Ep 83 – Autumnal Advice

Good morning, everyone. Welcome to this week’s Turf Talk. I hope you’re all keeping exceptionally well. My name is Richard, and for those new to the channel, it’s a pleasure to meet you. It’s astounding to realise that Sunday marks the first of October, heralding the start of autumn. This season is immensely popular for laying new lawns, so in this week’s Turf Talk, we’ll explore six factors that will influence the establishment of your new turf. This discussion may also benefit those who have recently laid a lawn or are interested in general lawn care. We will delve into six key factors crucial for the success and overall health of your lawn.

  1. Dew Control: In this field, we begin with dew control. Despite the lack of dew this morning due to last night’s strong wind, removing dew from your lawn is vital. Dew can foster turf diseases, encourage moss and worms, and lead to a damp environment. Keeping the surface dry through brushing or using a heavy rope to flick off the dew can significantly benefit your lawn. As long as ground conditions permit, this is a crucial maintenance task.

  2. Mowing: Mowing is essential for any turf, provided the ground conditions and weather are favourable. My general advice is to box off the clippings, especially in winter when the breakdown process slows. Raising the mowing height can aid in photosynthesis, helping the grass retain its colour. Modern ryegrass cultivars may require mowing up until Christmas and beyond, suggesting the mower be sharpened twice yearly for optimal performance.

  3. Leaf Management: Leaves on the lawn, especially from nearby trees, should be cleared promptly to prevent thinning of the lawn and blockage of sunlight. Using a rake, setting the mower higher, or employing leaf blowers can effectively remove leaves. It’s essential for maintaining the grass’s colour and health.

  4. Nutrition: Like humans, turf requires nutrition to stay healthy. Feeding the lawn, even in autumn and winter, is crucial. Focus shifts from nitrogen to phosphates and potash to support root development and harden cell walls. Always follow manufacturer recommendations on fertilizer application to ensure the health of your turf.

  5. Shade Management: With shorter days in autumn and winter, areas of your lawn may receive less sunlight. Reviewing the environment and potentially reducing shade by pruning can make a significant difference in the lawn’s health.

  6. Frost Considerations: Frost is not detrimental to new turf, provided the ground isn’t frozen when laying it. Avoid walking on frosty grass to prevent damage, but don’t be overly concerned about mowing in frosty conditions.

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