Nights are getting cooler and the leaves are starting to change. With fall just around the corner, it is time to plan fall maintenace to prepare your lawn for the changing seasons. There is a common misconception that lawns will stop growing once the weather cools. It is true that lawns require less mowing maintenance during the fall months but there are some good reasons to keep up with your mowing and maintenance routine.
1) Leaves falling onto the lawn can cause problems for the grass if they are not removed. If left on the ground during fall and winter months, leaves become wet and heavy, mat down and will smother the grass during the winter months. Grass does not completely stop growing, even in winter. Grass is trying to store up energy before winter and needs air flow to breathe and sunlight for energy, the leaves on the grass will prevent grass from getting air flow and energy that it requires to stay healthy even during winter. So for a healthy lawn even during winter months, remove heavy leaves or if there are only a few leaves, mulch the leaves and let them filter into the grass, as long as they are not too thick.
2) It is also a good idea to keep mowing your lawn through October and, depending on the weather, even into November. Fall mowings can make an easy task of removal and mulching of leaves and helps to prevent winter diseases. Keep up with mowing to keep grass clean and free of leaves as long as the weather allows.
3) Fertilizing in late fall will give lawns additional protection during the freezing months of winter. Give your lawn a light fertilizer application in late fall to help protect the grass during winter months.
4) Lawns require less water during the cooler months of fall. But don't give up watering completely. Water the grass at least once every 10 days depending on soil types and before winterizing or putting hoses up for winter give the lawn one last deep watering to prevent deficiency during the winter, especially if there is not much snow fall. If you have an automatic irrigation system in areas with freezing winter temperatures, don't forget to have the system blown out by a professional to prevent underground pipes and sprinkler heads from damage due to freezing during the winter.
5) Dandelions are the most common perennial weed that invades turf in late fall especially
early spring. In order to prevent the early spring invasion of dandelions and other perennial weeds in your lawn, it is very important to treat the turf in the fall. Applying an herbicide application to your grass around the time of the first fall frost can help manage these troublesome weeds. Weeds and grass both are trying to store energy and food for overwintering, apply herbicide applications to the turf during fall months to prevent weeds in the spring.
Follow these maintenance tips and you will have a healthy lawn all year long.