Fall is a critical time for proper lawn care as grass stores nutrients for the winter and prepares to go dormant.
Follow these steps to ensure your lawn has a great head start in spring.
- Aerate the soil - This allows oxygen, water, and fertilizer to easily reach the grass roots.
- Rake fallen leaves often - At least once a week. If leaves are left on the grass too long it will block out sunlight and prevent nutrient storage. Wet, compacted leaves on top of grass can suffocate the grass and lead to fungal growth.
- Fertilize - If you fertilize once a year, fall is the time. A good slow release fertilizer with proper nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium levels will give your lawn a great start in the spring and promote strong, disease resistant roots.
- Overseed - Fall is a great time to lay down grass seed. Best to do it in conjunction with aerating so the seeds are in contact with the soil. Either overseed early in the fall to give the seeds time to germinate and establish some growth, or wait late fall when everything is dormant before the seeds can germinate. Anything in between and the seeds won't survive the winter.
- Last mowing the season - This is the one time of the year to mow the grass short, 2 inches. This will lessen the chance of snow mold forming and the short grass blades wont smother new growth next spring.
- Weed control - Weeds, just like the grass, are storing nutrients for the winter. Apply an herbicide to target the weeds.