Monty Don shares how to ‘repair’ worn areas of lawn ahead of winter

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Autumn is just around the corner, meaning the weather will start to get cooler and the lawns will start to recover. While they may start to look better, gardeners also need to put some work into helping it return to its pre-heatwave state. Sharing advice in his latest blog post, Monty Don shared how to sow new grass as well as how to aerate the lawn.

Monty wrote: “This is an ideal time of the year to either sow or turf new grass or to repair patches and worn areas of your lawn.

“If it is just a worn area of thin grass, rake away all thatch and moss and remove all weeds and thinly scatter grass seed, watering well and keeping it damp.

“The seed should germinate and will grow in days. Do not mow it for at least a month and if it looks unsightly going into winter, clip the new growth with shears.

“For a larger area, clean the edges with a sharp spade and fork it over to remove any compaction. Either scatter it with seed or cut a piece of turf to fit, making sure that the edges are butted tightly against the existing grass.”

Turf mustn’t be walked on or mown when new seeds have been placed on the lawn. Gardeners can walk on their grass when it is “growing vigorously”, indicating the roots have become established.

Monty added: “Depending on the weather, this may mean leaving it uncut until next spring.”

As well as scattering grass seed or laying new turf, the gardening expert also recommended aerating the lawn.

He wrote: “You can use a fork by working the tines into the ground at 12 inch intervals or, for a larger lawn, hire a rolling hollow-tine or slitter.

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“Ideally this is followed by working sand into the holes they create with a stiff brush. Finally, give the grass a thorough scratch with a wire rake.

“This will remove all the thatch and moss. Whilst it will look a little threadbare this autumn, next spring your lawn will be rejuvenated for this autumn working over.”

Gardeners can also harden up their lawn for winter by applying an autumnal lawn feed, which should be high in potassium.

This should be done after scarifying and aerating but before applying a top dressing.

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) warned against giving the grass summer feeds as these are high in nitrogen and will result in weak, soft growth.

This will make lawns prone to disease due to the cooler, wetter weather common in September.

Lawn Care Expert and Managing Director of TotalLawn, Carlos Real, has also shared effective ways to get rid of lawn weeds, an irritating problem which can drain the lawn of nutrients and water.

The expert explained: “When it comes to killing weeds, often we turn to chemically enhanced weed killers and while they are great for eradicating the problem, they often attack our healthy grass as well as the weeds.

“There are a couple of home remedies that you could try before bringing in the big guns.

“Simple but effective, yanking weeds up by the route is the most common way to remove them from your lawn.”

When it comes to removing them by hand, gardeners must be persistent and pay continued attention to remove any weeds as soon as possible.

According to the lawn expert, later down the line, weeds will “disappear” with this method. He added: “This is good if you don’t have many to remove, but if you have a large garden with plenty of weeds, it can turn into a time-consuming task.”

Alcohol such as gin or vodka can also help to kill weeds after it is diluted with water. They will leave the weeds thirsty and dehydrated.

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