Your Fall lawn care survival guide
In the chilly north, a lawn’s peak growing season is early fall. Which makes September the ideal time to strengthen and prepare the turf for the long, harsh winter. Read on for our fall lawn care survival guide that will ensure a lush spring landscape.
1. Remove Dead Plant Material and Leaves in Your Lawn
Start early in the fall to rake and remove plant debris: fallen leaves, annuals, vegetable plants, perennials limbs, etc. Plant debris restricts water and air flow, and cuts grass roots off from essential nutrients. It can also hide insects and disease-causing organisms, such as fungi. Fungi steals the nutrients from grass, which causes the grass to wither and lose color.
2. Terminate Those Hold-Out Fall Weeds
Remove weeds that pop up in the fall. These aggressive holdout weeds will take over as temperatures cool and grass becomes less active. Fall is also the best time to apply weed killer. In the fall, weeds rapidly draw nutrients into their roots for winter survival. So, they will also absorb the weed killer faster.
3. Water the Grass Through the End of October
Water your lawn in the fall so that grassroots stay hydrated and healthy throughout the winter. Ideally, water in the morning to prevent evaporation. Also, water after fertilization and seeding because fall rooting needs moisture.
4. Fall Aeration Improves the Lawn’s Drainage and Loosen the Soil
Aeration involves breaking up soil by creating holes with a hand aerifier or a spading fork. Aeration creates air gaps in the soil so that oxygen, water, fertilizer, and seed can easily get to the grassroots. Aerate in the fall because it is the peak growing season and the grass can recover.
5. Stop Snow Mold in the Spring by Mowing in the Fall
When mowing in the fall, lower the mower height each time you cut the grass until the grass length is about 1 ½ inch high. The shorter grass will prevent a buildup of dead, matted down grass, which creates a habitat for the snow mold fungus. Snow mold fungus appears as circular, straw-colored patches in the lawn. It will expand as long as the grass is cold and wet.
6. Fall Fertilization will Promote Future Growth and a Healthy Spring Lawn
Fertilizing in the autumn will ensure an ample supply of nutrients to the grass for the long, cold, winter. The stored nutrients will strengthen your lawn’s roots, and give them a strong base in which to thrive the following spring. Fertilizing in the fall can also produce better fall and winter grass color.
7. Fall OverSeeding Produces a Vigorous, Beautiful Spring Lawn
Overseeding in the cool fall will heal a lawn damaged by a hot, dry summer, disease and foot traffic. Seeding will also increase the sod density the following spring. The dense turf in the spring is not just beautiful, but a good defense against weed and insect damage.
8. Fall is the Best Time to Plant Bulbs, Trees, and Shrubs
Fall is the best time to plant because of low plant evaporation, high root regeneration, and less heat stress. All these factors strengthen a plant’s root system.
Visit Caliber Homes for more information on our fall lawn care survival guide.