When is the best time to repair your lawn – autumn or spring?

Why we suggest spring to reseed your lawn, rather than Gardeners’ World’s autumn advice.

Ah, the great British summer. Whether it’s a record-breaking heatwave that has us desperately finding ways to save water in the garden or unprecedented downpours that make barbecues a misery, our lawns take a battering and need plenty of TLC.

Gardens tend to see more footfall over the warmer months, with washing lines getting greater use, grandchildren kicking balls around, and our pets sniffing about and enjoying the outdoor space. Wet ground will lead to muddy areas appearing, and parched patches will see our grass become more threadbare. How quickly can this be fixed before the cold evenings set in? 

Sowing the lawn in the spring. A female hand in a glove holds the seeds of lawn grass over a cardboard box, against a background of green grass.Credit: Fire-n/Shutterstock

You might be staring at your shabby grass wondering when is the best time to repair the lawn? There are some differences of opinion. But, generally, success depends on how warm the ground is, plus how clement the weather decides to be afterward. Is spring, summer or autumn a more reliable time to repair your lawn; and when is laying turf the better option? 


When is the best time to repair lawn with seed?

Gardeners’ World suggests September – we’re not so sure

Suggesting jobs in the garden for September on an episode of Gardeners World, presenter Adam Frost showed viewers how he reseeds patches that have developed in his lawn over the summer. 

“If your lawn has developed the odd bare patch here and there, September is a good time to repair it, while the soil is still warm,” he explains. “Simply remove the dead turf [Frost breaks this up with a hand fork], along with any stones and weeds, and work in some fresh soil or compost. Sprinkle the grass seed over the top, taking care not to spread it too thickly, and then water it in.” 

While we agree that September soil does incubate the summer’s heat, repairing lawn with seed at this time of year can still be a little risky due to the cooling temperatures. That’s why we think there’s another season that’s a better time to repair lawn with seed. 

Are patches in your lawn really that bad? 

Though they may look unsightly, you might want to leave the odd bare patch in your lawn. This is because ground-nesting bees may well be using these areas. They’re usually active until October, so digging around and upsetting these nests in the autumn might cause some confusion as they wrap up their summer season and get ready to hibernate.  

Try repairing your lawn in spring instead

Spring brings a better chance of germination

Unpredictable autumn weather could dash your hopes of patching up a summer-scorched lawn if it becomes too cold or wet. It won’t give your grass seeds the chance to germinate. That’s why spring is known as one of the best times to repair your lawn with seed, as the weather is headed on a more predictable and warmer trajectory.   

“If we are lucky and have a warm autumn, then it is possible to use this window of opportunity to reseed areas of the lawn,” explains Saga Exceptional’s gardening editor Simon Akeroyd (who’s penned two books on perfecting your lawn). 

“However, if it turns wet or cold then there is a chance some of the grass seeds won’t germinate. Instead, I prefer to patch over the bare areas of my lawn with turf at this time of year. Or wait until it has warmed up in mid-spring for repairing lawns with seed, as you should have a longer period for it to grow.” 

Featured product

Lawns and Groundcover (Simple Steps to Success), by Simon Akeroyd

RRP: £4.34

Lawns and Groundcover (Simple Steps to Success), by Simon Akeroyd

September for turf, spring for seed

Should your patchy lawn really be getting you down as summer bows out, you may wish to use small pieces of turf to cover any bare areas. Repairing your lawn this way may give it a better chance of surviving the winter. The RHS has some guidelines on its website for laying turf correctly.  

The same can be said for larger grass reseeding projects, which will be more successful if undertaken in spring, when the seeds will have a better chance of germination.  

We have more tips on planting grass seed successfully – with an easy trick from Alan Titchmarsh on repairing damaged edges of your lawn too.  

British Garden Centres’ recommended product to help grass seeds grow 

After reseeding patches to repair your lawn, Cassie King from British Garden Centres tells Saga Exceptional she recommends giving the soil a helping hand: “Miracle-Gro Patch Magic contains magic coir, a unique, super-absorbent growing material that allows it to absorb eight times its weight in water and to expand four times its volume, protecting grass seeds from drying out.” 

Featured product

Miracle-Gro Patch Magic Grass Seed, Amazon

RRP: £11.40

 Miracle-Gro Patch Magic Grass Seed, Amazon
Rosanna Spence

Written by Rosanna Spence she/her


Rosanna Spence is a Staff Writer for Homes at Saga Exceptional. Rosanna has been a journalist for nearly 10 years, reporting on a huge array of topics – from microwaves to cocktails, sustainable buildings, the Caribbean islands and beyond. She’s interviewed chefs at the helm of Michelin-starred restaurants and chatted to countless CEOs about their businesses, as well as created travel guides for experienced travellers seeking life-changing adventures.

Rosanna loves nothing better than getting under the skin of a topic and is led by an unwavering curiosity to share information and stories that inform and inspire her readers – a mission that has taken her around the world. Throughout her career, she has created content for Business Traveller, i-escape.com, Pub & Bar, BRITA, Dine Out and many more leading titles and brands.

She turned her attention to the Homes sector as a result of an ongoing renovation and improvement project, which takes up a fair amount of her time outside of work. When she’s not comparing carpet samples or debating the pros and cons of induction hobs, you’ll find Rosanna exploring Bristol’s food and drink scene, obsessively watching horror films, or donning some walking boots and heading for the hills.

  • linkedin
  • Email