Everyone wants their lawn to be green and healthy right up until snow covers it, and to come right back to green lushness in the spring. Here are some lawncare tips to take care of your lawn every season to keep your lawn looking beautiful.
1. Feed Your Grass
Now is the best time of year to give your lawn a good fertilizer application. When the weather starts to get cooler, your lawn will slow down its top growth yet the roots will keep up with growth. When the grass is still absorbing nutrients, you should apply some good fertilizer before the grass stops growing and the ground freezes.
A feeding in the fall will help your grass develop some deep roots and will give back some essential nutrients to store over the winter. In the spring, the grass plants will quickly use those stored nutrients, which means you will have a better chance of enjoying a nice green lawn that will be the envy of your neighbours.
2. Keep Watering and Cutting
As fall progresses you may be tempted to use your mower less, especially when the growth starts to slow. Don’t stop cutting and watering your lawn, though. Keep mowing until the grass stops growing,
Water is essential to help your grass build its root system to help it survive winter. If your area doesn’t get enough rain, give at least half an inch of water every week to stop your lawn from drying out.
As fall winds down, for your final mowing session, drop the blade down to a level lower than you normally cut, to cut the grass nice and short. This will help prevent the grass from matting and growing mould.
3. Put Down Some Seed
Early in the fall season is a great time to over-seed if your lawn looks patchy or thin. This will fill in bare spots and help thicken your grass. Over-seed then aerate immediately because the holes created by your aerator will offer the grass thousands of little entry points for the new seed to germinate and fill in any bare sports.
If you have a low spot on your lawn where water gathers, take the time to level out the ground. Add your soil, rake to loosen, add a lawn soil to that, then distribute the grass seed evenly over the new patch.
The optimum time to seed is in the early fall, when the night temperatures are lower and there is lots of morning dew. This falls between mid-August and late-September. This will give new grass time to establish itself in the fall, which gives it a better chance to come back thick and healthy in the spring.
To determine if you need to aerate your lawn, cut a test plug and measure the partially decomposed matter that can build between the soil surface and the bottom of your grass. This is called the thatch. If it’s more than half an inch, aerate in order to loosen soil compaction. This lets more light, air, and water reach the soil, which will help set up your lawn for strong spring growth.
If you lawn has a really thick layer of thatch, loosen with a power dethatcher and remove it with a rake. A think layer of thatch is ideal to help insulate against extreme temperatures and to conserve moisture, but anything more than half an inch will cause fungal problems and dry up roots, which could kill off your grass over winter.
5. Keep it Clear
Keep kids’ toys, garden tools, and leaves that can block nutrients and smother the grass. If your yard is small, use a garden rake to clean up the leaves that can deprive your grass of fall sunlight. If your yard is bigger, you can rent or purchase a leaf blower to help with the job.