It is that time of the year when you have thousands of dried leaves in your yard and garden. Your kids would love to dive in them whenever they get a chance. Yes, fall is here, and that means you need to provide well-timed care to your lawn. Many people think that it is an uphill task to maintain a thick, lush green and healthy lawn, but with special attention, you can achieve your goal easily. Summit Turf Services lawn care experts suggest the following tips for fall lawn fertilizer and to keep your lawn green and healthy.
Clean the lawn
There is no doubt that a lawn full of colorful autumn leaves looks beautiful. So, have your kids jump around on the leaves for a few days, take as many photos you want, and then clean the leaves as soon as possible. Left unattended, the grass underneath, could develop lawn disease such as Leaf spot. The leaves trap moisture below and block the sunlight. If leaves are left on the ground and not cleaned up, come spring, you may find that your once beautiful lawn is damaged or worse that the grass and plants beneath are dead. So, don’t wait for too long before raking or blowing the leaves away and applying fall lawn fertilizer.
Cut the grass to an appropriate height
Fall doesn’t mean that your lawn should not be cut. If your grass is growing, fall lawn fertilizer along with regular maintenance is still needed. The leaves may dry up, but the grass continues to grow until the first hard frost. Ideally, you should maintain a height of 2.5 to 3 inches. Don’t let it grow too long; otherwise, it may become vulnerable to fungi. On the other hand, if you cut it too short, it will disturb the root system.
The root of the grass is directly proportional to its cutting height. So, if you cut it too short, it will curtail its roots, making the grass unable to withstand the cold and dryness of the winter. Moreover, regular mowing will also keep pesky leaves away. Rather, you can mow over them so that they become organic mulch for the grass.
Don’t forget to water
With winter around the corner, many people think that watering the lawn is not necessary because of the moist weather conditions. That’s a massive mistake. Cooler conditions don’t necessarily mean you should stop watering. Although there is dew, that doesn’t substitute water. Yes, you may need to water less frequently than summer because of low evaporation. However, don’t skip the watering. Dew is not enough to keep the grass roots hydrated.
Ideally, your lawn should get at least 1 inch of water every week. You can keep a rain gauge to track the water supply. It is always better to keep the irrigation system or sprinkler going at least until the end of October. Some people in the Midwest water their lawns until the first week of November. But don’t continue after that. Flush your irrigation system and disconnect the hoses to prevent spigots and frozen pipes.
Loosen the soil
Soil tends to become compact during winter. So, you need to take care of the soil when fall arrives. Thatch can become a significant enemy to your lawn. It blocks the aeration system of the soil. The stems, debris, and thick layers of roots prevent oxygen, nutrients, and water from reaching the roots. You can solve this problem by aerating. It not only stops the soil from getting compacted but also drives the unwanted debris and thatch away.
A core aerator will punch holes through the thatch, pulling up soil plugs. This ensures that the soil is ready for fertilization. It helps the fertilizer to reach the roots quickly.
Add fall lawn fertilizer
Grass can’t survive or thrive on water alone. To ensure that your lawn stays healthy and looks beautiful come springtime, fall lawn fertilizer is a must. Your lawn fertilizer schedule may not include late fall. However, Fertilizing in the Fall is the best time of year to fertilize because the morning dew helps the fertilizer to absorb better. The fall lawn fertilizer keeps the turf energized so that when spring arrives, it can bounce back into its shape quickly.
Make sure that the fall lawn fertilizer being used contains phosphorus, potassium, and nitrogen. Potassium is extremely crucial at this point. It helps in root growth, cold resistance, drought tolerance, and disease protection. It is better to spread the fertilizer evenly throughout the lawn except near the waterway. This will help to avoid contamination from the runoff. Fertilizing your lawn in the Fall should not be overlooked. The benefits will be evident when Spring arrives, and your yard exuberates health and beauty with the perfect shade of green.
Spread seeds before the temperature dips
Don’t wait until the first week of November to spread the seeds. Do it by the end of October. If you want to maintain a dense, green lawn free from weeds, seeding is the way forward. Make sure to overseed the turf. This is essential in the Fall so that your lawn can produce drought-resistant grass. Fall is the ideal season to overseed. The weather conditions are still warm, nights are cooler, there is plenty of moisture around, and the sun’s intensity is not too high.
You should start by cutting the grass. This will help you spread the seeds so that they get in touch with the soil; otherwise, they will not have an appropriate effect. If you like to care for your lawn yourself, you can rent a slit seeder. Keep the soil moist so that the seeds can germinate quickly. You have a few days before the temperature starts to come down. So, don’t delay the seeding process. This will help to establish good growth before it starts getting too cold.
By following our tips, we are sure that you will have a beautiful and healthy lawn in the Spring to come! We hope you enjoyed our Fall yard care tips, including the crucial Fall lawn fertilizer tip. Be sure to check out our website for additional Lawn tips and information!