When you’ve mulched the last of the leaves, your fall lawn care isn’t quite done. This transition time from your lawn’s active growth to its healthy dormancy is when you need to take some extra care to help prepare it for next year’s growth. Follow these simple tips now so you’ll love your yard later:
Aeration is a process that mechanically removes small plugs of turf, thatch and soil from your lawn, leaving small holes in the turf. The plugs scattered on your lawn break down after a week or two and blend back into the lawn, feeding nutrients back to the root system. Aeration opens the soil, letting more water and food reach the roots, helping them grow stronger. If your lawn has significant thatch or soil compaction, it should be aerated at least twice a year.
Thoroughly walk your property and inspect lawn, trees and shrubs. Identify problem areas in need of treatment, pruning or replacement. Note patchy areas, where grass has thinned out or is in need of valuable nutrients and appears as light green. Also look for weed and pest infestations and overgrown shrubs and trees, especially those with the potential for interfering with roof and power lines. Consider a qualified expert, such as TruGreen, to properly gauge your lawn and landscape needs.
Fall is the ideal time to seed bare lawn areas and overseed healthy grass to improve lawn thickness and density.
Lightly rake an inch of surface soil to remove dead debris and properly prepare the area for seeding. Select a grass seed that is the same type as the grass already growing in your lawn. Lightly apply seed to the soil surface and gently pack to firm the seed into the soil.
Apply a light layer of straw or seeding mulch to encourage rapid seed germination. Water lightly until the seed has fully emerged. Do not apply crabgrass preventive to newly seeded areas of your lawn.
A good fall feeding gives roots of lawns, trees and shrubs the energy needed to prepare for a healthy spring green revival. Keep fertilizer on target to prevent run-off and sweep fertilizer granules that may reach pavement back onto your lawn. Use a trained specialist, for insect and disease control measures customized to your region to help trees and shrubs thrive. If you fertilize your own lawn, make sure you read and follow the directions on product carefully and sweep all fertilizer granules that may reach pavement back onto your lawn.
A little well-timed pruning goes a long way toward improving your landscape and protecting your investment.
When pruning your trees and shrubs, TruGreen recommends the following techniques:
- Use sharp, high-quality tools that are matched in size to the job so they cut without tearing.
- Trim small branches up to 1/2 inch in diameter with hand shears.
- Cut branches up to 1 inch in diameter with loppers.
- Cut large branches of one to two inches in diameter with a pruning saw.
- Shear formal hedges with hedge shears.
Visit TruGreen for information on customized winterization services, including lawn, tree and shrub expertise prescribed and delivered by trained specialists.