How can we prepare our lawn this fall to have a healthy lawn come back in the spring? This is a common lawn care question that is often asked by home owners as the cooler weather approaches. Below is a Fall checklist of the important steps every homeowner should take each fall as they prepare their lawn to withstand a long, harsh winter:
1. Fall Aeration:
Being that we have typically hot, humid and harsh temperatures, summertime usually brings drought conditions to our lawns. This means that our lawns begin to dry out, the soil underneath gets compact, and thatch builds heavily in the lawn. Well the best way to help your lawn recover from these conditions is to aerate in the fall. Aerating in the fall loosens the soil and pulls up some of that thatch. This allows the moisture in the fall to get down to the root system and it helps the lawn re-generate quickly. Your lawns root system can actually grow 85% faster in the fall as compared to any other time in the year because of the cool, moist conditions fall bring.
2. Fall Over-Seeding:
Over the hot, dry summer, most lawns experience a range of problems and it’s typically for some of the grass to actually die off. Over time this leads to a general thinning of the lawn. Thin lawns attract weeds and other issues. It is an excellent habit to over-seed your lawn every fall. This will help replace aging grass blades with new vigorous blades, and it will keep your lawn thick, green and healthy for years to come.
2. Late Fall Fertilization:
Having your lawn fertilized late in the fall can actually help you more than you may think. Our lawns are in constant need of care, even when they are dormant. Having your lawn fertilized in late fall will provide nutrients to the grass over the wintertime. These nutrients activate immediately in the spring time making the lawn grow quickly out of dormancy. Wintertime also brings some lawn diseases such as snow mold, fairy ring and necrotic ring spot. Fertilizing in the fall will usually prevent these from invading your lawn.
3. Rake the lawn:
Having a heavy thatch build up can lead to a lot of issues within the lawn. Be sure that you and/or your landscaper stiffly rake the lawn properly every fall. This will remove any thatch and debris that is in the grass and prevent disease from infecting the lawn.
4. Clean up yard waste:
Ensure you clean all leaves, sticks, and other debris within the lawn. Believe it or not leaving leaves, sticks or other things within the lawn can actually do real damage because this is where disease will form and then it can spread into the lawn after.
It’s always advisable to prepare your lawn for each season and fall is no exception. By following this Fall checklist, your grass will come back stronger, thicker and healthier next spring!