the lawn's surface so that it fills in the holes, which will allow air and water into the lawn. You can find pre-mixed bags of top dressing in your local garden center.
- If your lawn is too large to cover with a garden fork, powered aerating machines are also available in your local garden center (or you can hire a lawn care specialist to do the work for you).
feed your lawn
- Nourish your thirsty, heat-battered lawn by applying an autumn lawn fertilizer, which is high in potash and phosphates. This will promote the development of strong roots, which leads to healthier leaves.
- Don't use a spring fertilizer in autumn! These contain high levels of nitrogen, which promotes the growth of soft and sappy leaves that are vulnerable to disease and frost.
prepare for winter
- As the weather gets colder, be sure to rake your lawn regularly in order to prevent it from being smothered by leaves (this weakens the grass and provides shelter for garden pests).
- Try to avoid walking on your lawn when it is covered with frost since this will damage the grass.