It’s the late summer season. Autumn is just around the corner. The weather has started cooling, summer barbecues have started dwindling. The school will be starting up soon. With so many things on the horizon, lawn care is probably the last thing on your mind. In fact, like a lot of homeowners, you probably think that this is the perfect time to let your lawn be. Your grass is growing much slower. Plus, it’s going to be dormant during winter anyway. Well, if you want to enjoy a beautiful lawn come spring, you’ll need to care for your turf during late summer and early autumn. The cool and moist weather during this transition between seasons will ensure that you grow thick, green, healthy grass to celebrate the end of winter. Below are 7 lawn care tips that will make all your neighbors think that the grass truly is greener on the other side.
#1: Keep on mowing
Don’t store your mower in the garage just yet. Your grass won’t stop growing until winter when it starts to frost over. So, you should continue to mow your lawn until it stops growing. Keep the height between 2 ½ and 3 inches in length because it allows the sunlight to reach the base of the grass. If you go shorter than this, you’ll hurt the root system which can directly impact its ability to endure the cold and dry weather of winter. If you let the grass grow too long, there’s a chance that it will mat and cause fungi to grow.
#2: Water as needed
While autumn brings about more rain and dew, there still won’t be enough to ensure that your grass is well-hydrated in preparation for winter. It will need at least an inch of water per week to stay healthy. Experts recommend using a rain gauge, so you can keep track of how much water your grass is getting. Watering your lawn can be done using a sprinkler or irrigation system. You can use the same system to water your trees if you have them. Just make sure to prep and repair your irrigation system for winter by the end of October, so that you don’t end up with any frozen pipes.
#3: Remove the leaves
There’s more to raking leaves than just keeping your yard neat and presentable. It’s important to clean up your yard because it doesn’t do anything good for your grass. If you want a healthy lawn, you need to make sure that your grass doesn’t get suffocated by leaves. When leaves are left on top of the grass, not only do they block sunlight, they also trap moisture which can breed fungi which leaves you with a damp, decaying lawn come spring. Don’t wait until you have a decent amount of leaves to rake. Remove the leaves as often as possible. Rake or blow it away. You can even chop it with your lawnmower, making them into soil-enhancing mulch.
#4: Loosen the soil
Over time, soil can become compacted and possibly covered in thatch which is a thick layer of dead and living plant material. When this happens, oxygen, water, and nutrients aren’t able to reach the soil. That’s where aeration comes in.
Aerating the soil means making sure that you remove any compaction in the soil that is blocking oxygen, water, and precious nutrients from getting to the roots of the grass. Core aeration can be done using a manual tool or a machine.
#5: Add fertilizer
Once the soil is aerated, it’s time for fertilization. Fertilizing the soil at this time ensures that it will sink deeper into the soil where it is needed. More importantly, it ensures that the plant is able to absorb all the essential nutrients it requires before winter comes. Some of those nutrients will be used to grow deep roots while a portion of the nutrients will be stored in reserve to give it a healthy start when spring comes around.
#6: Fill in the bald spots
Once lawn aeration and fertilization are done, it’s seeding time. Overseeding your current turf is important for two reasons. First, it fills in any bald spots on your lawn. And second, it protects your lawn against weeds. Take note that this can be a very challenging task to undertake. You can’t just throw seeds around and expect them to grow. You need to make sure that the seeds come into contact with the soil so that they germinate. If you want to thoroughly cover your entire lawn, experts recommend power seeding.
#7: Stay on schedule
It’s important that you stay on top of things as you perform these tasks. They need to be done in the right order and at the right time to produce the best lawn possible. Otherwise, all your effort will be wasted. For example, if you seed the lawn too late, the seedlings won’t be established enough to survive the cold. If you fertilize too late, the roots won’t be able to take in all the nutrients in the soil. If you aerate the soil while the weather is still too hot, it won’t be as effective. Simply put, a tight lawn care schedule must be followed. Tree care professionals use arborist software to plan and track their work. You might want to consider using something similar to make sure you stay on schedule.
If you think you’ll still have a problem staying on schedule, then don’t be afraid to get some professional help. Tree service and lawn care company can easily take care of everything that your lawn and surrounding vegetation are ready for the upcoming winter.