Fall is on its way. It’s the time of year where people typically stop thinking about lawn care, aside from dealing with all those fallen leaves.
But the work you do in the fall can pay off when things warm back up in the spring. While you’re getting rid of all those pesky leaves, here are a few other things you can do to keep your lawn healthy and attractive.
1. LET THE SOIL BREATHE
When soil sits dormant for a long time, the grass growing in it suffers. Roots can’t grow quite as deep, and air, water, and nutrients don’t get the chance to circulate. Regular aeration creates the space your soil needs to thrive. For best results, aerate the ground when it’s moist, such as the day after a rain.
2. DETHATCH YOUR GRASS
Fall is also an ideal time to go over the ground with a dethatcher. With dethatching, you’re removing lawn thatch, that layer of organic matter that builds up in your soil around the blades of grass. During the warm summer months, thatch can become so thick, it prevents your soil from getting the nutrients it needs. You can check to see whether dethatching is necessary by removing a wedge-shaped layer of grass and looking at the layer just beneath the surface.
3. PLANT SOME SEEDS
Fall is the best time to seed cool-season grasses. You’ll need to allow enough time for the grass seed to take root before the first big freeze, so plan to do this early in the season. Another benefit of seeding in the fall is that you’ll have months with no one walking or playing on it to help fill in those bare spots.
4. PRUNE DEAD GRASS
Leaves aren’t the only greenery that changes colors as the weather turns cooler. If you have warm-season ornamental grass (which includes Bahia, Bermuda, Centipede, St. Augustine, and zoysia), you may need to remove any dead grass during the fall months. You can wait until spring, but you might not like the look of the unsightly stalks of tall grass throughout the winter months.
5. WRAP UP MOWING SEASON
As summer turns to fall, you’ll notice you don’t have to mow as often. For those last few rounds with your lawnmower, make sure your lawn is between 2 and 2 ½ inches high. This will help keep away snow mold while also protecting your grass against chilly weather.
Keeping your lawn healthy requires a careful balance, especially as we head into the winter months. If you’re in the D.C. area, Great American Landscapes can take a look at your lawn and determine what you need. To discuss your landscaping needs with an expert, call (301) 972-5681 or complete this questionnaire.