The fall season is a strategic time in lawn care. During this time, your yard is getting ready for the approaching winter. Similar to an animal preparing for hibernation, grass uses the fall season to take in an abundance of water and nutrients that will sustain itself through the upcoming snowy days.
Taking good care of your lawn in the months before it starts getting colder is the best way to ensure it stays healthy throughout the winter.
Throughout the season, remember to periodically remove the leaves that have accumulated on your property. If left where they are, leaf piles can smother grass, seriously degrading your lawn’s health and beauty. And once snow starts falling, the additional moisture creates an environment conducive to mold. Raking is a simple method of leaf collection. Another option is to use a mower equipped with a collection bag or mulcher.
When all leaves have been cleared, the next step is to mow the lawn. This will also be a regular activity during fall, because grass continues to grow until the first frost. NexGreen recommends you aim for a grass length of 2-to-3 inches. Cutting too short puts stress on the grass and weakens it, which you definitely do not want before wintertime. Leaving it too long makes it more susceptible to disease.
One of the best treatments that you can do for your lawn in the fall is aeration. Why? This process ensures an optimal level for plant absorption of oxygen, water, and sunshine. The holes that aeration creates make it possible for nourishment to reach grass at the roots, where it is needed the most.
Once aeration has been complete, it’s time to take advantage of the empty plugs and overseed. This process fills in the bare spots on your lawn with several variants of fresh grass seed, serving a dual purpose: the new additions make your yard look greener and fuller, and they also prevent weed growth by occupying unused space. Fall is the ideal time to overseed because the warm, shorter days and cool nights facilitate the new seeds’ ability to hold moisture and grow. The presence of these additional grasses makes your lawn thicker, more beautiful, and better prepared to withstand winter.
After aeration and overseeding is complete, fertilization will be able to work directly at the root level, which is most beneficial to plants. This process ensures that the grass is as resilient as possible so it will stay strong throughout the coldest months. Remember, fall is when plants start getting ready for their winter dormancy, so it’s the ideal time to make resources available for them to collect. For grasses, a fertilizer rich in nitrogen is generally the best choice.