As fall rolls in, it’s easy to think that your lawn is out of harm’s way because the summer sun and high temperatures are on their way out and you’re not beholden to mowing as much. But, in order for your lawn to be protected throughout fall and winter and vibrant and lush in spring, you need to continue your lawn care with the following maintenance tips.
Even though it seems like your lawn has stopped growing, you still need to water and mow it regularly during the autumn, according to PopularMechanics.com writer Joseph Truini.
“…As the season draws to a close, drop the mower’s blade to its lowest setting for the last two cuttings of the year. That will allow more sunlight to reach the crown of the grass, and there will be less leaf to turn brown during the winter,” reports Truini, who notes “not to trim off more than one-third of the grass blades at any one time.”
Puncture heavy soil
According to the DIY experts at The Family Handyman Magazine, if heavy, clay-rich soil grounds your lawn, you will need to invest in a power aerator to “loosen compacted coil and break up thatch.” If your soil is sandier, you can skip the chore or aerating.
“The time to aerate in colder climates is after dew begins forming in August. If you live in warmer, or more arid states aerate in the spring before warm-climate grasses go dormant in mid-summer. Mow your lawn and water it the day before aerating. Make two passes across the lawn with the aerating machine, perpendicular to each other, so that the aeration holes are spaced two-three inches apart,” report the magazine’s experts.
Time to rake
The autumn season will cover your lawn with tons of leaves, and most lawn owners will put off raking them until the trees are bare. This, however, is not in your lawn’s best interest. According to Truini, it’s better to collect leaves as soon as they hit the ground.
“Don’t wait until all the leaves have fallen from the trees to start raking. If you do, the leaves will become wet from rain and morning dew, stick together, and form an impenetrable mat that if left unmoved will suffocate the grass and breed fungal diseases,” reports Truini.
Reseed and fertilize
Fall is the ideal time to fertilize with a broadcast spreader while late summer and early fall are the perfect times to reseed dead patches, according to the experts at The Family Handyman Magazine.
“A fall application of fertilizer delivers essential nutrients for the grass to grow deep roots now and to keep nutrients on reserve for a healthy start next spring,” reports Truini.
Although dandelions provide a bright pop of color in a sea of green, most lawn owners despise these weeds. And, if your lawn has been taken over by some or a lot of these creepers, fall is the time to strike, according to Truini.
“Weeds, like most plants, are in the energy-absorbing mode during the fall. They’re drinking in everything that comes their way, including weed killers. Apply an herbicide now and the weeds won’t return in spring,” reports Truini.
By applying the above tips, your lawn will be healthy in fall and beyond.