Treatment of plants and lawn in autumn

Garden Experts
Dear Mr. Kötter, I have a few questions that I hope you can answer. 1. How long into autumn should plants (flowers and vegetables) be fertilised? 2. What is the best way to treat the lawn in autumn? 3. What is the best way to combat weeds (clover, ribwort,...) in the lawn? I have a toddler and do not necessarily want to use chemicals as well as do any damage to the environment.

The GARDENA gardening expert

I would be happy to answer these questions, Ms. B. 

1. Fertilise your garden plants in autumn only until the end of August/ beginning of September. The woody plants must adjust their growth in time and let their branches mature so that they are frost-proof. For all the non-woody plants, there are enough nutrients still in the soil to sufficiently nourish them until the winter dormancy. 

2. Beginning / middle of September, you could aerate a matted lawn again and reseed bald spots. Give the lawn its autumn fertilising the middle / end of September but only with special autumn-winter fertiliser for lawns. After the last mowing the middle of October, let the lawn grow to an approximately three to five centimetres blade length in the winter. To avoid damage from frost, do not walk on the lawn covered in ice and snow. At the beginning / middle of April, wake the lawn from its dormancy with its spring fertilising after the first mowing. 

3. Lawn weeds can be mechanically combatted: rosette-like growing, such as dandelions, plantain, ribwort and daisies can be dug up with a weeding trowel or garden knife. Rambling weeds such as clover, ground ivy and veronica can be combatted to a large extent with a lawn aerator. In general, all weeds can, of course, grow back whether it be by seed or also with sprout or root remnants. It generally applies: If the condition for growth of the lawn (more exact: the grass) is ideal for growing, then it has the growth advantage – otherwise, it is the competing plants (e.g. in densely packed soil, the plantain, in acidic densely packed soil, moss) with the advantage.