FALL LAWN CARE INFORMATION:
Fall is Aeration and Seeding Season
You may not realize it, but fall is an important time of year for lawn care. This is because your lawn will have just made it through the hot temperatures and droughts of summer, which can often wreak havoc on the grass if you haven’t cared for it properly during that period.
You’ll need to make sure your lawn is restored back to its best shape if it did experience some wear and tear, especially with winter right around the corner.
Fall Lawn Care Tips
The following are some tips to follow that will help keep your lawn healthy and help prepare it for the upcoming winter season:
1. Keep leaves off the lawn
During the fall season, the leaves in your trees will begin turning colors and will begin falling down to the ground.
While large piles of colorful leaves all over your lawn might provide for a beautiful view, it’s not good for your grass. You should rake your grass regularly during the fall and remove all of the dead leaves.
Leaving the leaves where they lay will prevent sunlight from reaching your grass while simultaneously trapping moisture underneath. Excessive moisture can lead to the growth of weeds, the development of rot or other diseases and more.
Even if the trees on your property are bare, be on the lookout for dead leaves that were blown onto your lawn from trees off of your property.
2. Mow your lawn regularly
Just because the temperatures will begin to drop does not mean your grass will stop growing. In fact, grass will continue to grow until the first hard frost. If you let your grass grow too long, it will end up matting and will become vulnerable to fungi.
You should keep your grass between 2.5 and 3 inches tall. Any shorter and you could curtail the lawn’s root system, thereby impeding your grass’s ability to withstand the cold and dryness of winter.
By mowing your lawn regularly, you can also chop up the dead leaves. This is an effective alternative to having to rake them thoroughly since, when chopped up, the leaves will work like mulch (and will no longer block sunlight or trap moisture in that form).
3. Water your grass regularly
Even though there’s less heat from the sun to evaporate water, you still need to water your grass regularly during the fall. You’ll want your grass roots to be properly hydrated and healthy enough to make it through the upcoming winter.
Your lawn should get at least an inch of water every week. If you have a sprinkler system, you should run it through the end of October. Once November comes around, you’ll want to avoid using your sprinklers to prevent frozen pipes and spigots.
4. Aerate your soil
Near the beginning of fall, you’ll want to aerate your soil. This will prevent the soil from becoming compacted and from being covered with thatch (a layer of roots, stems and debris that will block oxygen, water and nutrients from reaching your soil).
The act of aerating your soil involves punching small holes into the soil. You’ll want to aerate your soil so that you can fertilize it properly as well, which will ensure that your soil will have the nutrients it needs to keep the grass healthy.
Before you aerate the soil, use a rake to remove the thatch that has accumulated on the lawn. If your lawn is rather big, you can use a motorized scarifier to make things a bit easier.
There are several ways you can aerate your soil. You can either use a border fork or a hollow tine aerator, or you can use a core aerator.
5. Apply top dressing (topsoil) to the soil
Once the soil has been properly aerated, you’ll want to add top dressing, also known as topsoil. This is a prepared soil mix that is applied as a thin layer to your soil.
It can help to not only smooth the surface of your lawn but also to reduce the buildup of thatch by encouraging decomposition. You’ll want to make sure that it gets into the aerated holes to help encourage strong rooting.
6. Add fertilizer to your lawn
Adding fertilizer will help keep your grass roots strong so they will survive the winter. You’ll want to add a slow-release fertilizer towards the end of the fall season.
Fertilizers contain a number of nutrients, but one that is particularly important for your grass root’s survival is potassium, which helps to promote root growth, protect against disease, build resistance against the cold and build tolerance against drought.
7. Spread seeds
After you aerate and fertilize your lawn, you should spread grass seed to help promote the growth of more grass. This will allow you to not only fill in any bare patches in your lawn but also to encourage the growth of a denser lawn, which can help prevent the growth of weeds.
Overseeding your existing turf is a good idea when fall comes around since your ground will still be warm, there will be plenty of moisture and the daytime temperatures won’t be too hot.
Although you can seed by hand, you may want to use a slit seeder to make things easier, especially if you have a large lawn.
How Virginia Green Lawn Care Can Help
It can be a little overwhelming to care for your lawn in the fall, especially without professional assistance.
Attempting it alone may not be the best idea since you’ll want to make sure that you’re taking care of your lawn properly as well. The last thing you’ll want is to put all of this effort into taking care of your lawn only to have your grass end up in bad shape regardless.
At Virginia Green Lawn Care, we can provide you with professional assistance in a number of different ways. The following are a few ways in which we can help you care for your lawn during the fall:
- We will double aerate your property’s soil, going north and south over your lawn as well as east to west.
- Once we have double aerated your lawn’s soil, we will put down six pounds of specially blended seed per thousand square feet of your lawn.
- We will give you with an extra five-pound bag of grass seed that you can use to restore any bare areas of your lawn.
- We will provide you with thorough lawn care instructions, including detailed watering and maintenance instructions, to ensure the growth of a beautiful lawn that will certainly boost your property’s curb appeal not to mention impress your neighbors.
If you have questions regarding the care of your lawn this fall or for information about our services, be sure to contact us at Virginia Green Lawn Care today – and don’t forget to sign up to our Virginia Green Lawn Care newsletter for more lawn care advice and information.