Lawn Care in November

There are still a few essential lawn care tasks to complete in November. Then you can put your feet up and sit by the fire!

5 MIN 28 Oct
Last update: 01 Feb 2023
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The grass-growing season is almost over. And as the temperature makes its gradual descent down into freezing, your grass plants become dormant, and we can safely clean our gardening tools and get our mower into storage for the winter. 

However, the weather is still relatively warm for this time of year, so you might find that your lawn is still growing — so the season hasn’t quite come to a close just yet. Late autumn is the prime time to prepare your lawn for spring. 

This article explores the final few jobs to complete in November. 

Ready? 

Your November lawn care task list

It’s not all over quite yet. Here’s your November lawn care task list:

  • Rake fallen leaves
  • Mow
  • Sprinkle lime
  • Fertilise
  • Aerate
  • What you SHOULDN’T do in November!

Lawn care in November: rake fallen leaves

Fallen leaves on top of a lawn
Fallen leaves suffocate lawns – Photo by Georg Eiermann on Unsplash

They might look pretty adorning your lawn in their array of reds, yellows, and browns, but fallen leaves pose a grave threat to your grass plants. 

Fallen leaves are problematic because they:

  • Block out the daylight from your grass plants — remember, the sun is an essential element of photosynthesis; without light, your grass starves to death. 
  • Suffocate the soil — your grass plants’ roots need oxygen (see “aerate” later in this article). Fallen leaves plus rain equals suffocation for roots because they form an airtight seal over the lawn’s surface. 
  • Promote fungi and disease — the dark, wet conditions underneath that carpet of leaves offer the ideal conditions for fungi and diseases to develop. Yuck.

So, get raking. It’s usually fine to rake fallen leaves into your compost. Or how about making your own leaf mould – a super nutritious treat for your flower beds?

Alternatively, simply rake the leaves into your flower beds — they offer a healthy layer of mulch to help your bedding plants survive the winter.  

Lawn care in November: mow

Lawn mower on long grass
Mow your lawn before winter – Photo by Daniel Watson on Unsplash

While your grass will grow more slowly throughout November, it really depends on the weather. If it remains unseasonally warm, it will continue to grow. As a general rule of thumb, your grass will grow until the soil temperature hits a consistent 5ºC — at that stage, it’ll go to sleep till the spring. 

So, if your grass is still growing, mow it. Your lawn will look more presentable, but it will also prevent soil suffocation — long, wet grass can fall flat on the soil and act like a carpet of fallen leaves. 

However:

Don’t cut your lawn too short at this time of year — no shorter than 5cm. Longer grass is more robust and will better handle the cold conditions to come. 

It’s got to be said: it’s pretty challenging to grab a dry spell right now, so if you do mow, try to let your grass blades dry out as much as possible first. And clean the underside of your mower, as the wetter grass will stick. 

Service your mower

If you suspect you’ve reached your final mow of the year, it’s time to give your mower a once-over to ensure it remains in good condition for spring. 

So, service your mower by carrying out the following checks:

  • Replace the oil and air filter (if it has them)
  • Replace or clean the spark plug (if it has one)

Clean the caked on grass from the underside

  • Sharpen the cutting blades — remember, blunt blades tear the grass, leaving it at risk of infection.

Lawn care in November: sprinkle lime

Front image of the Lawn Lime lawn feed product pouch with lawn feed in front of the pouch

Moss loves cold, wet, dark days, and your lawn is at real risk of moss growth during its dormancy. So, limit moss growth by sprinkling lime over your turf. 

MOOWY’s Lawn Lime lowers soil acidity, making your turf less hospitable to weeds. 

Most soils acidify over time as debris from surrounding plant life decomposes underneath the grass line. And if pine trees surround your garden, the dropped needles leak acid into the soil, which your rhododendrons might love (but your grass plants will hate). 

I recommend sprinkling lime twice a year — once in the spring and then again in late autumn.

Carry out a soil test

Use a soil acidity tool to identify the current acidity level. Grass enjoys a pH of 6.5 — any more acid and the earth will stunt your turf’s growth (although you’ll get a plethora of weeds!). 

Check out our expert’s guide to beautifying your lawn with lime

Lawn care in November: fertilise

Front image of the All-Round Lawn Fertiliser lawn feed product pouch with lawn feed in front of the pouch

It’s still possible to fertilise your lawn until the outside temperature drops below 10ºC. 

Use a fertiliser with a slow-acting nitrogen and potassium content, such as MOOWY’s All Round fertiliser, which drastically improves your lawn’s resistance over the winter. 

The nitrogen stimulates growth (until it goes dormant), and potassium improves your turf’s disease resistance. 

However: 

If you’re liming AND fertilising, leave three weeks between the tasks, or they could cancel each other out. Sprinkle lime first, then fertilise three weeks later. 

Lawn care in November: aerate

Aeration sandals
Aerating sandals

If you notice puddles amassing on your lawn’s surface after rain, you’ll need to aerate your soil to improve drainage. This is most likely in heavy clay soils, but all soils can become compacted eventually, resulting in poor drainage. 

Dig holes into the lawn’s surface at regular intervals using a garden fork, aeration sandals, a hollow tine aerator, or a rotary aerator. This will produce drainage holes, helping your grass survive the heavier winter showers. 

Check out our expert’s guide to aerating your lawn.

What are you absolutely not doing this month?

There are some tasks you should avoid in November. 

For example, weed-killer applied after October will have a minimal effect because the weed growth also slows, along with your grass. 

Avoid scarifying and raking during November — you’ll do too much damage to your grass plants, and they won’t have time to recover before winter. Wait until the spring to carry out these tasks. 

Any questions?

So, there you go! Your comprehensive November lawn care task list. A shorter list than most months; so enjoy curling up in front of the fire instead. 

I hope you’ve had a great year of lawn care with MOOWY. 

Thanks for reading. 

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