Tips for Fall Lawn Care

The benefits of fall lawn care extend throughout the following year. People tend to pay the most attention to their lawn during the spring and summer but ignore it in the fall time. Landscapers know better.

Fall is the best time to aerate, reseed, and even kill weeds. Cool nighttime temperatures, warm days, and dewy mornings make the fall a grass paradise. Once the heat of the summer breaks, fall lawn care renovations can begin.

Aerating

  • Aeration is the process of punching holes into your lawn and forcing out plugs of soil to the surface.
  • This allows water, oxygen, fertilizers, and other nutrients to penetrate the soil and better reach the roots of your grass while breaking up the buildup of thatch.
  • Rent an aerator from Home Depot or a hardware store.

Overseeding

  • This is usually done after a core aeration. It involves broadcasting seed over an already established lawn.
  • Overseeding helps thicken turf, which reduces weed pressure and competition. A thick, healthy lawn chokes out weeds and reduces need for herbicides.
  • Give careful consideration to the variety of seed you can choose. If your lawn burns out every summer, try a more drought tolerant seed (ie: switching from perennial rye to Turf type tall fescue.)

Reseed bare spots

  • Just dislodge the soil in the bare spot. Sprinkle seed. Cover with straw, soil, or some other material to keep the seed in place.
  • Overseeding helps thicken turf, which reduces weed pressure and competition. A thick, healthy lawn chokes out weeds and reduces need for herbicides.
  • Give careful consideration to the variety of seed you can choose. If your lawn burns out every summer, try a more drought tolerant seed (ie: switching from perennial rye to Turf type tall fescue.)
  • Water enough to keep surface moist.

Weed Control

  • Do not use this right after you reseed. This will stop new seed from germinating and is a common mistake.
  • Wait until after all new seed has germinated and after the following lawn mowing.

Fertilize twice in Fall

  • September is the first application. It is essential because lawn has passed through stressful summer months and needs food to rebuild itself.
  • November is the second. It is applied just before lawn goes dormant. Winterizing fertilizers are slow releasing, which helps lawn store energy for winter.

Pick up or shred fallen leaves.

  • Fallen leaves can smother a lawn if left in place all winter.
  • Either rake them up or use a mulching mower to shred leaves into vital organic matter that you can leave right on your lawn.

Fall lawn care can be a lot of work. If you don't have the time or the energy to do the seeding, weed control/fertilizing and a fall leaf cleanup, get a quote from a local lawn company. You can even sign up online for a free estimate.

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