Fall is a great time to spend some extra time nurturing your lawn. With the cooler weather, you can take the time to fertilize, control weeds, and improve the overall health and look of your yard. Just follow these Fall lawn care tips!
ADJUST MOWING HEIGHT
If you raised your mower to cut down on heat stress to your lawn, now is the time to lower it back to its normal height. Reducing the height of your lawn slightly in the fall will help prevent matting down under leaves, but be sure not to cut too short to avoid weeds from taking foothold.
MAINTAIN WATERING SCHEDULE
Your lawn still needs water when it’s dry, despite the season. If you have drought conditions, water once or twice a week to soak soil several inches deep. To prevent fungal diseases, water in the early morning hours. This also prevents waste to evaporation because winds are usually lighter during this time.
RID THE WEEDS
Weeds are easiest to spot during the spring, but the fall is the best time to control weeds in your yard. Apply herbicides containing glycophosphate, 2, 4-D, & MCPP to the roots in the fall. Sprays work best in cooler temps and when soil is moist.
REPAIR DEAD AREAS
Now is a great time to reseed any small dead areas or thin patches. If you seed in the fall, you will get fewer weeds and the seedlings will be well established and won’t succumb to the heat when summer arrives. It’s also a good time to start or patch existing grass with sod. The cooler temps and extra moisture will help get sod off to a great start.
CHECK FOR THATCH
Thatch is a layer of dead organic matter mixed with living grass shoots, stems and roots. Thatch build-up begins when the turf produces organic debris faster than it can be broken down, usually from over-fertilizing or watering too frequently. By removing a plug of grass and soil you can easily check for thatch. Thatch build-up less than ½ inch is not a problem, but anything greater would need a thatch management program. This involves cutting through the thatch layer and clearing out the debris by using a power rake or vertical mower then a hand rake to clear the yard of the thatch that was removed.
When you aerate your lawn, you help reduce thatch, improve your lawn’s drainage, and loosen the soil. You don’t want to just punch holes in the ground as this will only increase compaction over time. To properly aerate, you must pull plugs of soil from the turf.
RAKE THE LEAVES
Make sure to get out there and rake fallen leaves or mulch them with a mulching mower before they mat down and smother the grass. If there are an abundance of leaves present, it is best to rake and compost them instead.