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Wednesday, 4 October 2017

The Lawn Care Guide - October

"It's a funny kind of month, October. For the really keen cricket fan it's when you discover that your wife left you in May." Denis Norden, 1977


As all good greenkeepers and groundsmen know, if you’re in a colder area this month wilI probably be your last opportunity to scarify, aerate and top dress the lawn. You may not be aiming to match the finest cricket square or bowling green but keeping the lawn healthy and removing layers of thatch now will pay off come spring.

Excessive amounts of thatch are a harbour for pests and diseases and promote poor drought tolerance. A shallow layer though is good because it acts as a barrier to prevent excessive moisture loss and help to prevent wear on the surface. Striking a balance will give the lawn enough of the soft cushioning you want.


You can use a rake, a spring time rake or a powered scarifier mounted on your garden tractor to remove excessive thatch and then feed afterwards with a low nitrogen feed because you don’t want a lush green growth until spring. That would only encourage disease over the winter. If you are in a mild area there is still the chance to sow grass seed and patch bare areas but cover with some clear polythene to protect from the cold and hard rain if that is forecast. Gentle rain is fine.

The mowing regime is nearing its end on recently sown areas but the so called ‘Indian summers’ have seen mowing on established lawns as late as December. Time to rake up fallen leaves, brush off worm casts, trim lawn edges and remove dead moss.  If there are still weeds in the lawn it’s too late for weedkiller, just keep mowing and then treat them come spring. If you were unable to aerate in September you can still do so now.



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