Fall Season Lawn Maintenance, by John Gallagher, AMJ
As days shorten and temperatures descend, it becomes time to implement fall lawn maintenance to prepare your home for the upcoming winter, when your lawn goes dormant.
Fertilizing is essential during these months. Fertilization of your lawn can provide an additional nutrient boost to be stored and used during the dormancy period. Throughout the winter, roots will keep growing and utilize these stored nutrients until the spring.
When leaves start falling, blow or rake the yard clean once per week at minimum. Making sure your yard is free of leaves not only improves appearance, but influences the health of your yard. Leaves block out sunlight, which your lawn needs in the fall as it stores up food for winter dormancy.
Thatch is the tightly intermingled layer of partially decomposed grass stems and roots which develops beneath the actively growing green vegetation and above the soil surface. Thatch decreases the vigor of turfgrasses by restricting the movement of air, water, plant nutrients, and pesticides into the soil. This operation should be performed when thatch is greater than or equal to one inch in depth and only during periods of cool weather and adequate moisture.
Maintaining a soil pH between 6.0 and 7.0 will favor microbial activity and hence, break down of thatch. It is not necessary to dethatch every year, rather, only when thatch build-up becomes excessive.
Fall is also a good time to aerate your lawn. Lawn Aeration fights grass compaction from summer traffic and promotes uptake of oxygen and nutrients.
Aeration is the process of mechanically removing plugs of soil from the turf area, thereby creating an artificial system of large pores by which moisture or plant nutrients can be taken into the soil. Aeration is employed to alleviate soil compaction and can significantly reduce thatch.
Aerators are equipped with hollow tines (usually 3–4 inches in length and ¼ to ¾ inches in width) or open spoons to remove plugs from the soil.
We usually avoid aeration in the spring because sometimes spring dethatching will bring large numbers of weed seeds to the soil surface and create voids for weeds to germinate and grow.
Power Seeding increases turf density. It improves the overall appearance and health of your yard. AMJ’s Lesco power seeder is designed to dispense the exact correct seed amount without harming existing turf. Power seeding in fall can also help the yard recover from the heavy use from the summer and has an effect on the way the lawn will look during the upcoming spring.
The best natural defense against insect and weed damage is a dense lawn.
Our time tested preference is to provide a slow release Winter Fertilizer which not only provides the carbs needed for the plant to survive and continue growing roots but also store enough energy until pre-emergent controls can be applied in Spring. The benefit is that your lawn get a nice growth spurt in the Spring, and its color comes back without the excessive height produced by Spring Fertilizations.
Call TODAY for a FREE Lawn Evaluation to discover what could be hiding in your lawn.