Autumn Grass Care and Lawn Alternatives

I’ll say this now; I’m not really a fan of lawns. They’re high maintenance, waste space and are extremely unproductive. Unless you have an OCD partner who’s obsessed with having the perfect bowling lawn, weeds start to creep in at a rapid speed. Grass needs a lot of watering to stay green, garden furniture leaves marks, and laying on a lawn can be itchy and insecty experience. To me, the only good thing is that feeling you get when walking across closely cropped grass with bare feet in the early summer months.

Of course, lawns have become a mainstay of the British garden and will be around for some time to come I imagine. And I can understand why. In small gardens is easy to eradicate that patch of green, replacing it with patios, seating areas and paths that wind their way through the plants and create the perception of a larger space. This isn’t as easy to do in large gardens where immensely wide borders are difficult to maintain and where you probably want a feeling of space; somewhere to wander, to let the kids and pets play, to spill out onto during those balmy summer evenings.


Rake the lawn free of leaves to prevent yellow patches and worms pulling them through the turf.

As the hot season begins to wane, there are a few things you should be thinking about doing if you do have a lawn.

  • Neaten the edges. Trimming the edges of the lawn instantly tidies a garden and provides the sense that someone cares. If you’re fed up with grass growing its way into your borders, considering putting some form of barrier in place. For example, a single-width brick border around a lawn helps to contain the grass and also gives a great formal look.
  • Feed. You can buy all manner of ‘weed and feed‘ products, but I’d avoid the ‘weed‘ section unless you have a very well maintained lawn. The problem with the ‘weed‘ bit is that it’ll kill moss, dandelions etc – of course, this is what it’s supposed to do. However, have a good look at your lawn first. If it’s full of weeds, and you don’t actually want to a) have a blackened lawn that looks vile and b) pay out for new turf, then just feed the grass that’s there and resolve yourself to the fact you’re content with a few additional native plants around.
  • Scarify. This is a word that basically means ‘A LOT OF WORK’. Using a rake, scratch through your lawn, removing dead grass and hay-like material called thatch. If does do you lawn a lot of good, clearing out debris and giving grass room to breathe. BUT, be prepared for some sweaty afternoons; particularly if you have a large lawn – it takes bloody ages.

Artificial grass has come a long way; stunning and easy to look after.

Of course, there IS a way to get away from doing all these things, and that’s to rid yourself of a lawn altogether. You can widen your borders to allow yourself more plants – that HAS to be a good thing, right? Identify where the suntraps are, and place decking, gravelled or paved areas…that’ll maximise your use of the garden for drinking tea (gin). You’ll soon find that by eradicating a lawn, you have no option but to create an interesting oasis, with your sunny spots linked together with walkways and paths. Then, of course, you could still keep a lawn but use NAM Grass instead. The cheapest product don’t provide as natural a look, so you’re best to save up a little and get something you’ll really be pleased with. An artificial lawn alternative can really look like the real thing. It’ll also completely eradicate maintenance, other than a quick whir around with a leaf-blower. No more grass stains, worm casts, scarifying, edging cutting or  dead patches where the dog’s pee’d –  ever again! If you don’t believe me, pop over to NAM and request a couple of free samples.

Though I don’t currently have a lawn, when I move I’ll be upgrading to a larger garden and, I suspect, a rather ill-kept green patch. Then I’ll really have to put my skills to the test and stay true to my word because I can really think of better things to do than weekly mowing and back-aching raking!

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I'm Geoff, and I'm a plant hoarder.

Like magpies collect bright shiny things, I can't resist plants. An exquisite flower, soft ferny foliage or a beautiful majestic tree - I love them all!

Here, I'll indulge in all things flora and share my passion. Join me as I develop my garden and hoard more plants without apology.