You may not be aware, but fall is the best season to evaluate and begin restoring your lawn. Thanks to shorter days (less intense sunlight), cooler temperatures and wetter weather, the mild fall climate is ideal for putting in the lawn work that will pay dividends in the spring to achieve an enviable lawn.
From the soil beneath your feet to the limbs above your head, we’ve put together a list of 9 tips to help you address the most important components of your landscape this fall.
Tip 1 | Lawn or Soil Aeration
Aerating alleviates soil compaction and allows for a stronger, more vigorous lawn. Before starting the lawn aeration process, cut your lawn short and water it (but don’t flood it) until you can easily push your index finger roughly one inch into the ground. If the ground is hard, the aerator won’t be able to penetrate the soil and the seed will not have the holes in the ground and loose soil it needs to germinate, root and establish. For best results, make multiple passes with the aerator to avoid inconsistent grass growth with noticeable stand-alone patches of grass. If your lawn is in good shape, two passes are sufficient. If your lawn has large bare areas, make three to four passes. If you don’t have an aerator and need to hire a professional service we recommend Synergy Lawn Care, 614.886.2142.
Tip 2 | Watering and Irrigation
When caring for your lawn, keep in mind that it needs less water than you think. People tend to irrigate too often. Most lawns only need to be watered once every four to eight days. Grass needs about one inch of water per week, and it needs to be applied evenly and deeply throughout the lawn. How long depends on your irrigation system, but avoid watering in the evening as this promotes fungal diseases. Water your lawn preferably in the early morning to avoid evaporation. As colder weather approaches, be sure to winterize your irrigation system. Checking your valves and draining all of the water out of any irrigation components that might freeze is key to preventing damage during winter months. If you don’t have an irrigation system and are looking to obtain a quote on a system we recommend Sewell Irrigation and Drainage, 740.548.7924.
Tip 3 | Fertilizing
Fall is the best time to fertilize your lawn. Based on the nitrogen concentration of your lawn, calculate how much fertilizer you will need. Keep in mind that it is better to use too little fertilizer than too much. Cool-season and warm-season grasses have different fertilizing schedules, but as a rule of thumb you’ll want to make two applications: one in September/October and the next in November. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations regarding the rate of application and make sure you apply your fertilizer evenly. Use a different fertilizer formula for the second application. If you prefer to hire a professional to perform this service, again we recommend Synergy Lawn Care, 614.886.2142.
Tip 4 | Drought Repair
If drought persists into the fall, you’ll want to water your lawn a couple times a week and do so long enough to soak the soil several inches deep. To take care of your lawn, aerate it from time to time and when you water it, make sure to do it slowly and with some kind of sprinkler system or hose. Do the same for your plants, but the best thing you can do to protect your plants and flowers during drought conditions is to use mulch.
Tip 5 | Weed Control
Weeds such as dandelions, thistles, clover, and weed grasses are one of the most common lawn problems. Large numbers of weeds are normally an indication of a lawn suffering from poor nutrient levels. Fertilizer is the ideal solution in such cases. Frequent mowing at a high cutting height act as an additional defense against the growth of weeds by preventing access to the light needed for germination. Overseeding your lawn in the fall with a high-quality grass seed is also a factor that should not be overlooked. In addition, carrying out regular and deep aerating is an effective method of preventing weeds from invading in the first place. However, digging weeds out which have taken hold remains the best, and often only, solution.
Tip 6 | Leaf Control
Leaves are synonymous with fall, so remove leaves from your lawn regularly to prevent suffocating the turf. Blow off walks frequently to prevent slippery conditions. Powered blowers and shredder vacs relieve the strain of clearing driveways, paths and lawns, and the latest lawn tools make clearing leaves a breeze. Mowing over leaves is one of the quickest and easiest ways to clear them from your lawn. Your lawn mower must have good suction power and be a collecting model.
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