As another calendar year and growing season draw to a close, many homeowners focus on the impending holidays that litter the later months. But before you break out the pumpkins or test strands of holiday lights, it’s important to remember that proper preparation in the fall will guarantee your lawn will emerge healthy and vibrant come the spring.
Many homeowners assume that cooler fall temperatures are a sign to stop watering their lawns. But you should continue watering until the ground freezes.
Your lawn continues to grow throughout the fall, though much of that growth occurs underground in the root system. The cooler temperatures and less evaporation provide your lawn with a stress-free environment to help repair any damage while building a solid foundation for future growing seasons.
Therefore, an adequate water supply – even during the fall months – is essential to help develop robust root systems while sufficiently absorbing nutrients necessary for the dormant season.
Note: With much of the country experiencing some level of drought conditions, you must consult your municipality’s watering restrictions for lawns and landscapes before determining a fall watering schedule. To check out your overall drought conditions by region, CLICK HERE.
During the summer months, it’s best to adjust your lawn mower to its highest setting. This allows the blades of grass to shade delicate root systems from the scorching sun while retaining optimal moisture. However, with the arrival of fall, homeowners can begin lowering their mow height so that the blades are short. Doing so makes your lawn less vulnerable to fungal diseases in the winter, often caused by the persistent weight and compression caused by accumulating snowfall.
After enduring months of the summer’s heat, it’s essential to allow your lawn to breathe in the fall. Aeration removes tiny plugs from the lawn’s soil allowing water, oxygen, and nutrients to penetrate deep into the root system. Though unsightly, do not remove the plugs the aerator leaves behind. They contain valuable nutrients, microorganisms, and even moisture and will decompose back into the soil on their own. For more on SavATree’s core aeration service, CLICK HERE.
While raking leaves is a laborious chore that few homeowners enjoy, removing dead leaves from forming piles on your lawn is necessary. Beyond simply suffocating your lawn by preventing necessary light and oxygen from reaching the roots, decomposing leaves could spread fungal diseases, which might not be realized until it’s too late to correct.
A small layer of dried leaves can be ground into finer particles with a mulching lawn mower to provide additional nutrients and insulation to root systems.
Applying a fall fertilizer is key to a great lawn come the spring. Fall fertilization provides your lawn with the essential nutrients (consistent, slow-released nitrogen) necessary to weather the cold winter months while giving roots a head start for a quicker, easy time emerging from dormancy later on. For more on SavATree’s fall lawn care program, CLICK HERE.