You can get your hands dirty and start fall lawn care once the heat has subsided. The right care plan for you will depend on the type of turf grass your lawn has. You can ask your local county extension for the type of lawn you have by giving them a sample.
Lawn Care Tips For The Fall Season
Have your soil tested if your lawn isn’t performing well. Make sure to correct any problems in the fall so that your lawn is lusher in spring. Apply sulfur if alkalinity must be decreased.
In the fall, both warm- and cool-season grasses are still plagued by weeds. Make sure to apply a weed control product. Use targeted spot treatments to kill weeds that are more difficult than those in cool-season grasses.
The Yard Needs to Be Dethatched
Cool-season grasses can be dethached by raking, or using a piece known as a power mower or dethatcher. Thatch is a layer of organic material that can build up to more than half an inch thick. This can prevent water and nutrients from moving. Core aeration is a technique that can be used to correct soil compaction. This opens up the soil to allow air, water and nutrients in.
Warm-season grasses shouldn’t be cut or aerated in fall. This task should be saved for spring and early summer when there is activity growing.
Watering the Grasses
You shouldn’t assume that the fall temperatures aren’t as high as they used to be, that you don’t need to water in the autumn. Cool-season grasses need to be cared for in fall. This includes making sure that they have enough water during the winter. You won’t need as much water in fall as you do in summer. However, it is important to ensure that your lawns are hydrated during dry, hot spells in autumn.
The warm-season grasses need only be watered as long as it is growing. The grass can be reliant on rainwater for watering if it stops growing. If you oversee winter color, it is important to keep your lawn hydrated.
Fertilizing the Lawn
Also, cool-season grasses need to be fertilized. You can apply 1 pound of nitrogen to 1,000 feet of lawn or buy a product with a low, middle NPK, such as Scotts’ WinterGuard Turf Builder, which has an NPK number of 32-0-10.
Warm-season turf grasses should not be fertilized in autumn. It undergoes a hardening process during this time to prepare for winter. This hardening-off process may be impeded by fertilizing warm-season grasses in autumn.
Overseeding the Grass
Homeowners whose lawns are made of warm-season grasses will be able to enjoy a green carpet in winter by overseeding them with annual winter ryegrass. Make sure you ask for the annual seed when buying the seed. The annual winter ryegrass will turn to warm-season grasses when the summer heat returns. This is a quick exit. Problem with perennial winter ryegrass? It doesn’t disappear, competing with warm season grasses for sunlight and water.
Overseeding can also be beneficial for cool-season grasses. In this instance, however, overseeding lawns does not serve winter cosmetics. Instead, it is a way to repair bare patches and to improve next year’s lawn
Mowing the Lawn
Warm-season turf grasses require a half inch increase in lawn mower height. You don’t need to adjust the height of cool-season grasses.
Mowing your lawn at the right height will save you from having your grass clippings raked or bagged. When your grass is 3 to 3 1/2 inches high, and dry, mowing should be done. Do not trim your grass below 2 1/2 inches. Never get rid of more than 1/3 of the leaf surface in one mowing. The grass clippings are valuable nutrients that can be used to improve your lawn’s health. However, they should be left where they are after mowing.
This lawn maintenance tip will require more frequent mowing but will result in a healthier lawn that is fed with nutrients that you wouldn’t otherwise have to haul away. Mulching lawn mowers will make this easier. The clippings are finer so you don’t have to be as careful when cutting your grass.
Leaf management is beneficial for both warm- and cold-season grasses. However, mats of leaves can cause lawn damage. If you have more leaves than that, you can rake, bag or compost them.
Call Conway Lawn Care Service now if you need an expert in lawn maintenance.
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