With the chill in the air, and days that are gradually becoming shorter and shorter, it’s clear that fall has arrived. Fall is a special time for gardens as tree leaves turn varying shades of orange and yellow and changes are made to prepare for the coming winter.
It’s also an important time to get ahead of the changes that need to be made to prepare your lawn for the colder weather. Keep in mind that the preparation work that you do now will have a significant impact on how your lawn will recover from a long, hot summer and will ensure that it survives the cold months from November onwards.
Arbor Enterprises, a leading Pittsboro-based landscape company, offers lawn care as part of their landscape and maintenance services. They share their top lawn care tip for the fall:
Raking Leaves for Optimal Lawn Health
While a blanket of brightly colored fall leaves adds to the beauty of your yard, they do have the potential to trigger and promote the growth of lawn fungus.
Lawn fungal disease can typically be identified when brown or yellow patches appear on a lawn in rings that grow over time. It can also appear as dark, wet, or slimy areas which stunt the growth of grass in the affected area.
The leaves contribute to the development of the fungus as they form a mat that lies on top of the grass, blocking sunlight and trapping in moisture. This environment provides the perfect conditions for the fungus to thrive.
The best way to prevent lawn fungus is to regularly rake or use a leaf blower to remove leaves and other debris from your lawn which will allow your grass to breathe as well as prevent the build-up of moisture.
Mowing the Lawn to Stimulate Growth
As with fallen leaves, grass that is too long is also susceptible to lawn fungus. Conversely, grass that is too short will have the effect of stunting root growth. Often homeowners will tend to cut the grass as short as possible to minimize the frequency with which the lawn needs to be mowed.
Arbor Enterprises recommends an alternative approach. They suggest rather raising your lawnmower to the highest setting and mowing more frequently. Lawns should be mown throughout fall until the first frost hits.
An extra bonus of regular mowing allows you to grind up leftover leaves that can be funnelled into your grass.
Lawn Fertilization to Repair Sun-Damage Areas and Protect Grass Roots
Fall is the perfect time to fertilize your lawn. Early fall fertilization will help to repair your lawn from the harsh, drying heat of summer. This can be followed up with late fall fertilization which will prepare and protect the grass root for the coming cold of winter. The milder temperatures of fall, coupled with the benefit of longer-lasting morning dew, make it the optimal time for your lawn to effectively absorb nutrients from the fertilizer. Do not forget to water once the seed becomes saturated.
Get Ahead of the Cold by Winterizing Your Sprinkler System
If your lawn has an irrigation system, it will need to be prepared for winter conditions. This process will prevent any water from freezing in pipes which could lead to them bursting, causing costly damage to the system.