What Does Your Yard Need Now?
Late fall lawn care will reward you
It’s a warm weekend ahead, so get out there and love your lawn.
Halloween is an annual benchmark that before we call it quits on the landscape season, our lawns are due for a little payback. They’ve spent the last few months cooling the summer heat as well as giving a place for the dog a to roll around and the kids to run barefoot. A nice lawn loves us all season long – now it’s our turn to give the TLC.
Here are 4 ways to love your lawn.
#1 – Mow one more time.
With a late-season mow, your lawn will look nicely tucked in for the winter – but the final mow is about more than looks. According to the experts at CSU, grass is much more likely to develop mold and other turf diseases if it goes into dormancy at a taller height. Late season mowing is a smart way to love your lawn and keep it healthy.
#2 – Leave the leaves.
As leaves continue to fall, use your lawn mower to run over the leaves and mulch them. Leave the mulched leaves on top of the lawn where they will be naturally composted into the soil and provide nutrients for the lawn in the process. This is a sustainable and efficient way to deal with leaves. In other words, there’s no raking, piling or bagging required.
#3 – Fertilize for the fall.
Fall, again according to the scientists at CSU, is the best time of year to fertilize Colorado’s bluegrass lawns. This late-season fertilization creates a healthier turf before winter, helps develop a strong root system and stimulates turf that will green up earlier in the spring without excessive top growth. Early spring fertilization, on the other hand, will promote unnecessary growth and that means more mowing for you.
Tips for fall fertilization
- Apply a fertilizer that provides 1 lb. of nitrogen per 1,000 sq. ft. of lawn. For natural, organic fertilizers, like dehydrated poultry waste, double the amount.
- The turf should be green when the fertilizer is applied – and if the soil is not moist, irrigate and wait for a day before applying. Moist soil is what makes the nitrogen dissolve easily.
- Avoid applying fertilizer to very cold soil or dormant turf as the fertilizer won’t be used efficiently.
#4 – Aeration is optional.
Fall is the second best time of year to aerate the lawn. If you failed to aerate in the spring, consider doing so now. You will need to make sure the soil is moist so that the aeration machine can do a good job of removing the plugs of soil and thatch from the lawn. Aeration reduces thatch and soil compaction and helps move water and nutrients into the root zone.
Consistent and timely plant care goes a long way to build a healthier lawn that is more resistant to weeds and disease. These are sustainable practices and preventive measures that reduce the need for pesticides, herbicides and other treatments for your lawn.