In Lawn Care, Spring Beauty Begins In Fall
Many homeowners spend a great deal of time on their lawns in spring and summer, but tend to neglect their lawns in the fall. Fall is the ideal time to repair harsh summer damage. Fertilizing your lawn will help protect it against winter damage, and will ensure that it is healthy and green come spring.
Here are a few things you can do to help your lawn survive the winter and ensure it is healthy come spring. Before you begin any fall lawn care procedures, it is very important to have your soil tested. Testing the soil will establish existing levels of nutrients, pH, and factors that affect plant growth. The results will also determine an appropriate type of fertilizer for your lawn. If the test shows a need to reduce acidity, a lime application will correct the pH.
The most important lawn care procedure to improve the quality of your lawn is fertilization, which is the application of nutrients. Fertilizing promotes early spring recovery of the lawn allowing you an extended season of outdoor entertaining and fun. Fertilizing your lawn will essentially strengthen the root system. Be sure that your lawn care provider is including a slow release formula which will last through November. You should select an all mineral product for the winterizer application once top growth ceases. The primary nutrient in fertilizer is nitrogen, which can be used for both top growth and root growth.
Although it is tempting to stop watering in the fall, this is a mistake! Even though the temperature has dropped, it is still necessary to water the lawn. Use a rain gauge or pan to determine how much rainfall you are receiving, and how long you should run the sprinklers for. Grass needs water in order to survive. Make sure your lawn gets at least one inch of water per week. Dormant turf loses water and can be damaged if it begins to get too dry. Infrequent and deep watering in the morning will produce the healthiest lawn.
Fall is also a great time to aerate your lawn. Aeration is the process of extracting soil cores. During the summer, there is often a lot of compaction caused by lawn mowers, heavy foot traffic and sports. Aerating your lawn will reduce soil compaction, improve water and air movement and make your lawn more resistant to patch diseases. It is very important to aerate the entire lawn. After aeration, fertilize and irrigate. Come spring, your lawn’s root system will be strengthened, and you will have a healthier lawn with fewer weeds.
Annual aeration is advised for lawns with a thatch buildup. Thatch on your lawn works like a thatched roof. This layer of roots, stems and other plant parts sheds water and prevents fertilizers and insect control from moving freely into the soil. Aerating will help the thatch decompose, and will also expose the soil to an increased amount of oxygen. Aeration with significantly reduce thatch, improve turf growth and ensure that you will have a healthy lawn.
Be sure to rake fallen leaves off of the lawn because they block the sun, which is essential to lawn growth. Wet leaves can become matted and smother the turf. Continue your vigilance for looking out for lawn disease and if you see anything suspicious, advise your lawn care provider. In summation, a beautiful, lush green lawn in the spring requires preparation in the fall. Through a regimen of professional lawn care, irrigation and raking, your lawn will appear both healthy and attractive early in the year.
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