The clocks have changed, winter is certainly around the corner. Those that haven't forgotten about the lawn will be those that have a lawn to be proud of come spring. There is plenty to do yet!
Summary of this month's tasks:
Check the mower is in good order - you should have been doing a great deal of mowing this year. Blunt blades tear the grass leaf, encouraging disease.
Leaves! It's really important that these are off the lawn as quickly as possible. They're blocking the lawn from receiving all important light - light that it's really craving this time of year.
Aerate. It doesn't matter how big or small your lawn, neglected or fine turf, aeration is essential. It is the second most important operation after mowing.
November growth can vary greatly on temperature and how much shade your lawn is under. The average soil temperature is greatly reduced with some cold nights, daylight is shorter, and the strength of the sun now weak. Most lawns will require cutting every 14-21 days now dependent on exact location and conditions. You may wish to remain with weekly mowing however if it's hoovering up your leaves!
Given the plants are struggling for light a little, certainly don't be mowing the lawn any closer than you already are. If the lawn is under stress, lift the blades a peg. Somewhere around 25-35mm would be a good place to be over the winter months.
The only reason to hold back on aeration would be if you have new grasses establishing from a renovation in the last 6-8 weeks. There are many options in terms of tines that could be utilised for a lawn. If your lawn is small enough to take a fork to then by all means go for it. If your turf is a little too big from that it might we worth dropping us a message - far cheaper and less effort than going to a hire shop!
Be very careful! Autumn / early winter demands specialist fertiliser. The grass doesn't want that leftover summer product you have in the garage, it doesn't have the conditions to use it. Forcing weak, soft growth is a recipe for fusarium disease which is at its most devastating when temperatures are at 0c - 8c... Remember that our professional products are vastly superior to that of DIY if you wished to start on a lawn care plan.
Scarification, over-seeding, top-dressing
You're too late for any serious work. Repairing bare patches rather than a full overseed is possible in the first week or two of November, and the same goes for light forms of scarification - brushing and grooming. Actual scarification before late February at the very earliest will cause damage to the lawn which will be slow to recover from if at all.
Now is normally a good time for some hedge trimming - making sure the lawn can make best use of the light it requires, but do mind the area is free of nesting birds. If you get this done before mowing then a rotary mower should help you to clear up the smaller debris.
Keep an eye out for area of disease. Red thread is the most common in lawns. It enjoys mild to warm, damp or wet conditions where the leaf of the plant has remained damp for a period of time - it's the grass catching a cold. If you've aerated and are mowing regularly the lawn should look after itself. A light feed high in K along with the above maintenance practices will set things right.