My Favourite Autumn Lawn Fertiliser
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I’ve always found autumn the best time to carry out lawn maintenance – the weather is cooler, there’s more chance of rain, less scorch from sunlight, and there’s plenty of time until the dormant winter season kicks in.
My lawn always looks a little under par from the stresses of a hot summer or wear and tear from general usage, and I’ve found that if I put down a good quality autumn lawn feed, the grass recovers in no time at all.
I’ve tried several different brands over the last few years in my garden and that of clients, and my product of choice at the moment is Proctors.
Daniel Woodley – DIY Gardening
- Low in nitrogen, the last thing I want is excessive top growth.
- Phosphorous to promote all-important root development.
- Potassium to harden grass leaves in preparation for winter.
- Iron feed helps to green up the lawn and kill moss.
- Micro-granules result in a more even treatment.
6 Reasons Why I Recommend Proctors
Here are six reasons why Proctors Autumn Lawn Feed ticks all the boxes for me.
Whether you choose this or another brand, consider these 6 points:
1) Low Nitrogen
While nitrogen causes grass to green up, it also promotes top growth, which due to the improved weather conditions in autumn, could be substantial.
I use my lawn less in autumn and I see no need for excessive top growth, so at this time of year, I prefer lawn feeds with lower nitrogen levels, and Proctors contains 3% nitrogen, which I feel is perfect.
2) Phosphorous Root Development
Proctors Autumn Lawn Feed contain phosphorous at 6%, which promotes all-important root development. As winter approaches, I want my lawn to grow deep, strong roots, not long, leggy top-growth; phosphorous is a key ingredient I look out for in autumn lawn feeds.
3) Potassium for Disease Resistance and Grass Strength
As wetter weather approaches and there’s less sunlight to dry out the lawn, diseases are more likely to spread, and this is evident by the number of mushrooms that appear in some lawns at this time of year. If the weather is conducive for mushrooms to spread, so will diseases and other fungi. Potassium helps to harden the grass blades and protect them and the roots from common diseases. Proctors autumn lawn feed contains 8% potassium which I feel is spot on.
4) Added Iron For Moss Control
Autumn lawn feeds should contain a small amount of iron to help green up the lawn and protect the grass from moss. If the lawn has a heavy moss infestation, a more drastic approach may be needed and there are several lawn moss control products for that (including “no rake” products that don’t blacken the grass). However, for general moss protection and treatment of very light moss, I’ve found that low levels of iron can certainly help. Proctors contains 4% iron.
5) Micro Granules
I’ve found that liquid and diluted powders are absorbed quickly by the lawn, and I usually need to reapply them weekly or fortnightly, while some large granules take months to dissolve and sometimes longer if they don’t receive enough water. Proctors contains micro granules that are gradually released over a 6-week period which I feel makes them perfect as an autumn feed.
6) A Trusted Brand
If you work in the lawn or garden care business like my team and I do, you’ll surely have heard of Proctors before, as they’re an established brand that usually sells products in bulk, including bespoke fertilisers and pellets by the ton. However, they now sell many of their products in smaller 20kg, and 25kg bags for the domestic consumer, and their customer ratings are excellent online at Amazon.
Other Lawn Care Tasks to Carry Out In Autumn
Autumn isn’t just a good time to get a lawn feed product down; I always carry out a set of other tasks that I feel are best completed at this time of year.
My autumn lawn care guide is a great read, but below is an overview:
1) Lawn Scarifying
Lawns put on growth in autumn due to the extra moisture and warm but not blistering hot weather. I always wait until autumn to scarify the lawn, which removes moss, thatch and dead matter.
I’ve found that grass seed is far more likely to germinate when the ground is warm and moist, so spring and autumn are perfect times for overseeding. If my lawn looks bare and patchy, I always overseed with a good sprinkling of seed, and I know from experience that this can make all the difference. If you have larger areas that need attention, turf repairs are less likely to dry out in autumn, and the roots will usually take hold much sooner too.
3) Lawn Aeration
Heavy summer usage can compact the lawn, causing root development issues and bare patches on the surface. Autumn is a great time to aerate the lawn with a plugger as it will recover quickly due to the improved weather conditions (not too dry, plenty of moisture and ground warmth).
4) Lawn Levelling
My lawn sometimes develops bumps and dips and in autumn I always try to level them out at this time of year. Lawn levelling doesn’t involve heavy rollers or weights; they are only used on sports surfaces. Instead, I periodically spread soil over the lawn with a special tool to eliminate bumps or dips. I believe that autumn is a great time to level a lawn as it will have plenty of time to recover before winter sets in.
5) Grub and Leatherjacket Treatments
I’ve witnessed first-hand how white lawn grubs and leatherjackets can destroy a lawn within a season, and if left untreated, they will lay eggs that will hatch the following year, causing more havoc. Through years of treating these pests, I’ve found that the best time to get a product down to get rid of white grubs and leatherjackets is in the autumn before the ground gets too cold, and they burrow deeper.
- This autumn lawn feed is low in nitrogen, so your grass won’t put on excessive leggy surface growth.
- Potassium is included; this will harden the grass leaves in preparation for colder weather.
- Phosphorous to promote all-important root development.
- Iron helps to green up the lawn and prevent moss from spreading.
- Micro-granules are preferable to larger granules at this time of year.
Autumn Lawn Feed FAQs
When Should Autumn Lawn Feed Be Used?
I’ve found that low-nitrogen lawn feeds are best used after the heat of the summer has dissipated but before the harshness of winter sets in. There’s no set timetable, but from early October to December in the south of the UK would be okay.
How Often Should This Lawn Feed Product Be Applied?
I have always applied it no more than every 6 weeks and it’s always produced good results.
How is Autumn Lawn Feed Different to Spring and Summer Feeds?
Autumn lawn feeds typically contain less nitrogen and more potassium and phosphorous. Nitrogen causes leggy top growth, which I don’t want as winter approaches, what I want are strong roots and disease resistance.
Also, many autumn lawn feeds contain added iron, as moss growth is more prolific in autumn than in summer.
Will Low Nitrogen Feeds Still "Green Up" My Lawn?
While nitrogen does cause leaves to grow greener, so does iron which I’ve found is included in most good-quality autumn lawn feeds.
Why Doesn't This Product Contain a Weedkiller?
Weedkillers are cheaper than good quality fertilisers and are often added to products to bulk out the material, so you get less for your money.
If you have weeds in your garden, I recommend a concentrated liquid lawn weedkiller that you can dilute and apply via a sprayer. I’ve found that this method is cheaper and more effective, and I won’t have pellets/granules containing nasty chemicals sitting on my lawn for weeks.
What is the Best NPK Ratio for Autumn Lawn Fertilisers?
Based on my experience, the best NPK ratio for autumn lawn feeds is one where the nitrogen content is lower than both the potassium and phosphorus, and the potassium is roughly equal to that of the nitrogen and the phosphorous together.
Examples would be:
Author: Daniel Woodley
Daniel has over 18 years of experience in the construction, home improvement, and landscape garden industries.
He previously worked as a project manager and has experience in managing teams of tradespeople and landscape gardeners on both small and medium sized projects.
Daniel is also a keen gardener and enjoys growing unusual plants and tending to his lawn.
Why Trust Us? Our Experience & Product Selection Process
The team behind DIY Gardening selects products for inclusion in our guides based on past use or after a real-world comparison with similar products.
This product was tested in Autumn 2021 and Daniel was satisfied with the results.
The primary reason this autumn feed stands above the competition is the size of the bag – 20kg is a decent size and value for money compared to smaller packets.
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