The hot weather and long days of summer may conspire to give lawn aficionados the impression that their work ends once the mercury starts to drop. Yet the lawn work you perform in autumn can be some of the most important to the ongoing health of your lawn.
To ensure that your lawn grows hale and hearty next year, use the following tips to get organized for proper fall lawn care.
- Don’t give up on mowing yet. As long as your grass continues to grow, you can continue to mow it. For warm-season grasses, raise the carriage of your lawnmower about half an inch; cool-season grasses can be mowed as per usual. Particularly in arid regions, continue to water as well, particularly if you’re applying a nitrogen to your lawn.
- If you haven’t already, you may want to fertilize cool-season grasses now. Use a slow-release formula. That likely won’t result in an explosion of new green, but it may encourage stronger root growth, making your grass healthier in the long term.
- Rake regularly to keep leaves from accumulating and blocking out the sunlight your grass needs to grow. If your lawn is surrounded by trees, you might want to start a compost bin as a means of dealing with all of those excess leaves.
- In preparation for winter, weeds may transfer nutrients and starches from their leaves to their roots in autumn. That makes the fall an ideal time to apply herbicides, which will get drawn more efficiently to the root structure of the plant.
- Check the pH of your soil. You can balance out a high acidity by adding lime; applying sulfur can help reduce alkalinity.
- Particularly if your lawn is made up of warm-season grass, now is a good time to consider overseeding.
- Check to see if your lawn is developing a thatch problem. If your thatch layer is deeper than half an inch, you made need to use a core aerator to loosen the stranglehold thatch has on your lawn. Regular rakings with a thatch rake can help prevent future build up.