Autumn Lawn Care and Rescue

What a summer we have had! It has taken its toll on our lawns, with many looking patchy at best, and destroyed at worst. But don't fear, grass is particularly tough, and often, the onset of Autumn rainfall will revive it. We do seem to be having a warm, dry start to the Autumn season, so you may need to use some of your rainwater that you collected after reading our Watering Tips page.

However, there are a few more things you can do as well as watering to help it along.

1) Rake autumn leaves
Dead and decaying leaves are a breading ground for bacteria, fungus and mould. Remove them quickly so they don't cause disease in your grass which can spread to your plants too!

2) Lawn weedkillers
About a week before you move onto Step 3 below, spot spray the lawn weeds using a lawn weedkiller. If you do this a week early, it will make the raking/scarifying process below a bit easier.

3) Rake and/or scarify your lawn
If you own a scarifier then now is the time to use it.  If you have an electric scarifier and can cut down into the soil, this will give you a great bed for re-seeding too. If you are raking, pop some gloves on to avoid blistering. Our lawns have a lot of dead thatch in them and you will likely need some real elbow grease to get it out. If there is too much for one go, then aim to re-rake a few times over the week.

4) Fertilise
Heavy raking or scarifying stresses the grass, a high potash fertiliser will introduce some much needed nutrients into the roots, and protect it against disease.We recommend Aftercut All In One Autumn which will not only fertilise but remove any moss left over too. It contains enough fertiliser to feed during the autumn months. If you are concerned about pet safety on newly fertilise grass, use instead the Child and Pet Friendly SafeLawn, 100% natural and organic, it feeds and helps reduce weeds and moss.

5) Re-Seed
Patches in your lawn can be seeded with Aftercut Patch Fix, but, particularly after scarifying, and to ensure an even, thick lawn, re-seeding the whole area is recommended. We have many different types of lawn seed in-store depending on how you want your grass to perform, and the conditions of your garden:

6) Dress with top soil
Sprinkling your lawn with top soil provides the correct nutrtients as well as protection for your new grass seedlings. It will also help even out any dips in your lawn.

7) Keep well watered
If we have a wet autumn, your garden will receive plenty of water. However, in the event of an Indian Summer or prolongued dry weather, ensure you are watering well to help those seedlings establish.

Don't forget, if you are struggling with grass health, or any other garden issues our team will be happy to talk with you. We also have a Plymouth Garden Centre Facebook Group, PLANT DOCTOR, where you can post photos of the problem and a member of staff, or a member of our growing community will be able to help! Visit the group by clicking on the image below:

Happy Gardening!


Things to do in September

  • Ornamental grasses are a great way to fill out your borders over the winter. Evergreen and hardy, they come in a range of colours now too! We think the blue grasses look incredible in pots, plant on top of your spring bulbs (see our Bulb Project for more information)
  • Visit the garden centre to choose your spring bulbs – all on display in September as planting time has now started.
  • It has not been easy to plant shrubs and trees in the dry Summer months so prepare the ground now for autumn planting – a great time to do it.
  • Check your patio pots and prepare to replant if necessary. It is best to change the compost to avoid vine weevil damage. Baby Clyclamens are a great choice for autumn tubs. Combine with foliage and ivy and some miniature bulbs.

Plant of the month

Cyclamen - All Varieties Such a beautiful, delicate looking plant, but don't be fooled by it's appearance. Often found growing in the wild, the hardy varieties are one of the few plants that not only will survive a dry shade (one of the most challenging garden spots) but will tolerate a hard frost too (although they may lose their blooms, they will flower again with milder weather). There are around 20 different varieties in colours ranging from white to pink, red or purple, and look spectacular for winter colour when little else is flowering.

Cyclamen and Bees We love our pollinator friendly plants at the garden centre, and the cyclamen is one of our favourites. In the south of the UK partcularly, winter pollinator-friendly plants are incredibly important. The milder climate, combined with the increase of towns and cities with winter-flowering gardens and plantations, have increased the numbers of winter bees. One species of bee, the Bombus terrestris has stopped hibernating completely in the South of the UK, whilst northern colonies still do!

Although you wouldn't notice without looking underneath, the petals of the cyclamen are actually completely folded back on themselves, with the centre of the flower visible only from underneath as seen in the photo (right).

It's easy to see why this incredible plant is our Plant of The Month!

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