The temperature is dropping, the air is feeling crisp, and leaves are changing to their beautiful autumn colors. Fall is here!
You have spent all summer maintaining your lawn and you may think that in fall you can slack off. But, did you know that taking care of your lawn in the fall can give you a jump start when spring arrives?
Fall is the time when grass is recovering from the heat of summer and starting to prepare itself for the long winter. Take some time to help your lawn prepare itself for the upcoming cold season, and come spring you will see the reward.
If you have trees in your yard, leaves are an unavoidable part of the fall season, but is it really necessary for you to rake up all those leaves?
It is recommended that you dispose or compost the first big leaf fall. Whether you use your leaf blower or rake is up to you. The thick layer of leaves covering your lawn can block sunlight, air and nutrients that are all essential for your lawn to continue growing until winter.
After getting rid of the initial leaf fall you can use your lawn mower to mulch any remaining leaves that fall throught the rest of the year. The leaf-mulch can add important nutrients back into your lawn.
After a long summer of weekly mowing, children playing in your yard or drought-worthy environments you will want to give your lawn an inspection to see if aerating and/or dethatching is necessary.
Fertilizing, mowing habits, and levels of traffic are all contributing factors for your lawn to accumulate thatch or for your soil to be compacted. Some lawns only need dethatched and/or aerated every 3-5 years, while other lawns can benefit from having it done twice a year.
In the fall it is recommended that you cut grass a little shorter than you did in the summer, a good height would be 2- 2 1/2 inches. Grass longer than 2 1/2 inches can cause matting, making your lawn more susceptible to winter lawn diseases. Cutting it shorter than 2 inches can limit your lawns ability to make food for storage over the winter, which results in less growth in the spring.
Fertilizing in the fall gives your lawn a chance to recover from summer heat, drought and disease. This also helps the grass prepare for the winter by storing proper nutrients to fight winter disease and help promote a healthier root system.
Giving your lawn the attention it needs now in the fall will allow it to thrive again in the spring. Follow these lawn care tips to prepare your grass for winter and keep it well groomed for spring.