Though summer is just starting, fall will be here sooner than you think. Those who have a yard understand that the work is never done when it comes to maintaining a lush carpet of green grass. The fall season is the perfect time to clean out the debris that is dying off in the garden and give the lawn some protection against the colder weather. Here are some tips for fall lawn care:
You will need:
- Rake or leaf vacuum
- Water supply
- Ryegrass (either annual or perennial, see below)
- Nitrogen (if cool season grass is in the lawn)
- Possibly lime or sulfur (see below)
Step 1: Find out whether the lawn is comprised of warm or cool season turf grasses. Watering, lawn mower height, and fertilizing methods will differ for each type. Cool season grasses will need enough water to last through the winter. They should also receive a fertilizing treatment of 1 pound of nitrogen for each 1,000 square feet of lawn area. Warm season grass should not be fertilized in the fall.
Apply annual winter ryegrass seed to warm season grass in order to provide it with nice color during the winter. Increase the height of the lawn mower by ½ inch through the fall season. Apply perennial winter ryegrass to lawns with cool season grasses in order to fix bare spots. Then mow at the usual height.
Step 2: Apply herbicides to any broadleaf weeds that are still growing in the grass.
Step 3: If the lawn does not seem to grow well in the warm weather, have the soil tested. If the results reflect that the acidity of the soil must be reduced, apply lime to the lawn. If the alkalinity of the soil needs reduction, apply sulfur.
Step 4: Rake the lawn in order to remove harmful thatch. If the soil is extremely compacted, have the lawn aerated by a professional or do it yourself.
Step 5: Remove leaves from the lawn using a rake or leaf vacuum. Leaves left on the grass will smother it during the winter, blocking necessary nutrients pulled from the air and water.
Step 6: Winterize the necessary lawn equipment. This includes draining gas from lawn mowers and gas operated edge trimmers.