Get Your Grass Ready for Fall
When cooler September temperatures start to herald the upcoming arrival of fall, a lot of routines change. Your routine for taking care of your yard should be one of them.
In addition to the blanket of fallen foliage you can be looking forward to, your grass itself changes its growth and nutrient absorption pace when the weather chills out.
Here are a few tips for caring for your grass through the changing seasons:
At the beginning of the fall, you can mow less often and leave your grass a little longer — especially if you’re growing warm season grasses like Bermuda. That added grass blade area will let the grass soak in more sun and store more nutrients.
Once the temperatures start to really cool down, consider trimming your grass at a slightly shorter height. “Mow the lawn with the blade on its lowest setting to help the sun reach the crown of the grass,” American Home Shield suggests. This is especially important for your last few grass trims later in the fall. That will prevent long, dead grass ends from smothering new growth after the winter.
During the fall, weeds do the same thing the rest of nature is doing: fall back into energy and nutrient conservation mode. They’re ready to absorb whatever comes their way, including weed killers. Strategic use of weed killers now makes it less likely that they’ll be coming back around next year.
“Perennial weeds readily send herbicides containing glyphosate, 2, 4-D, and MCPP applied as a spray or granules to their roots in fall,” according to Better Homes & Gardens. “Sprays work best on days with moderate temperatures and when the soil is moist.”
Now is the time to be thinking ahead to next year and what you want your yard to look like when spring rolls around. If you live in the South and want to plant tulip or daffodil bulbs for next year, get those in the ground before it freezes. Not all bulbs can weather the winter in more northern climates, but southern winters stay mild enough to keep them protected and ready to thrive when spring arrives.
Fall is also the perfect time to fill in any balding spots in your grass. The cooler temperatures allow new seed to get some growth in without harsh summer heat or the obstacle of rapidly growing weeds. If you want to go the sod route, now is the best time to get sod laid as well.
You knew this one was coming. In addition to the important visual aspect of preventing an unsightly layer of dead foliage from taking over your carefully curated yard, raking leaves is actually important to keeping your grass alive. Especially if you wait until after it rains, fallen leaves can smother and kill grass. This makes raking soon and often an important part of the care and keeping of your grass. Clearing off leaves also ensures that your grass can make the most of the sunlight.
If you want to make the task a little easier, you can run a mulching mower through a light carpet of leaves to shred them. This can create a composting effect. This method is only ideal for small quantities of leaves, however; once the autumn carpet gets thick, it’s time for the blower and the rake.
Need help taking care of your lawn for the fall? Find out how North Texas Lawns can help!
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