The official beginning of fall is just days away. While autumn is a beautiful season, it also presents a lot of work for homeowners. To keep your lawn as healthy as possible during the winter and into next spring, it's important to complete these tasks before the first snow flies:
- Rake and bag all remaining leaves: When snow falls on top of leaves, they get matted down on the turf and smother it until the snow melts several months later. The best way to avoid dead patches of grass in the spring is by raking or using a mulching mower in the fall. Excess leaves on the lawn also cause fungus, mold, and disease by blocking sunlight and reducing water evaporation even before winter arrives. It’s also important to remove leaves, pine needles, and twigs from your landscape beds and window wells.
- Weeding: Fall is the ideal time to weed your lawn to ensure that it will be healthy next spring. Please review our blog post Pull Weeds the Right Way to make sure that you correctly identify weeds and don’t injure yourself in the process.
- Clean the gutters: It is important to complete this chore in the fall to prevent the moisture from leaves, twigs, and rain water from attracting mold, mildew, insects, and general rot. If the leaves become too wet, they can prevent water from passing through the gutters. Another thing to consider is that the water in your gutters can freeze and cause structural damage to the roof along with ice damming.
- Fertilize the lawn: Using a slow-release fertilizer in the fall enables your grass to soak up the nutrients it needs. The fertilization process also makes it possible for your grass to recover from the heat and stress of the summer and prepare for the dormant period of winter.
- Remove thatch build-up: Thatch is a build-up of roots that grow above the ground. When left unchecked, it prevents moisture, oxygen, and sunlight from reaching the nutrient-rich soil in the deeper layers of your grass.
These are just some of the many tasks we recommend that you complete this fall. Keep in mind that The Lawnsmith offers fall clean-up, gutter cleaning, and several other services that will help your lawn and yard make a successful transition from fall to winter.
Photo Credit: John Lund / Getty Images
As much as you hate to see it go, summer is coming to an end and fall will be here in less than a month. The actions you take now can affect your lawn’s winter survival and how early or late it turns green next spring.
This is especially important if your lawn suffered any type of permanent injury due to dry conditions earlier in the year. Overseeding and re-sodding those areas will repair the damage, and mid-August to mid-September is the best time to do it. To ensure a successful outcome, lightly work the seed into the soil. It should remain damp but not soggy. You can cut down on watering once the seeds begin germinating and emerging from the soil.
The time right around Labor Day is ideal to apply fertilizer to your lawn. That is because the majority of the fertilizer applied goes straight into your grass. Putting down approximately one pound of nitrogen helps to sustain and support active growth through late fall.
September is a good time to complete core aeration, particularly if you notice significant compaction problems with your lawn. This process pulls cores from the soil and spreads them onto your lawn or a soil surface. Additional aeration in the soil allows for greater root growth in addition to improving the soil microbial. Your grass will be in better shape to withstand foot traffic and other normal activities for the rest of the season.
Thatch is a brown fibrous material that builds up between grass plant shoots and the soil surface. It contains both living and non-living materials. It develops from the normal sloughing off process of the plant roots as well as other parts of the grass that have decayed and died. However, it does not contain any grass clippings. Having a thatch build-up of more than half an inch threatens the health of your lawn.
The Lawnsmith is Available for These and Other Seasonal Chores
The end of summer is a busy time for most families. Maybe you're still trying to squeeze in a vacation before the kids head back to school in a few weeks or you're just want to enjoy what little free time you have. The Lawnsmith offers all of these lawn care services in addition to several others. When it gets closer to the end of fall, keep us in mind for fall clean-up services as well.
Photo Credit: Atlantic_Adv / Getty Images