Autumn lawn treatments are not often given as much attention as spring, summer and winter treatments but they are just as important. In fact, they are very important if you want to maintain turf health through the winter and have a healthy lawn ready to go again in the spring. Here is our advice on what to consider when choosing a fertiliser for your autumn treatments.
Repairing drought damage
This year most of us have had quite a hot, dry summer! It may be that some of your lawns are still rather stressed out so it’s important to give them a decent feed at least once more before the winter arrives. Wait until the weather turns and the rain returns before applying to avoid further scorch problems and to give the lawn best chance of recovery.
Potassium helps to prepare for winter
It is important to apply some potassium in the autumn as this is vital for adequate winter preparation. Potassium is not stored by the plant and is easily washed/leached from the soil. It’s a good idea to apply some potassium with every treatment to replace lost reserves, this is why it appears in most of our fertiliser products. Without potassium, the plant cannot photosynthesize (make energy from the sun). It will also struggle to maintain healthy water levels and during the winter it will have very poor frost resistance.
Don’t forget about nitrogen!
Lawns still require nitrogen in the autumn (though maybe not as much as in the spring). If we are in for a wet and warm autumn then red thread disease is likely to occur, a good supply of nitrogen will help prevent this. You can also increase the application rate of your autumn feed on lawns that are already suffering from red thread, AutumnGreen 10-5-10 +2%MgO 50%XCU® for example, could be applied at 450kg/ha (45g/sqm).
If you are planning to scarify in the early autumn a medium-level nitrogen feed is advised for use afterwards. This will help the lawn recover quickly so that no space is left in the lawn for moss to flourish during the winter!
Maintain good colour with magnesium
Magnesium is a vital element of chlorophyll (the green pigment) in all plants. Since most winter lawn treatments are iron sulphate based, it is a good idea to make sure the lawn has enough magnesium in the autumn so that chlorophyll production can be maintained through the winter.
Which SmartLawn product is best for Autumn?
AutumnGreen 10-5-10 +2%MgO 50%XCU® is perfect for use in the autumn. It fits in with all of the advice given above and is ideal for use from August to October. It contains slow release nitrogen to feed the lawn for up to 3 months after application, perfect if you are applying early in the season. It is available in both mini grade (1-2mm) and lawn grade (2-3mm) and it contains no iron sulphate!
For treatments a little later in the year, or for if you wish to include iron sulphate in your treatment for moss control purposes then we recommend First & Last 6-5-10 +6%Fe in mini grade (1-2mm).
If you need help designing your treatment plan then we are happy to help! Call us on 01963 364788 for a chat, we can help you add to your existing plan or design a new one.