Though the fall and winter tend to represent a break in landscaping and gardening, one of the keys to a healthy lawn in the spring is proper care in the fall. Caring for your lawn in the fall may go completely forgotten and result in less lush, green grass in the spring. To ensure your lawn stays healthy and appealing all through the colder months, here are some fall lawn care steps you can take right now.
It’s important to make sure your lawn is regularly cut to the right length–ideally 2.5 to 3 inches. You should continue right up to the first hard frost of the season, as your grass will keep growing until then. If your lawn grows too long in the cold weather, without proper care it could be vulnerable to fungi and other types of mold. Keep in mind that you don’t want to cut the lawn too short before the hard frosts begin, either, so as not to compromise the root system before the winter.
Water Your Lawn
An often forgotten part of fall lawn care is watering your grass. Though the fall is usually a rainier season than normal, and the weather is getting cooler, the naturally increased moisture simply may not be enough to keep your grass prepared for the long winter ahead. Keeping your lawn watered this October will help ensure that your lawn isn’t vulnerable to damage from a dry and compromised root system.
Loosening your soil every couple of years will allow your grass to grow healthier in the warmer months. Aeration helps to keep the soil from becoming too compacted and full of root and debris conglomerations that can keep water, oxygen, and important nutrients from reaching your grass. If you haven’t aerated your lawn in several years, doing so this fall will help set the stage for a lush and healthy yard this upcoming spring.
Fertilize Your Lawn
An important part of keeping your lawn healthy is fertilizing it to promote strong roots and regular growth. This can be especially important in the winter when freezes and overall cooler weather can threaten the health of your lawn for months at a time. Fertilizing your lawn this fall will help it prepare for a tough winter and allow it to have a strong foundation for healthy growth when spring returns. Just be sure to maintain a 5 foot buffer from waterways when laying down your fertilizer.
Seeding your lawn, even when there’s already considerable growth present, can help your lawn protect itself from weeds as well as harsh winter weather. A denser lawn will be stronger and more resilient, and also help prevent patchiness that can come in the early spring after a tough winter for grass roots. Just be sure to seed by injection, rather than by tearing up the lawn with seeder machine, as this can compromise your landscape just before its most vulnerable season.
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