Just because summer is over doesn’t mean you don’t have any lawn care left to do. In this article we will be discussing simple steps you should take with your grass to ensure you get a good head start on having a healthy lawn when spring rolls around again.
With fall almost here and winter approaching rapidly, you probably are not thinking too much about your lawn right now. However fall, with its occasional rain and cooler temperatures, is the perfect time to get your lawn prepared for next spring.
Because grass grows a lot slower in the fall, many homeowners believe their lawns need less care during this time. However, it is actually just the opposite. During the fall, grass is busy absorbing nutrients, energy and moisture to prepare for the dormant, long winter ahead.
When you give your lawn some attention now, you will be able to enjoy a healthy and lush lawn in the spring. Just use these six Houston landscaping ideas.
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1) Continue to Mow
Throughout the fall, keep watering and mowing your lawn, as it is needed. The once the season is almost over, drop the blade on your mower to its lowest setting on the last two mows of the year. This will make is possible for more sun to reach the crown in the grass, and result in less leaves turning brown in winter.
Note: When the blade is lowered, remember to not trim away more than a third of the grass blades at once. It necessary, lower your cutting gradually until the last two cuttings.
2) Aerate Your Soil
Autumn is also the perfect time for aerating your lawn to allow fertilizer, water and oxygen to reach the roots of the grass easily. A walk-behind, gas-powered lawn aerator can be rented for around $70 a day.
This self-propelled machine punches hole into your soil quickly and extracts dirt plugs. If you have a really big yard – over 3 to 4 acres – you can hire a landscaping contractor if you want to do the aerating yourself.
3) Rake the Leaves
No one thinks it’s fun to rake leave, but removing lawn leaves off of the lawn right away is very important. Don’t wait for all of the leaves to fall from your trees before you start to rake. The leaves will get wet from the morning dew and rain, stick together, and end up forming a mat that is impenetrable if left there. This can end up breeding fungal diseases and suffocating the grass.
Instead of raking leaves you can use a lawn mower that has a vacuum system or collection bag fitted to it. This is a very effective method, especially if you happen to have a lot of deciduous trees and large yard. Whether you decide to use a lawn mower or rake, make sure to get the leaves removed before they become a suffocating and soggy mess.
4) Fertilize for Growth
A majority of lawn experts agree: If you are planning on fertilizing your lawn only once per year, it should be done in the fall. That is because grass leaves grow a lot more slowly when the weather gets cooler, but the rhizomes and roots of the grass grow faster. (Rhizomes are horizontal plants stems that are right below the surface of the soil; they produce the roots of grass below and blades of grass above.)
Applying fertilizer in the fall provides the grass with essential nutrients for it to grow deep roots right away and then have nutrients on reserve to get off to a healthy start in the spring.
In the middle to late fall, get a dry lawn fertilizer and apply to all of the grassy areas in your yard. Make sure no spots are missed. A crank-style broadcast spreader can be used, but for the best coverage, you should use a walk-behind drop spreader. They take a bit longer, particularly on a yard with hills, however a drop spreader is the best way to get a consistent, even layer of fertilizer applied.
5) Fill Bald Spots In
Fall is also a good time to fix any bald and bare spots in your lawn. The easiest and fastest way to do that is to use an all-in-one law repair mix. These ready-to-use mixes are sold at most home centers and garden stores. They contain grass seed, organic mulch and a quick-starter special lawn fertilizer.
Take a garden rake and scratch the soil loose within the bald spots that are in your lawn. Spread the lawn repair mixture in a thick layer over the area. Compact the mixture lightly, then thoroughly water it. Keep watering the area every other day for a total of two weeks.
6) Keep Weeds Under Control
If your lawn has been taken over by dandelions or other broad leaf weeds, it is time for you to fight fact. Like most plants, during the fall weeds are in their energy-absorbing mode. They drink everything they come in contact with, which includes weed killers. If an herbicide is applied in the fall, the weeds won’t come back in the spring.
Before using any weed killer, make sure to read the label on the package first. A majority of herbicide manufacturers recommend that weed killer be applied during early-to-mid fall, when daytime temperatures still are over 60 degrees Fahrenheit consistently.
Joseph, being an advocate of mother nature, chose being a landscape artist as a profession. He loves different kinds of plants, from flowers to veggies. When he’s free for the day, he joins tree planting activities and writes on different blogs to support his advocacy.