Many people tend to slack on yard maintenance as the fall season approaches. However, the end of summer does not mean the end of lawn care. The cooler weather, moister air and breeze present optimal growing conditions for your yard. As such, fall is a great time to deal with any summer damage and take steps to protect your plants from the colder months ahead. But how exactly can you make sure your lawn is healthy during the fall months?
Here are some tips to consider:
Keep on mowing
Because grass will keep growing until the first hard frost, you will need to continue mowing. Mowing your lawn will not only give it a beautiful, uniform appearance but also promote the health of the grass. However, you should make sure you cut the grass to the correct height. Grass that is too long will mat down under leaves and snow, while cutting it too short will damage the root system. Ensure you cut down the overgrown lawn gradually so that sunlight can reach the crown of the grass.
Although leaves change color and grass does not grow as fast in the fall, you should not stop watering your lawn. The cooler temperatures, less evaporation and more rain may not be enough to ensure there is adequate moisture to keep grass roots well hydrated. Fall watering is a great way to provide your lawn with the hydration it needs, something that will keep the grass strong and healthy throughout the fall and beyond.
Fertilize for future growth
Fall is the perfect time to fertilize your lawn. Although leaf growth slows significantly, roots continue to grow at a higher rate. Fertilizer protects grass roots from freezing, supplies them with essential nutrients and provides them with the energy they need to multiply. Deeper roots will be better able to store food before the grass goes dormant when it gets colder. This will in turn promote future growth and keep your lawn green.
Fill in bare spots
When getting your lawn ready for the fall, you need to check for signs of damage. Unhealthy or damaged grass will feel soft or spongy and may not take to watering well. In case there are any thin or bald spots in your lawn, fall would be the best time to fill them. To ensure grass grows evenly, apply a lawn repair mixture and water the areas daily for about a fortnight.
Aerate the soil
Aeration should be done regularly. This not only helps to loosen the soil but also prevents it from becoming covered with thatch. The process involves punching holes in the soil, making it easier for water, oxygen and fertilizer to reach the roots. This way, the grass roots will have adequate nutrients and energy supply, helping your lawn to withstand harsh conditions and remain healthy all year long.
Remove the leaves
The colorful autumn leaves look beautiful. However, when they form a thick layer on your lawn, they may deprive grass of sunlight and trap moisture which can lead to the growth of lawn fungus. This is why you should remove the leaves by raking them as often as you can. Getting rid of the layer of plant debris will allow your lawn to breathe and help to avoid damage to grass.
Wipe out weeds
Weeds compete with grass for nutrients, water and space. When these unwanted plants take over your yard, they will affect the appearance and quality of your lawn. To control weeds in your lawn, consider applying weed preventers and a layer of mulch.
In addition to these lawn care habits, try to keep people off the lawn. Foot traffic will damage grass and compact the soil, making it harder for roots to absorb oxygen and important nutrients. Working with a professional lawn care company will go a long way in helping you maintain a lush green and healthy lawn throughout fall.