Many homeowners feel that now that it is fall, it’s time to take your hands off the lawn and let it do its thing. No need to tend, mow, or care for the lawn as its fall, and that means everything dies and get soggy and muddy, right? Not necessarily. In late August, September, and even into parts of November, is the best time to improve the look and health of your lawn. Conditions are perfect for germination of lawn seed as there are less hot days and we have more moisture in the soil allowing you to take a break from watering every other day and allowing your lawn to really take root.
This is also the best season to fertilize and kill the weeds prepping your lawn for winter so that it is ready to go next spring. If you’re wanting to spend a little bit of time on your lawn, here are five essential lawn care tips to consider right now.
#1. Fertilize and feed.
Now is the time to fertilize and feed your lawn to create a healthy and vibrant yard for next spring. Just as the grassroots need water to last throughout the winter they can also benefit from a shot of fertilizer and seed. This can protect roots from freezing and give the entire plant the energy to really come back healthy in the spring. Fertilizer has bits of plant sugar, which are produced by chlorophyll, which grass naturally produces in abundance when there is enough nitrogen. A late fall application of a slow release granular 24 – zero – 10 fertilizer will really boost the roots aiding in root growth, disease protection, cold resistance, and grout tolerance.
#2. Mulch those leaves.
Or compost! Mulching them or chopping them up with the lawn more so find that they naturally will go back into the ground might be a natural way to go but it can also leave your yard looking a little messy. My suggestion is to sweep up in those leaves and compost them in a dedicated composting barrel or spot in your backyard. You can even cover your vegetable garden or around fruit trees with the ladies as they will create a beautiful natural mulch keeping the ground healthy and warm throughout the winter.
#3. Consider mowing your lawn shorter.
Drop your mower down and cut your lawn just 1 to 2 inches shorter than you would the rest of the growing season. Mow this grass until it really stops growing, about early winter or early December. Here is when it goes into hibernation mode so it will give you a nice looking lawn for several months.
#4. Aerate the Lawn
Now is a good time to consider aeration for your lawn. You can provide some extra airflow for your roots by aerating the lawn. A motorized aerator might be good for larger lawns or just walk around your lawn in high heels. This will allow the moisture to get to the roots, any fertilizer or feed to get down where it needs to be, and will create a healthy lawn in the spring.
#5. Trim and prune.
No, I’m not talking about pruning trees just yet, even though that’s coming, but I mean trim and prune your lawn, edge it, mow it, and get it ready to hibernate. Sometime around mid November to early December most lawns will stop growing at a rapid rate. They will tend to hibernate until spring when warmer weather starts to wake them up. Now is the time to trim it the way you wanted so that it looks good throughout the winter. Ray company leaves, cut back any annuals or perennials, and trim small bushes and groundcover back where you wanted to be and it should stay fairly contained until spring.
Of course, at any time, First Fruits Landscaping can do this for you. Give us a call for winter and fall landscaping maintenance, or contact us below to get a quote. Need help cleaning up your lawn this year? We do that! Call First Fruits Landscaping for all of your Pacific Northwest landscaping, gardening, and yard maintenance needs. Would love to help you design and prepare your garden or landscape for the entire year.