While we don’t like thinking about these things now while the weather’s still nice – fall is right around the corner and it’s one of the most important times of the year when it comes to making sure your turf is not only taken care of, but put in position to come back strong once the snow has melted and the weather heats up again.
Tackle your leaves systematically, raking them out as they fall. Don’t let them sit for too long and always go through one last time in the fall and make sure you clear them out of corners and eliminate any small spots you might have missed or that built up during your previous raking runs.
The next thing you need to do is make sure you’re still mowing your lawn, but doing so correctly. While your lawn won’t be growing at the rate it did in the spring, it will keep growing right up until the frost hits. Try to keep blades right around 3 inches. This way it won’t be too long and you won’t have to worry about matting, fungi and mold. You’re also not cutting it so short that you’re harming the root system and leaving it exposed to the cold, dry conditions of the winter. It’s also a great way to cheat having to rake more than necessary – but you didn’t hear that from us!
You’ll also want to hydrate your lawn regularly during this period. People figure that nature will take care of things for them in the fall and due to the higher rain fall that’s certainly true to a degree, but if your lawn isn’t getting enough rain, the water will evaporate quicker and there might not be enough hydration in your turf to stock up for the winter. Make sure your lawn is getting at least an inch of water per week in the fall.
Don’t be afraid to loosen up your soil as well. They call this process aeration – and it helps prevent your soil from getting overly compacted with thatch and the like.
Thatch and compacted soil prevents water and oxygen from getting into the soil and can harm your lawn. This will make sure that doesn’t happen.
Finally, the fall is a great time to plant grass seed. In fact, it’s the best time to plant anything, really. Your lawn picks up in density in the fall and that keeps out weeds and benefits from the other activities you’re taking part in. The weather is far more balanced, too – allowing your seeds to germinate more evenly. Once the spring growing season hits – they’ll be 100% ready to grow and thrive.
For many of us here in the seacoast region and the northeast – we see the fall as the ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ so to speak when it comes to lawn care. The reality is – it’s probably the one time where you’ll have to stay on schedule and interact the most with your yard. Trust us when we tell you that the work you do now will make your Spring and Summer that much easier, brighter and easy on the eyes! Good luck!