If you are like me and you happen to leave everything to the last minute then it is likely that you are facing the same lawn related problem that I am; your lovely new lawn seedlings are getting smothered by the many autumn leaves that are falling to the ground this time of year. When i got my fertilizer spreader out at the end of September I already had a bad feeling in my gut, but alas i continued in my quest to sow a new lawn in earnest.
The problems of sowing a lawn this late in the growing season were many; firstly the growing season was coming to an end and this worried me whether the seeds would have enough time to germinate before the onset of the winters frost. That brings up was second worry; would the newly sprouting seeds perish in the early October frosts, and thirdly would I get all this work done in one day before the evening drew to a close as it does earlier and earlier each day. At least one tool I had on my side that day was the fertilizer spreader which can be used to sow lawn seed fast and evenly. That really speeded things along and meant I could do the entire 250M2 in one day.
So, the question remains; How did my lawn do? Well as scheduled the grass seed sprouted 2 weeks from the day i spread them using the fertiliser spreader. That was the second week of October, so dangerously late by any standards. At the point however the first of the frosts had not come yet and everything was looking good. I was not out of the woods yet however as a hard frost over the following two weeks could have easily wiped out the majority of my seedlings meaning I would have to start from scratch. Again, luck has been on my side this autumn and the strong frosts still are yet to make a showing meaning my grass seedlings should be sufficiently robust to withstand the freezing conditions, seeing them through to spring.
Of course nothing is plain sailing in the garden, and a new problem was about to emerge in the shape of a rusty red autumn leaf, but not one leaf, more like one hundred thousand of them falling on my new lawn each day. Nothing that the fertiliser spreader can do about that.
The problem with all these leaves on the lawn is that they can block light and simply impede seedling growth and grass tillering leading to patchy lawns. The solution to this problem would be to gently rake away the leaves from atop your lawn. The best tool for this would be the lawn rake such as the lawn rake with expanding head. When raking take care not to damage, tear or lift any seedlings. An alternative to the lawn rake would be to use a leaf blower or leaf vacuum to remove the leaves
If you fail to do this at least 3 times over the course of the autumn then your lawn will be patchy and bare the following spring. This will mean that you will need to re sow the lawn where it is patchy. The fertiliser spreader would not be appropriate, instead re-seed the lawn