With temperatures starting to get cooler, spending several hours outdoors to work on your lawn may be the furthest thing on your mind. If you do want to go outdoors, it may be because you simply want to relax and enjoy the last few days of summer.
Unfortunately, you can’t afford to take it easy now if you want your yard to maintain its great condition during fall. You have to repair any damage wrought during summer. It is also important to note that the steps you take now to maintain and improve your lawn will go a long way in protecting it when winter comes.
Providers of professional lawn care services from Draper, Utah share below the important lawn care practices you have to implement this fall:
1. Gradually shorten the grass height when mowing
Although you don’t need to mow frequently during autumn, you still need to cut the grass every now and then to encourage the healthy growth of your grass. Also, you have to do this to prepare your grass to be cut fairly short by the time winter comes.
During winter, long grass can get matted underneath the snow. This will create a breeding ground for snow mold – a type of fungus that damages grass. You can protect your lawn from this fungus by cutting the grass shorter before winter.
However, when mowing during this season, shorten the blade height on your mower each time you use it to avoid shocking the grass. Make sure you gradually lower your mower blade in such a way that it will be at its lowest setting for the final two cuttings of the year.
2. Manage weeds
Fall is the best time to deal with weed issues once and for all. If you don’t, your lawn will end up having more weeds when spring comes.
To deal with your weed issue, manually pull them out. If this is not possible, spot treat the weed-covered areas with an herbicide. Next, overseed bare areas on the lawn and apply a starter fertilizer.
Keep in mind that proper watering, mowing and aerating your lawn will also give you a better chance of keeping weeds at bay.
3. Water deeply but less frequently
Continue watering your lawn deeply and infrequently during fall. By doing so, you will ensure the grassroots get enough water.
According to lawn care pros, most lawns need about an inch of water every week. As such, apply a half inch of water each time you bring out the garden hose or turn on the sprinkler to ensure the moisture is penetrating deep into the soil. You can also use a rain gauge to know how much moisture your lawn is getting.
4. Aerate your lawn
When you aerate your lawn, you break up the compact soil and remove excess thatch — factors that prevent the grass from getting sufficient nutrients. After the little plugs of soil and thatch are removed, oxygen, water, fertilizer and other nutrients will flow more efficiently and deeper down to the grassroots.
Two good lawn aeration practices to remember are to water your yard the day before to soften the soil and to remove all visible weeds. It is also best to aerate before you apply fertilizer for better results.
One of the best things you can do to help your lawn this fall and protect it during winter is to feed it. The fertilizer you apply will facilitate lawn recovery from the stresses of summer and increase its nitrogen storage. It will also help your lawn get that healthy green color a little earlier in the spring.
It is best to fertilize in late October or early November. Make sure you use a slow-release winterized fertilizer. Follow the directions carefully when applying as well. This is because when you apply too much, you can cause the grass to dry out and even die.
6. Rake and mulch leaves
A scattering of colorful leaves on your yard usually looks amazing at first. However, landscaping pros from Draper, Utah say if you leave them on your lawn for a long time and they get rained on, you will end up having a thick mat that will suffocate your grass and become a breeding ground for fungal disease.
To prevent this issue from cropping up, remove leaves regularly from your lawn during this season by using a rake or a mulching mower. A mower will work well for small piles of leaves. However, if you have a large number of leaves on your lawn, use a rake to remove them and compost them afterward.
By prioritizing the practices above, you will repair the damage your lawn sustained in the summer. You will prepare and protect your lawn adequately from the upcoming cold season as well.