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How To Feed Your Lawn In Autumn

Author : Mark Bartley

You've raked up the areas of moss, you've removed all the dead leaves to prevent a thatch from forming and suffocating your lawn and you've given your lawn a final cut before winter. But one final application of lawn food is another important task before the winter to ensure lush, rich growth in the spring. There are plenty of lawn food choices out there. One choice to be made is that of organic or chemical?

The first consideration when planning your autumn lawn care feeding is whether to employ a popular chemical mixture or go organic. The choice is entirely up to you, but you will need to plan carefully, as an autumn lawn requires different nutrients to the ones they need in springtime. Autumn lawns need a good supply of phosphates with a little extra nitrogen. Phosphate is essential for strong roots, giving your grass the health it needs to get through some possible periods of very cold weather and survive the worst of the winter weather and to combat frost damage. The best organic source of phosphates is bone meal, which most good garden centres should hold in stock. Chemical feeds contain an accurate mixture of the essentials of phosphate and nitrogen, although at this point your lawn will need much less nitrogen, which promotes quick growth of the grass blades themselves.

To apply bone meal, sprinkle a handful of meal per square metre over the lawn during dry weather. Unlike some other feeds, adding too much bone meal will not cause any harm, so if your lawn has been looking a little sorry for itself after a dry spell just get out there and give it a bone meal treat to help it recover. Another natural feed that can be incorporated into your autumn lawn care is potash. This is especially helpful for lawns that have been stressed after a dry spell as it helps improve the grass's resistance to disease and the effects of drought.

Chemical feeds can be a quick and easy alternative to mixing your own lawn feed, and some of them are designed to be applied using a watering can to reduce the possibility of scorching the grass. If you have a large lawn and want to distribute the feed evenly, watering on can be one of the easiest methods of feeding your lawn and minimising wastage. Choose a dry day and remember to keep pets and children off the grass until the chemicals have had a chance to penetrate into the soil.

Application of lime may also help in special cases. If moss has prevented healthy lawn growth for a while or weeds have held back the normal grass, an application of hydrated garden lime can put the lawn back on the road to recovery. If your lawn is in reasonable condition then there should be no need to apply lime. But for badly damaged lawns it can help considerably. Remember to apply lime quite carefully, as it can easily scorch any grass that may still be growing.

When handling lawn feed, ensure that you have taken all possible safety precautions, as you are handling chemicals that can irritate the skin if exposed to it for any length of time. Try to choose a dry day to carry out your autumn feed, but if there has been no rain for two days after you have applied the feed, then break out the hose and sprinkler to help wash the feed into the soil. A few hours of effort in autumn and some quality lawn feed will see your lawn all prepared to burst back to healthy green growth next year.

Author's Resource Box

Mark is an enthusiastic home gardener and has researched all aspects of autumn lawn care. All the professionals agree on the benefits of maintenance jobs like scarifying, feeding, top dressing and re-seeding.

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Tags:   gardening, lawn, grass

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Submitted : 2010-10-11    Word Count : 706    Times Viewed: 419