If you think you’ve finally hit the time to take a rest from the lawn care rituals, you’re misinformed. Fall is the time when your garden requires the most care. It needs nutrients and support to bear the long winter and enough strength to grow up in a healthy manner in spring. A lawn owner can ensure all of it just by following a proper fall lawn care schedule.
Today’s post is part of our essential fall maintenance tasks. We have discussed carpet cleaning, HVAC, and gutter cleaning. Today we will share everything you need to know about fall lawn care.
Types of grasses
An essential prerequisite for this fall ritual is to understand the kind of grass you’ve. There are mainly two types of grass – warm season grass and cool season grass.
Cool season grass requires you to focus on its strength and cultivation, as its peak season of growth is in fall. Warm season grass goes dormant as the winter comes in. Therefore, it slows down its growth and begins the dormancy process. The most crucial requirement of a warm season grass is weed control.
(For cool season grass, fall is the perfect time for dethatching, aeration and pH correction. For warm season grass, pH correction can be done in the fall).
Steps to proper Fall Lawn Care
1. Lawn cultivation
Cultivation helps to improve the soil quality of the grass. It isn’t an annual task unless you’re growing an entirely new garden. Otherwise, you need to cultivate every second year.
- Dethatching: It is an essential activity for cool season grass. You can easily do it by grabbing a thatching rake (For small lawns) or a dethatcher machine (For big yards). Make sure the soil is moist and then run the tool all over the area at least twice. Remove all the debris after you’re done. You can also leave the debris that can act as compost but don’t do that if you have treated your lawn with pesticides.
- Aeration: September is the best month to aerate your cool season grass. The process involves plugging small bulbs of grass and soil. It facilitates oxygen, fertilizer, and sunlight absorption. If you plan to over-seed your lawn, then aeration is a must activity. You can also perform this action in November & December, but you will need to be careful not to have any frost on the grass while it’s being done or you would end up doing irreparable damage to the lawn.
- Soil test: It’s a must-do test to figure out what nutrient your lawn lacks. It’s a crucial activity to avoid under or over fertilization. Your local lawn care service provider can help you in doing this test with maximum accuracy and suggest you the right set of fertilizers.
Even though a lot of people support winterizers for warm season grass in fall, it’s best to leave it on its own. You need to focus on fertilization only if you have a cool season grass.
The kind and amount of fertilizers should be guided by the results of the soil test. Begin the process in early August or September and gradually feed your lawn. Refrain from adding too much of fertilizer as it’ll harm the grass. Opt for a slow-releasing organic fertilizer. However, don’t get confused here. Organic fertilizers don’t necessarily mean that they’re eco-friendly. They’re just composed of animal and plant matter and hence, called organic. Chemical fertilizers are made of synthetic materials which ultimately damage your lawn over an extended period.
A fertilizer promotes the growth of better root system and gives a beautiful lush color to your lawn.
Fall is the perfect time to fill bald spots for any grass or grow a cool season grass from scratch. The easiest way is to buy a lawn repair mixture from a local lawn care supplies store. Such a combination contains seeds, starter fertilizer, and mulch.
Keep in mind that if you intend to perform this activity, you need to reduce the amount of fertilizer you use, or it will burn the seeds.
4. Weed Control
Just like any other plant, weeds aggressively prepare for the winter season. They start absorbing as many nutrients as they can get. It apparently means that no matter how much fertilizers you apply, the grass wouldn’t be able to absorb it properly due to this heavy competition.
Weed killers must be used along with the fertilizers to avoid such a situation.
5. Other Fall Lawn Care Tasks
- Raking: Continue this activity until your last mowing session of the season. Fallen leaves start sticking due to the moistness or frost and cover the grass while preventing it from absorbing sunlight and essential nutrients. Therefore, no matter how annoying this activity is, you need to do it.
- Mowing instructions: You need to continue your lawn mowing schedule until the end of the fall. The only change you need is in your last two mowing sessions. Lower the cutting settings to reduce the height of the grass during these last two sessions.
- Maintain the mower: Don’t just keep it in one corner of your garage and wait for the spring. Get your mower services right in this season and ask the technician to assist you to maintain the machine all through these months. Fuel additives are a must to keep the gasoline fresh and spark plugs should also stay fresh even when they’re not in use.
- Review lawn care services: Last but not the least, if you the last season made you decide that you need a professional service, start looking for one right in this season. You’ll be able to choose how to prepare for the spring and summer. It’ll lift up the results during the season.
Above are all the fall lawn care tasks you should know of and perform during this season. Do ask if you have more questions regarding this.