Autumn is upon us and winter rapidly drawing near, and you are most likely not spending much time thinking about your lawn. But with its cooler temperatures and sporadic rainfall, autumn is the idyllic time to make provisions for your lawn for next spring.
Many homeowners think their lawns require less care during the fall since the grass grows slower. In reality, the opposite is true. During this time of year, grass continues to absorb energy, moisture, and nutrients in preparation for a long, unproductive winter. By giving it a little attention now, and you can be rewarded with a lush, healthy lawn next spring. Just follow these tips.
Keep on Mowing
Keep on watering and mowing your lawn, as needed, during the fall. As the season draws to a close, adjust your mower’s blade to its lowest setting for the last two cuttings of the year. This will permit more sunlight to touch the crown of the grass, and fewer leaves to turn brown during the winter.
Aerate the Soil
Fall is also a great time to aerify your lawn so that oxygen, water, and fertilizer can easily get to the grass’s roots. You have the option of renting a gas-powered, walk-behind lawn aerator if you do not own one. The self-propelled contraption will swiftly punch holes into the soil and extract lumps of dirt. If you have a very large yard and do not feel like aerating it yourself, you can hire a landscaping contractor.
Rake the Leaves
Raking leaves is no one’s impression of fun, but it is vital to remove fallen leaves from your lawn as soon as conceivable. Do not wait until all the leaves have fallen to begin raking. If you do, the leaves will become wet from rain and morning dew, clump together, and form a dense mat that will suffocate the grass and breed fungal diseases if left unmoved.
A substitute to raking leaves is using your lawnmower fitted with a gathering bag or vacuum system. These methods are effective if you have a large yard with many deciduous trees.
Fertilize for Future Growth
If you choose to fertilize your lawn only once a year, do it in the fall. Grass leaves grow slower as the weather cools, but its roots and rhizomes continue to grow quickly. (Rhizomes are plane-levelled plant stems that lie beneath the soil’s surface; they create the blades of grass above and the roots below.) Application of fertilizer during the fall delivers vital nutrients for the grass to grow deep roots and to keep nutrients in reserve during the winter, for a healthy start next spring.
Apply a dry lawn fertilizer mid-to-late fall to all grassy areas. You may opt to use a crank-style broadcast spreader, but for optimal coverage, consider employing a walk-behind drop spreader. It may take a bit longer, especially on undulating yards, but a drop spreader provides the best method to apply a uniform, constant layer of fertilizer.
Fill in Bald Spots
Autumn is an excellent time to fix any bare spots in your lawn. The swiftest, easiest way to complete this is with an all-in-one lawn repair mix. It can be purchased at most garden stores and home centres. This ready-to-use mix comprises of grass seed, a quick-starter lawn fertilizer, and organic mulch.
You can use a garden rake to score loose the soil at the bald spots in your lawn. Spread a copious layer of the mixture over the area. Lightly compress the mix, then water thoroughly, and continue to water every other day for a least two weeks.
If broadleaf weeds like dandelions have control of your lawn, you can fight back now. Weeds are in the energy-absorbing mode throughout the fall. They suck up everything that comes their way, together with weed killers. Use some herbicide now and the weeds will not reappear in the spring.
Be sure to read the package label before using. Most herbicide producers suggest applying the weed killer during early-to-mid autumn, when daytime temperatures are steadily above 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
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