Fall Lawn Maintenance Includes Mowing
The grass generally keeps growing until the first frost, so don’t winterize your mower just yet. It’s best if you continue cutting your grass as normal. For most grass types, experts recommend an overall height of about 2.5 to 3-inches.
Grass that’s too long creates a breeding ground for harmful bacteria and fungi like snow mold. Cutting the grass a bit shorter during fall prevents it from matting under the leaves. However, cutting the grass too short will destroy the grass’s roots.
Remove the Leaves
Fallen leaves are harmful to your lawn and can damage the grass. While colorful, these leaves block the sun’s rays from reaching the lawn and smother the grass.
Fall lawn maintenance requires frequent mulching or raking. Raking or mulching the fallen leaves will improve the condition of your grass. A mulching mower shreds the small leaves, returning organic matter to the soil.
Frequent aeration is vital for fall lawn maintenance. Aeration loosens the soil and prevents it from becoming compacted. Aeration also reduces debris and thatch that prevent water, nutrients, and oxygen from reaching the soil. Aeration frees up the passageways for nutrients to get through to the roots of your lawn.
Core aerators are the most common type of aerators. These aerators eliminate thatch and plugs of soil, enhancing the soil structure. Experts recommend aerating the lawn before applying fertilizer.
Adding fertilizer to your lawn during fall nourishes the grass. Potassium fertilizers enhance cold-resistance, disease protection, and drought-protection. Moreover, these fertilizers promote root growth.
Fertilizers rich in nitrogen and phosphorus are similarly helpful. Conduct a soil test to determine the nutrients your lawn requires. However, avoid applying fertilizer near waterways to prevent contamination due to runoff.
The natural moisture during the fall might not be sufficient to hydrate the grass’s roots. Watering adds moisture to the soil before it freezes during winter.
A simple rain gauge will come in handy to track the amount of water your grass is getting. If your lawn gets less than one inch of moisture weekly, water it. It’s best to water the lawn in the morning.
Spread New Seeds
The fall season is the most favorable time for planting cool-season grass seeds. During the fall, the ground is still warm and there is plenty of moisture in the soil and atmosphere.
These are perfect conditions for drought-tolerant grasses. Overseeding ensures proper growth of healthy and thick spring grass. A thick lawn will also prevent weed growth. Experts recommend that you overseed at least forty-five days before winter sets in.
Pest Control for Effective Fall Lawn Maintenance
Pests and insects breeding in your lawn could damage your yard. If you notice a pest problem, take immediate action to eliminate them. Fall is the best season to choke out weeds from your yard. Make sure to consult with a specialist to identify the best pest elimination method.