It’s officially fall! The weather is getting cooler, the leaves are changing and pumpkin spice is abundant. With the changing of leaves there is also threat of freeze and the whispers of “winter is coming”. In order to prep for winter, especially when it comes to winter there are several things your lawn still needs to make it through the winter to be super plush and thick come spring. Here are some tasks you should be doing:
- Reseed lawn – Fall is a perfect time to do a second seeding. You will want to fill in bald spots and any other low laying areas. You’ll want to continue watering as well until it drops below freezing. Making sure your lawn has adequate water before winter will give it stronger roots come spring.
- Continue mowing – Continue mowing your lawn. Mow until it starts to get super cool at night. For your last two mowings cut it 1-2 inches shorter than you normally do, so the plant leaf is shorter and won’t absorb as much sunlight. Keep in mind you don’t want to get too short as you could kill it and then you’re in trouble.
- Do a 2nd fertilizing. You should have done a first fertilizing in early September. Now is a great time to layer on that second coat and continue watering. Fertilizing now preps it for spring growth.
- Mulch leaves -Contrary to popular opinion, a layer of leaves does not insulate your grass from the snow and ice. It actually blocks sunlight and can cause thin spots in your lawn. You mulch your leaves by mowing over them. If you don’t want to rake this is a great alternative to raking leaves. You need to mulch as they fall. If you have piles or inches deep of leaves, it won’t work as well.
- Rake leaves -If you love jumping into piles, this is for you. Leaving a layer of leaves to get wet makes it harder to rake them, but also can breed mold and fungus, which can kill your lawn and not help your allergies. Leaves are great contributors to composting. You can do your own or cart your leaves to your city’s community compost pile.
- Aerate – Aerating your lawn allows it to breathe and promote better growth. Suggested times to aerate or once every few years. You can do this by foot by purchasing those spiked booties or you can buy a machine to do this for you. You can also hire a lawn service if you don’t have the time or have a large property.
The best thing to do to your lawn is stay on schedule. If you fertilize or seed too late, the seed might freeze and go dormant before taking root. It can wash away in the snow and you are out money on grass seed. If it’s done at the wrong time won’t maximize the benefits of doing all this care. If you don’t like doing it yourself there are services to hire who will do it for you. Enjoy these days of fall! Play in the leaves, talk a walk and get some fresh air!