Autumn Lawn Feed: The Best Fertiliser for Grass Lawns in Autumn

Use this lawn feed in autumn

Part of our Essential Products Guide by Daniel Woodley at DIY Gardening

Autumn is 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.

If your lawn is looking a little under par from the stresses of a hot summer or wear and tear from general usage, put down a good quality autumn lawn feed now, and your grass will recover in no time at all.

Danny Woodley

Daniel Woodley – DIY Gardening

My Recommended Product:

Proctors Autumn Lawn Feed

Key Points:

  • Low in nitrogen, so your grass won’t put on 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 mean 4 times as many granules per square metre for more even coverage and the guaranteed release of the nutrients.

6 Reasons Why I Recommend Proctors Autumn Lawn Feed

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 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 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.

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, low levels of iron can certainly help. Proctors contains 4% iron.

5) Micro Granules

Liquid and diluted powders are absorbed quickly by the lawn and often need to be applied 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 makes them perfect as an autumn feed.

6) A Trusted Brand

If you work in the lawn or garden care business, 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 – 4.5 stars out of 5 on Amazon.

Our lawn in autumn

Our lawn looked great after an autumn treatment plan

Other Lawn Care Tasks to Carry Out In Autumn

Autumn isn’t just a good time to get a lawn feed product down; there are plenty of other tasks that are best completed at this time of year.

Our 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. Lawn scarifying can remove moss, thatch and help to aerate the pile at the base of the lawn, and due to the time of year, the lawn will recover quicker. The best time to scarify a lawn is either in spring or autumn.

2) Overseeding/Repairs

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 your lawn is looking bare and patchy, a good sprinkling of seed can make all the difference. If you have larger areas that need attention, turf is less likely to dry out in autumn, and the roots will 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

Is your lawn uneven? A few too many bumps causing issues when you mow the grass? Lawn levelling doesn’t involve heavy rollers or weights; they are only used on sports surfaces. Instead, soil is periodically spread over the lawn with a special tool to eliminate bumps or dips. Autumn is a great time to level a lawn as it will have plenty of time to recover before winter sets in.

Learn how to level a lawn without rollers here.

5) Grub and Leatherjacket Treatments

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. The best time to treat white grubs and leatherjackets is in the autumn before the ground gets too cold and they burrow deeper.

Try this product to kill leatherjackets.

This is best for white lawn grubs.

Recommended Autumn Lawn Feed:

Proctors Autumn Lawn Feed

Key Points:

  • 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?

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 would be okay.

How Often Should This Lawn Feed Product Be Applied?

No more than every 6 weeks.

How is Autumn Lawn Feed Different to Spring and Summer Feeds?

Autumn lawn feeds typically contain less nitrogen and more potassium and phosphorous.

Also, many autumn lawn feeds contain added iron as moss growth is more prolific in autumn than summer. 

Will Low Nitrogen Feeds Still "Green Up" My Lawn?

While nitrogen does cause leaves to grow greener, so does iron which 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, we recommend a concentrated liquid lawn weedkiller that can be diluted and applied via a sprayer. This method is cheaper and more effective, and you won’t have pellets/granules containing nasty chemicals sitting on your lawn for weeks.

What is the Best NPK Ratio for Autumn Lawn Fertilisers?

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 equal to that of the nitrogen and the phosphorous together.

Examples would be:

5-8-13

4-6-10

2-4-6

or similar.

More From Daniel Woodley:

This guide to the best autumn lawn feed was created by Daniel Woodley here at DIY Gardening and was last updated on the 10th of September, 2021.

Discover more essential products here.

Daniel is a keen amateur gardener who completely redesigned his garden and is continually experimenting with new ornamental plants and products.

He also enjoys growing vegetables and fruits in addition to his herbaceous border and expanding container garden.

More About Daniel Woodley

Danny Woodley

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