Tips for Fall Lawn Maintenance
The Summer months have come to a close, and the chillier temperatures of Fall are slowly creeping up on us. When the warmer days start to fade, sometimes our desire to keep up with lawn maintenance does, too. However, Fall is a crucial time to take care of your lawn and prepare it for the winter, and new healthy growth in the Spring. Follow these tips to keep your lawn looking its best for the rest of the season.
Although fallen leaves may look festive and colorful during the Autumn, they should always be picked up in a timely manner. Because they trap moisture and block light, a carpet of leaves over your lawn could be causing more damage than you think. Blow or rake leaves away as necessary throughout the Fall. Even once the leaves stop falling, continue to rake out corners where leaves have piled up from the wind. If they are left there all winter, the grass under the soggy mat of leaves will be dead come springtime.
It becomes a part of your routine to mow the lawn regularly in the summer, but as soon as the colder temperatures come, people are quick to put their mowers back in the shed for the season. However, grass continues to grow up until the first frost, and therefore still needs to be mowed on a consistent basis. When the grass gets too long, it will mat and be susceptible to fungi such as snow mold. Be sure to not cut it too short, though, as it curtails the root system. Aim for a 2 ½ – 3-inch height.
When the cooler temperatures roll around, people tend to let up on watering their lawn. They assume since there is more rain, more dew, and less evaporation, that watering is unnecessary this time of year. While the weather conditions certainly help, it is still not enough to keep your grassroots well hydrated. A good way to measure is to get a rain gauge to track if your lawn is getting at least an inch of water a week. If mother nature isn’t providing it, your sprinkler or irrigation systems can still be run until the end of October.
Grassroots also benefit from fertilization in the winter that will give them a bit of stamina before the harsh weather conditions of winter. It also helps to support root growth for healthier, greener lawn in the Springtime. Fall is an optimal time to fertilize, as the morning dew helps to absorb the fertilizer. It’s best to do it approximately 2-3 weeks before the ground freezes.