The worst of summer heat is slowly subsiding. While you are happy with the thought of feeling cooler air on your skin, you have probably not given much thought to your lawn – thinking that the grass grows more slowly during this season.
However, with the cooler temperatures and occasional rainfall that autumn brings, it is actually the best time for you to roll up your sleeves and prep up your lawn. During this time of the year your lawn busily absorbs energy, nutrients and moisture in preparation for the long winter sleep. The care you give to it prior to and during its dormancy will reward you with a lush and healthier lawn as it reawakens in spring. Here are some ways you can prepare your lawn for fall.
Know your grass
The maintenance you will do on your lawn will depend on where you reside and what type of grass you grow. Basically, there are two kinds of turf-grass: cool-season and warm-season. Those that fall under the cool-season category are greenest during spring and autumn and sulk during summer. Warm-season types, on the other hand, are the exact opposite, thriving well during summer and turning completely brown when temperatures start to drop. Between the two, warm-season lawns require minimal care during autumn because of their early dormancy. However, no matter where you reside and what type of grass you grow fall maintenance is still necessary even if the top growth of your lawn is already dormant.
Test the soil
Before you do anything on your lawn, test the soil first to determine the existing levels of nutrients, pH and other factors that affect grass growth. The results you will get can help you identify the right kind of fertilizer to use on your lawn or what treatment your grass needs. If you are not sure how to do this, you can ask assistance from your local service as they usually perform soil testing for homeowners for a minimal fee.
Fertilize your lawn
Lawn experts agree that the best time to fertilize your lawn is during autumn. Why? Grass grows slower as the temperatures start to drop, but the roots continue to grow quickly. Hence, when you fertilize your lawn in the fall, you are providing essential nutrients for the grass, which are quickly stored in their roots, keeping them strong during winter and allowing them to grow greener and faster in the spring.
When fertilizing, make sure that you use a slow-release fertilizer and do not miss any spots. For optimal coverage, use a broadcast spreader or a walk-behind drop spreader.
Fill in bare spots
The bald spots on your lawn are best addressed during fall. The easiest way to fill in those bare spots is to use a lawn repair mixture, which you can purchase from gardening stores and home centers. This ready-made mixture is complete with grass seed, quick-start lawn fertilizer and organic mulch.
To apply the mixture, loosen up the soil on the bald spots with a garden rake. Then, sprinkle a thick layer of the mixture over the affected area. After which, compact the mixture and water it every other day for the span of two weeks.
Mow it low
Mowing your lawn at the highest setting should be done until the grass above the ground lays dormant. This will help preserve the necessary nutrients for the grass to produce greener blades. As autumn draws nearer, set your mower to its lowest setting and give your lawn its last two cuttings. This will allow more natural light to reach the crown of the grass, lessening the amount of leaf that turns brown in the winter.
Rake the leaves and control the weeds
Raking leaves and keeping weeds at bay are not fun activities. However, doing these things will help prevent your grass from suffocating and acquiring fungal diseases. Hence, do not wait until all the leaves on your trees have fallen. Instead, rake them before they become wet. As for the weeds, stop them from taking over your lawn by using an herbicide. Read the label carefully so that you will know how much herbicide you should apply and when is the right time to apply it.
Is your lawn ready for fall? What do you need to do yet?Image credit
We Do Boxes is a UK-based online store that sells high quality cardboard packing boxes at affordable rates. This article was penned by one of their regular contributors.