Five signs your lawn needs TLC: Johnsons’ Ultimate Lawn Care guide for autumn and winter

As the days get shorter and the garden starts to wind down in late summer, September is the perfect time to prepare your lawn for winter if you want to get great results next year. After summer's temperamental weather that couldn’t make up its mind if it were warm or wet, and increased foot traffic and use during the school holidays, it's time to give the lawn a boost so it's looking its best next spring.

Lawn with children playing football

Johnsons has identified five signs that your lawn needs some love over autumn.

1.         Lumps and bumps caused by uneven ground and compaction

2.         Weeds and moss 

3.         Poor drainage and puddling

4.         Debris that has collected on the surface

5.         Bare parts or patches in the grass

So how can you restore your lawn to its former glory? To keep your lawn looking great for months to come and ready to survive the winter, Johnsons Lawn Seed, the UK's oldest lawn seed brand, recommends the following simple steps.

Johnsons Lawn Seed - 10 steps to restore lawn - Lawn Care guide

Preparing your lawn

Mowing plays an important role in year-round maintenance, especially in the autumn months. As the days get shorter and temperatures drop, the grass growth slows, so you won't need to mow as often. Johnsons recommends increasing the cutting height of the mower to at least 2 cm and mowing your lawn no more than once every two weeks unless the weather is particularly mild.

Raking the lawn before mowing will help control weed and clover growth and avoid them rotting and suffocating the grass blades, causing damage and releasing pathogens that can cause disease in the plants.

Scarify to remove weeds and moss

If moss and weeds are a problem in your lawn, you need to treat them before loosening the soil. Both need to be controlled and removed because not only are they unsightly on the lawn, but they also deprive grass blades of the light, water, space, and essential nutrients they need to grow.

Loosening the soil with a rake reduces moss and grass layers in your lawn, preventing water and fertiliser from reaching the roots where they are most needed for healthy growth.


The lawn is a busy place over the summer months with days filled with children's play, family entertainment and pet fun. This often leads to soil compaction, which can lead to

drainage, weeds and moss problems. And of course, this summer has seen rain prevalent throughout July and August giving weeds and moss the perfect conditions to thrive.

This problem can be solved with aeration, the simple process of poking the soil with a garden fork to create small holes in the lawn to allow air, water and nutrients to permeate the grassroots.

If you notice that the uneven ground is causing many dips, bumps and bumps, you can fix this by levelling the lawn with a lawn edging iron or a trowel and then gently rolling it back.


After the daily wear and tear over summer, your turf may become thin and patchy, so autumn is the ideal time to rejuvenate your lawn through overseeding patches when the ground is warm and there is frequent rain. Overseeding will thicken your lawn and crowd out unsightly weeds, as well as improve both its health and appearance.

For a quick fix on smaller areas, we recommend Johnsons Lawn Thickener (RRP from £10.25) which will treat patches of shade and high traffic and help to aid strong root development. Lawn Thickener will breathe new life into tired lawns that have been through the mill over the course of the year with its SeedBooster® two-in-one coating, designed to provide up to 30% more grass for a denser lawn.

Johnson Seed Lawn thickener

For larger areas, Johnsons Lawn Seed Quick Lawn with Accelerator (RRP from £6.75) is ideal for reseeding your lawn. This mix germinates in all conditions: full sun, worn and shady areas and at lower temperatures, making it ideal for the autumn months. It contains high-quality grass seed varieties that have been treated with Accelerator technology that retains water, for improved germination results.

Johnsons Lawn Seed Quick Lawn

If your canine friend has been causing mayhem to your lawn with scorch caused by dog urine, Johnsons Tuffgrass (RRP from £5.25) is the answer and contains naturally tolerant grass species that won’t turn yellow when drenched when nature calls. Pet owners can relax in the knowledge that lawns will remain lush, green and patch-free over the winter season and into spring, with Tuffgrass containing 100% grass seed and nothing else, ensuring that it is safe for family use.

Dog Patch Resistant Lawn - Johnsons Tuffgrass

Shady Place Lawn Seed (RRP from £7.25) is ideal for those seeking remedies for their lawn in dry or damp shade. The packaging features straightforward messaging that highlights its capability to produce high-quality lawns with strong drought tolerance, even in challenging low-light conditions.

Johnsons Shady Place Lawn Seed

How much to use

Each of Johnsons’ seed mixtures covers different areas, due to the nature of the unique combinations of grass plants contained within. On the pack, you will find the total area coverable in metres squared, so measure your garden to see how much seed you need. Most lawns do not have precise geometric shapes, so Johnsons recommend:

  • For circular lawns measure the diameter at its widest point
  • For triangular lawns measure the base and the height by measuring from the middle of the base to the tip of the triangle
  • For oval lawns measure its overall length and its width at the widest point

Follow these easy steps to ensure your grass is healthy and thriving come next spring. Whether you want to revive your existing lawn or start fresh with a brand-new one this autumn, Johnsons Lawn Seed offers a variety of options to suit your needs. Explore our range of seed mixes on our website:

Healthy lawn with 3 people laying on it

Established more than 200 years ago (founded 1820), Johnsons is the oldest lawn seed brand in the UK and has helped keep Britain green across the generations. To find out more about Johnsons Lawn Seed products please visit