It’s Time For Fall Lawn Care

It’s Time For Fall Lawn Care

 

screen-shot-2016-09-23-at-7-20-27-pmRight about now you’re probably asking yourself where the summer went. Or maybe you’re already caught up in the whirl of activities that send us all spinning to the end of the year. Either way, your lawn is sitting there looking at you reproachfully and saying “what about me?”

Well, what about it? You may have thought that late winter was the time to kick things into gear for new grass, but fall is actually the time to prepare your lawn for a lush and healthy carpet of green that will welcome spring and last through the summer.

To save some time, so you can go back to eating everything pumpkin, there are lawn care services that will take care of everything for you and leave you free to enjoy all of the season’s pleasures. We’ve got some tips and tricks that will keep you on schedule.

If the leaves have begun to flutter down from the trees, here’s what to do for your lawn:

Don’t Give Weeds a Chance to Grow

Weeds also want to survive the winter and will put down deep roots to do so. Use a pre-emergent herbicide now, and stop them before they start. Most herbicide is made to be used when daytime temperatures are still above 60 degrees Fahrenheit, so don’t wait or it will be  too cold.

Aerate the Soil

Grass needs oxygen to thrive, so your soil has a lot of clay or a lot of compaction, now is the ideal time to aerate your lawn. Aerating removes small plugs of soil from the ground so that grass roots can have better access to oxygen, water, and fertilizer. Even a DIYer should hire a lawn care service for this job because the machines at your local garden center are bulky and heavy.

screen-shot-2016-09-23-at-7-21-04-pmAdjust the Watering Schedule

As temperatures start decreasing, grass doesn’t grow as fast. But it still needs an inch of water a week. If you’re getting rain in your part of the country, that might be sufficient.

To be sure, do a test by placing empty containers around your yard to check water levels after one week. If the level doesn’t reach the inch mark, add some irrigation. The tuna can test is also a good way to see if your sprinklers are putting out an even amount of water over your whole lawn. If some cans have more or less water than others, you’ll know which sprinkler heads to adjust.

Fertilize

Fertilizing your lawn at this time of year will give it the extra nutrients it needs to survive the winter by putting down deep roots and get ready for when the weather starts warming up again. Fertilize again in spring if your grass is on a twice-a-year feeding schedule.

Adjust the Mowing Schedule

During the fall the grass grows more slowly, so you won’t have to mow as often. But when it does reach the height recommended for your type of grass (between 2 and 4 inches in most cases), cut the grass down by one-third of its height. Mowing keeps your lawn healthy, neat, and better able to fend off weeds and pests. And to take the burden off raking, mowing also dices up leaves to make soil-enhancing mulch.

Overseed

Sowing new seed over an entire lawn is what’s known as overseeding, and it’s the recommended way to make sure your grass will come in thick and healthy in the spring. Every lawn can benefit from it even if it’s only bare or thinning in some spots. Early spring might seem like the right time to do this, but fall is actually better for overseeding because the ground is still warm yet the sun isn’t blazing.

Dethatch and Rake 

A few scattered autumn leaves on the lawn look pretty, but add a few more and some water and the result is a sodden blanket that will stifle the grass. Rake hard enough to remove the thatch (that thick hidden layer of accumulated plant debris) so that it doesn’t limit water and airflow. Don’t go at it ferociously, though, or you’ll be throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Also, take any furniture and big toys off the lawn and put them away so they don’t deteriorate in winter weather.

Comments

  1. Karen Glatt says:

    I am doing my Fall cleanup and lawn care this weekend. It takes a lot of time to get the lawn ready for Winter. But it needs to be done if it is going to be good for Spring and Summer.

  2. Tony says:

    Hey Heather, I am sitting here eating a late lunch and came across this article. I appreciate you sharing this. I own a lawn care service business in Matthews North Carolina, and am always looking for great articles to reference for my clients. I not only like all of the information within this, but the order of the services listed. Not Giving the weeds a chance should always be the first step when it comes to lawn maintenance in the fall. I feel like Fall and Spring lawn care are those times within the year where you need to break the yard down, and rebuild. Thanks for writing and sharing this.

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