Winter is hard on even cold-hardy lawn grasses. Fall is the time to give your lawn extra attention so it can survive the harsh weather to come.
Give Your Lawn More Attention, Not Less
It's important to continue to care for your lawn throughout the fall. Although it may not be growing as fast on top, its roots are working hard to absorb moisture, nutrients and energy before its long winter sleep.
Continue to Water and Mow
Keep mowing your lawn throughout the fall as usual. Toward the end of the season, gradually adjust your blade downward and cut away all the top growth. Remember not to remove more than one-third of your grass at one time. Your last cutting should be on the lowest setting. This leaves less of the grass leaves to die and turn to thatch and also allows the crown to receive more sunlight.
Remove Fallen Leaves Quickly
Unraked fall leaves are not only unsightly, but they can smother your grass if they are allowed to become wet and mat down. It's very important to rake the leaves as soon as they fall or use a mower with an attached bag to remove them.
Kill the Weeds
Fall is your last and best chance to kill those nasty perennial broadleaf weeds, such as dandelion, while their leaves are gobbling up everything that hits them. Applying herbicide in the fall will prevent these unsightly and nutrient-robbing plants from reappearing next spring.
Fertilize for Spring Growth
Fall is actually the optimum time for lawn feeding. Fertilize your cool season grasses, such as ryegrass, bluegrass and fescue, in September and again by November. Southern grasses that have gone dormant should not be fertilized unless you overseeded them with winter rye.
Repair Damaged Areas
Overseeding bare spots in early fall allows the new growth to establish strong roots before hot weather hits. Consider using a product that combines green mulch with seed for appearance sake and to keep birds from munching down on your newly sown seed.
Aeration Is Key
Aerating your soil now allows more oxygen, water and fertilizer to reach the grass roots and allow them to grow strong. Healthy roots make healthy grass that can survive whatever winter throws its way.
While these are essential fall lawn care chores, it isn't essential that you do them yourself. Your lawn care professional will be happy to provide all the services you need to ensure your lawn not only survives the winter, but emerges healthy and green in the spring.
For more information, contact Natural Lawn & Landscape, LLC or a similar company.