October gardening tips
Rule one - keep off when sodden!
Established lawns - whilst the grass is still growing keep mowing once a fortnight with the blades on high for the final few cuts. If you haven’t had time, carry out your autumn lawn care programme - scarify (rake out the old dead grass and moss) by hand (hard work!) or with a machine, spike to improve drainage again either by hand with a garden fork or with a machine, add a top dressing of soil/sand/compost mixed according to your soil type (ask for advice at your garden centre) and feed with autumn weed and moss killer. This low-nitrogen preparation strengthens grass for winter; do not use spring lawn feed as this encourages grass to grow and it may not survive the cold. After all this your lawn will look dreadful, but fear not, it will benefit enormously from the regime. Repair bumps, hollows, bald patches and broken edges too.
New lawns - October is the last chance for sowing grass seed and just about the best time for laying turf. Good preparation is vital for either: remove weeds and stones, dig over thoroughly, adding organic matter and fertiliser, rake smooth, firm by walking up and down and rake again at right angles, repeating the raking and firming process until the area is flat and the surface is a fine crumb texture. Sow seed according to the packet instructions and lay turf in a brick pattern so no joints are in line. Butt the turves together as tightly as you can and fill any gaps with sieved soil. Water well and keep off for 4 to 5 weeks.