What comes to mind when you hear “fall”? Perhaps it’s pumpkins, vibrant colors, cozy sweaters, Thanksgiving, football…the list could be a long one! How about lawn care? More than likely, your lawn drops to the bottom of your priority list at the first sign of changing seasons. While it may be tempting to shift your focus to the cooler days ahead, hang on to that lawn care “to do” list for just a little bit longer.
To help keep you in a lawn care state of mind, I have included a checklist for homeowners looking to prep their lawns for fall. Read on for more information!
1. Raking Leaves
Like people, lawns need to breathe. A thick layer of leaves will smother your grass and can lead to the development of damaging cooler season diseases. Leaf coverage also prevents your lawn from receiving the sunlight it requires for healthy, active growth. It doesn’t hurt that a freshly-raked lawn is a beautiful sight to see (or that the piles of leaves can provide hours of free entertainment for the kids!).
Bare spots? Thinning grass? If these sound familiar, your lawn is likely feeling the need for seed. Overseeding is a beneficial lawn care treatment that includes sowing additional seed over top of your existing turf. Not only will overseeding encourage the growth of healthy grass come spring, it will also improve your lawn’s overall tolerance to disease and drought damage by introducing newer, superior cultivars to your turf.
3. Fall Aeration
Fall aeration – the mechanical removal of cores of soil from your turf – results in a deeply-rooted lawn that is healthier and better able to withstand drought, disease, weeds and the stress brought on by colder weather.
Think of fall fertilization as the refueling of your lawn after an active (and exhausting!) summer. Fall fertilizers provide your lawn with valuable nutrients that will help it endure the tougher seasons ahead. A final feeding of the year will also assist in keeping your lawn’s roots healthy and intact during the colder winter months.
Once leaves start changing color and temperatures drop, homeowners begin retiring their mowers for the year. However, we have a saying around Weed Man: keep mowing if it’s still growing. Mow your lawn regularly until growth ceases. Depending on the type of autumn weather we see this year, active growth could continue well into October or even November. Be sure to mow low for your last cut of the season.
Don’t dust off your hands and head into hibernation quite yet. This fall, your lawn needs you in order to maintain a healthy structure and be the best it can be next year. With a bit of elbow grease and help from a Weed Man professional, you’ll have a lawn that is ready to take on the tougher months ahead.