Fall is a very crucial time for lawn care. The cooler temperatures provide ideal conditions to repair any damage that may have been caused by the summer months. Proper maintenance practices such as mowing at a height of 3”, watering once a week for one inch, and regular fertilizer applications are still very important. Caring for your lawn in the fall will help establish the foundation for your lawn to bounce back quicker next spring.
Fall raking provides several benefits for your lawn. It is important to remove any leaf piles from the lawn as they will limit the oxygen supply available. This will decrease the turf’s ability to breathe and result in an increased risk of dead patches or fungus appearing in your lawn.
Overtime, soil compacts and hardens. Soil compaction reduces your lawn’s ability to absorb anything that reaches the crown. By aerating every fall, you will allow more water, light, air and nutrients to reach the soil. Aeration gives your lawn a competitive advantage. By opening the root system it promotes deeper root growth and results in an overall stronger system.
If your lawn is more than simply just thin or has suffered from some summer injury causing bare areas, we recommend in addition to aeration that you topdress and overseed your lawn, with early fall being the best time to do this. Doing so will thicken your lawn for the following spring, helping to prevent weeds from growing through. Topdressing and overseeding adds valuable organic matter to the soil base which improves fertility and root structure while helping assist in the seeds germination.
When applying fertilizer to the lawn, you are helping to provide the nutrients and minerals the plant needs to survive. The fall and winter applications are considered the most important as turfgrass stores the nutrients required for the upcoming winter.
Fall provides an excellent balance of sunlight, nutrients, water, and temperature allowing for turfgrass to revitalize and strengthen its root system to prepare for winter. With a little extra work in the fall, your lawn will thank you by returning lush and healthy come springtime!