A long summer of pets, kids and searing heat can leave your lawn looking battered and worn. The maintenance you perform in fall can be some of the most important for your lawn’s ongoing health. Find out what’s needed and rebuild your lawn now.
To ensure that your lawn grows healthy and strong next year, take steps now for proper lawn care with aerating, overseeding and fertilizing.
- 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. In arid regions, continue to water as well, particularly if you’re applying a nitrogen-based fertilizer to your lawn.
- Consider fertilizing. If you haven’t already, you may want to fertilize cool-season grasses now. Use a slow-release formula; it likely won’t result in an explosion of new green, but it may encourage stronger root growth. This will make your grass healthier in the long term.
- Rake as needed. When the leaves begin to fall, rake them up to prevent them 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.
- Check the pH of your soil. If your lawn isn’t lush or weeds are taking over, your soil may be too acidic. In regions with acidic soil, nitrogen and other nutrients may be absent. To learn if your pH is too low (acidic), use a soil test kit to find out where it falls in the range of acid to alkaline. The kits are simple to use and performing a soil test requires no experience. Once you know the soil pH, get the prescription for a healthy lawn to determine your next steps.
- Get rid of thatching with aeration. Check to see if your lawn is developing a thatch problem. If your thatch layer is deeper than half an inch, you may need to purchase a core aerator or rent one to loosen the stranglehold thatch has on your lawn. Regular raking with a thatch rake can help prevent future buildup.
- Fill in bare spots with overseeding. Overseeding with grass seed is an easy way to fill in bare spots, improve the density of your turf and bring back your luxurious green lawn in the following season.