Greener Pastures: 5 Lawn Maintenance Tips for Fall
Come autumn, caring for your lawn should go beyond a weekly mowing. In fact, there are many steps homeowners can take to ensure their lawn remains healthy, green and beautiful for many seasons to come, according to the TruGreen lawn care experts:
Aeration involves removal of soil cores to improve water and air movement in compacted soils, and aids in promoting deeper and increased root growth and thatch management. Long-term, your lawn will respond quicker to fertilizer and water runoff will be reduced when irrigating.
When it comes to increasing lawn thickness and health, overseeding can be essential. It can help discourage future weeds while also aiding recovery from summer heat, disease and insect activity. Seeding during late summer or early fall will give grass the maximum time to develop a deep extensive root system and mature before the onset of winter stresses.
Aeration is recommended when overseeding to give seeds more soil contact and provide a moist, protected environment required for germination.
Fall feeding gives your landscape the nutrients needed to prepare for a healthy, green spring revival. Hiring a trained specialist with a plan customized to your region will help trees and shrubs thrive. If you fertilize your own lawn, make sure to follow the product directions and sweep all fertilizer that may reach pavement back onto your lawn.
Throughout the fall, remove fallen tree leaves and debris from your lawn. Studies have shown mulching tree leaves back into your lawn effectively clears away tree leaf debris that otherwise can become matted and damage your lawn over the winter. Clean and edge landscape beds, leaving no more than 2-3 inches of mulch in the beds.
Lowering the mower height by one or two settings during the last few mowings before winter reduces grass diseases associated with snow. Avoid walking on frost-covered lawns, as doing so may cause brown footprints to appear later that can remain visible until spring.
Pruning is an essential maintenance practice for trees and shrubs. Landscapes can quickly become overgrown if not cared for, but yearly pruning will maintain trees and shrubs to an ideal size and shape. Remove dead or damaged branches from trees and shrubs to prevent rot organisms from invading the trunk and stems of plants.
"A healthy lawn encourages you to live life outside more with your family, friends and neighbors," says TruGreen Chief Science Officer Dr. Kirk Hurto. "There's no time like late summer and early fall to start preparing your yard for those spring and summertime outdoor gatherings."