Fall is a prime time of year for turf health and renovations. As temps. cool, turf grasses thrive, and fall is the best time to rehab those trouble areas.
It’s been a long, hot summer. Given that many of us are sticking close to home these days, and utilizing our lawns/yards more than ever before, your turf has probably seen better days. Maybe you have had some new yard issues this summer like lawn grubs, snow mold, brown patches, or a project that involved digging up some of your cherished lawn. Whatever may have happened, September is an excellent month to help re-invigorate your lawn and set it up for a healthy winter so it can flourish next Spring. Below are a few lawn care strategies we recommend this fall.
Fall Aeration & Overseeding For Your Lawn
After a season of heavy use and mowing, the soil in your lawn is compact. This makes it hard for your yard to breathe and for new grass seed to take hold. Not only does aeration help reduce soil compaction, but it allows water to reach the root zone and benefits the microorganisms in the soil. These organisms break down existing thatch, improve soil quality and release additional nutrients for healthy turf development. By removing cores of turf and soil and then overseeding, the seeds have more seed-to-soil contact and have a better chance of taking hold and germinating next spring to give you a lush, healthy lawn.
Compost Your Yard In The Fall
By early fall, your lawn is starved of nutrients. Typically, lawns are stressed from increased use and summer sun; by putting down organic compost, you are giving your turf immediate valuable nutrients and introducing microbes that help loosen that ease stress and supply. We broadcast a thin layer of organic compost Top Dressing over your existing lawn which supplies valuable nutrients. Typically, we apply between ¼ inch of compost throughout our client's lawns.
Fall Organic Fertilizer Application
Fall is the absolute most important time to feed your lawn before the winter season rolls in. Not only does fertilizer provide long-lasting nutrients throughout the winter months, it supplies a boost to the spring regrowth season. At Pure Solutions, we use an organic fertilizer with slow releasing, consistent nitrogen that allows for an earlier “green up” of your lawn. Unlike a conventional fertilizer program that is dependent on water, organic fertilizers break down with active soil biology.
Watering Your Lawn In The Fall
Just because the leaves are turning doesn't mean it’s time to put the sprinkler away. This is one of the most common mistakes made by homeowners, they stop watering their lawns far too soon. Your turf is still very much alive and needs to be fed, as explained above, these strategies are only the most effective when combined with a consistent lawn watering program.
“This is crucial to build a solid foundation for your lawn and to help it repair any damage that occurred over the summertime. Don't deprive it of irrigation during this critical time. An adequate water supply for grassroots is essential for proper nutrient uptake during growth periods. If your lawn isn't sufficiently absorbing nutrients, it won't achieve optimal health and might not survive a harsh winter.” (The Spruce)
Mowing Your Yard In The Fall
Typically, we like to see lawns at 3 to 3-1/2 inches of height after it is mowed. As turfgrass growth slows, you can continue to mow your lawn regularly. Because the growth rate slows, you can in turn lower your cutting height so that you are only removing 25-35% of the blade of the grass. Continue this strategy until your grass is about 2-½ inches tall and then continue to mow at that height until the grass stops growing. Keeping your lawn with a shorter height for winter will help in preventing snow mold.
Lawn Dethatching In The Fall
Thatch is the dead material buildup on the lawn, like mowed grass, dead leaves, and dead grass. Letting thatch sit on the lawn can inhibit water and nutrients from reaching the soil and grassroots.
“Another lawn care practice that some people do in the fall is dethatching. Thatch is the accumulation of roots and shoots resistant to decay beneath the healthy grass of your lawn. Dethatching removes the thatch. Consider dethatching your lawn if you have more than 1 ½ inches of thatch. If it is less than 1 ½ inches, it can be left alone.” (University of Minnesota Extension)
At Pure Solutions, we invest a lot of time and care into our Fall Organic Lawn Care Programs. We recognize that by implementing the proper strategies now we are saving our clients money in the future by ensuring their lawns have a better shot at being lush, healthy, and green next spring. Too often, we see clients end their lawn programs prematurely, only having to spend more next spring playing catch-up to get it back to where we left off. If you would like to learn more about Fall Lawn Programs or have any questions about how to maintain your lawn this fall please email us today.