Fall Lawn Care
Just because it’s the end of Summer doesn’t mean it’s the end of lawn care. By doing a few simple things this time of year, you will get a head start on a healthy green lawn next spring. You may think that your lawn needs less care in the Fall because the grass grows more slowly. Actually just the opposite is true. This time of year, grass is busy absorbing energy, moisture and nutrients preparing for a long dormant Winter. Follow these simple Fall Lawn Care steps to a healthy green lawn next Spring.
Continue to mow and water your yard as needed throughout the Fall. Gradually lower your mower blade height during this period, so by the last two cuttings you should be on the lower settings (approx. 1.5” to 2”). That will let more sunlight reach the crown of the grass and make it easier for Fall Fertilizer to get onto the ground.
Fertilize Your Lawn
Fertilizer is a big part of Fall Lawn Care. A good Fall Feed will give the grass the essential nutrients it needs to grow deep roots now and have reserves for a healthy green up next Spring. It will also help any of the seed you sow this Fall to get a better start.
Aerating & Dethatching
Fall is also a great time to aerate or dethatch your lawn so that air, water and fertilizer can easily reach the grass’s roots. You don’t have time to buy an expensive machine for this step, most rental places have these available and they are easy to use. For small to medium size yards, a walk-behind model should be sufficient. For larger yards of 3 or more acres, you might want one that pulls behind your mower.
I know it doesn’t fun, but it’s important to remove the leaves as soon as possible. If you wait until all the leaves have fallen from the trees to start raking, the leaves will become wet from rainfall and dew. The wet leaves stick together forming a mat that can suffocate grass and breed fungus. Instead of raking you could use a lawn mower with a bag or vacuum system.
If you have lots of weeds such as dandelions, clover and creeping Charlie, now is the time to take your yard back. This time of year weeds, like most plants are in the energy absorbing mode. They are drinking in nutrients to get ready for winter. This means they will also readily absorb weed killers. So apply herbicides now and those weeds won’t return next Spring. If you are planning to sow seed, remember you can’t use pre-emergent herbicides at the same time.
If you are planning on overseeding your lawn to fill in those bare spots and holes in the yard. If you have holes or low spots, get some good topsoil (real topsoil) and fill them in. Use a garden rake to scratch the surface of those bare spots before applying your grass seed and fertilizer this Fall.