September into October is a good time to scarify the lawn and lift the dead grass, moss and rubbish that causes thatch to accumulate. If the ground is too wet, wait for a drier spell. If it’s very dry wait until there has been some rain, let it dry out a little and the start. It may be that holding on until October is better depending on your location. The other time of the year to scarify is around March.
You can use a self-propelled scarifier or an attachment for the garden tractor to lift the thatch. Raking is another way if you don’t have powered machinery. Cut the lawn quite short first then work the scarification in one direction and then again across the first pass. You can collect the debris this leaves with the grass box on the mower or sweeper/collector on the garden tractor. Next, it’s a good time to spike the lawn, even if it was done in March or earlier, to help drain water and get air to the roots. You can use a fork or hollow-tine spiker, working in rows with holes about 10cm (4”) apart and to a depth of about the same.
If you planned a new lawn and prepared the ground earlier now is the time to turf. Laying a new lawn with turf is more expensive than growing from seed but you have an immediate result. Don’t be tempted to buy cheap turves, go for ones that are guaranteed weed-free. October into November is the best time to lay turf, as the drier summer turns to a damp autumn but the ground is retaining warmth, creating the ideal growing conditions for the grass to root into your prepared ground. Hoe off any weeds and give the surface a final rake, adding some fertilizer. Lay the turves like brickwork, starting with the outside edges, laying in straight strips and trimming the excess with a knife.