Be Prepared For When The Leaves Fall

As the nights get colder and leave morning dew on your windows, now is the time to start preparing your lawn for spring growth. Here are the best ways to take care of your lawn in autumn.

Know What Sort of Grass You Have

The two main categories of grass—cold-season and warm-season turf grasses—are based on the type of climate the grass can thrive in. Given the area of the country we live in, you most likely have cold-season grass. For cold season grass types, fertilization of the lawn should happen in the autumn.

Keep Mowing & Watering Your Lawn

Grass continues to grow up to the first hard frost of winter. It will need regular cuts to keep it at an ideal 2-1/2” to 3” height. If your lawn gets to be too long, then it will mat and be vulnerable to fungi like snow mold. As the season draws to a close, drop the mower’s blade to its lowest setting for the last two cuttings of the year. That will allow more sunlight to reach the crown of the grass. And make sure to drain old gas after the last mowing.

Note: As you lower the blade, remember not to trim off more than one third of the grass blades at a time.

Aerate the Soil

Aerating, or punching holes into, your lawn allows oxygen, water and fertilizer to reach the roots of the grass. Aeration also increases compaction and reduces thatch, which is dead organic matter mixed with living plant parts that can lead to disease and damage from drought and cold weather. 

Fertilize Your Lawn

Autumn is the best time of year to fertilize your lawn. Throughout winter, grass roots will keep growing and utilize nutrients. A good fertilizer should have a mixture of nutrients that build deeper and tougher roots to prepare for spring, while controlling tough weeds like dandelion and clover.

Note that over fertilizing your lawn may cause thatch to develop.

Remove Leaves

Yes the warm colors of fall are what we cherish about this time of year, however it’s important to remove fallen leaves from your lawn. Not only can leaves block out sunlight, they can trap in moisture from rain and morning dew creating an impenetrable mat that if ignored will suffocate the grass and breed fungal diseases. Let the leaves sit on your lawn would also require you to aerate. So after a couple of jumps into the giant pile of leaves, make sure to rake them.

Autumn is the time of year to take care of your lawn. Stop in to your local Norbys today to get everything you need from rakes to fertilizer. With the right tools and knowledge, your lawn will be ready for winter and spring.