Fall has arrived! At this time of the year, you may be thinking that your lawn is pretty much on cruise control until next spring. Think again! There are a few essential things that you must do to your lawn before winter hits. Get them done while the weather’s still palatable and you’ll thank yourself next year.
1. Keep mowing.
Don’t stop mowing now. Keep mowing until winter really hits, and watering if you normally do during the summer. You want to continue mowing for as long as the grass is still growing. If it’s allowed to keep growing after you’ve put the mower away for the season, the grass will become long and the blades will flop over, creating an excellent breeding ground for snow mold. And you sure don’t want that.
Fall and spring are the most beneficial times to aerate your lawn. Do it in the fall to allow oxygen, water, and fertilizer to access your grass’s roots easily. The aerator removes cores of turf as you push it along your lawn, decompacting soil and setting you up for a very healthy growing season next spring.
Most lawn care experts agree, if you are going to fertilize your lawn just once a year, do it in the fall. While winter means that the part of the grass plant that we can see seems dormant, the roots below the surface are still very much alive. Fertilize them in mid- to late fall so that they will stay healthy over the winter and have a reserve of nutrients for when the green blades burst forth come spring.
Leaves that sit on your lawn, covering the grass with a wet blanket of refuse, are a detriment to its overall health. Use a rake or lawn vacuum system to clear the leaves as soon as they start to fall. You may have to go through the lawn a couple times over the course of the season. If you wait until all the leaves have fallen so that you can get the whole job done in one go, you’ll risk diseases and harmful insects making a home in the leaves.
5. Fill in bald patches.
(Yes, this is a lawn care task, not a follicle-related plea from your spouse.) Fall is a great time to fix the bare patches on your lawn. Whether through heavy foot traffic, too much sun exposure, or animal intervention, it is likely that you have a few spots that are lacking in green coverage. Use an all-in-one lawn repair mixture from your local hardware store to ensure that they’ll grow lush and green just like the rest of your lawn come spring.
6. Preempt weeds.
If you add an herbicide to your lawn in the fall, you can preempt weed growth come spring. It’s an easy way to fight off the pesky species (such as dandelions and crabgrass) that look atrocious and can keep your grass from growing healthy roots. Be sure to read the directions on the package and apply as the manufacturer advises.
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