Fall Lawn Care
The best natural defense against insect and weed damage is a healthy, dense lawn. Many folks pay a lot of attention to theirs lawns in the spring and summer but loose interest in the fall. The fall season an important season to pay attention to lawn care, this is when your lawn starts absorbing moisture and nutrients to prepare itself for a dormant winter season. This article was designed to cover six of the most important fall lawn care issues.
Don’t Fall – For Spring
Don’t wait for the spring to get your lawn healthy. The lawn maintenance steps you take in the fall not only prepare your lawn for the upcoming winter, but set it up for a more successful lush spring season.
Fall Lawn Care Tips
Fall lawn care tips can be bulked into six categories:
□ Leaf Removal
□ Lower The Mower Blade
□ Weed and Insect Control
The goal with fall fertilizing is to promote root growth. When you have strong roots, you have a healthy, lush lawn.
The most obvious step one can take to prepare a lawn prior to winter dormancy is fertilization. Fertilizing is essential during fall months and the storage of nutrients during the dormancy period to grow and sustain the root system.
In the fall grass growth slows down but the root system does not. Grass roots or, rhizomes, are the horizontal plant stems that lie just beneath the soil’s surface; they produce the grass blades as well as grow the roots system. By fertilizing in the fall, nutrients necessary to grow deep roots are delivered
A good time to apply fall fertilizer is mid-to-late fall. Apply a dry lawn fertilizer to all grassy areas; ensure good coverage.
Tip: Fertilize every six to eight weeks through October
When you buy fertilizer, you’ll see three numbers on the label. These numbers show the percentage of nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium (N-P-K), respectively, which are the primary nutrients needed to feed your lawn. So a 20-5-10 bag will have 20 percent nitrogen, 5 percent phosphorus, and 10 percent potassium.
There’s A Simpler Way
Tip: A simple way to remember what these three numbers mean is to use the term “ Up – Down – All Around.”
□ Up [Nitrogen] is for promotes green, leafy growth.
□ Down [Phosphorus] is important for strong root formation
□ All-Around [Potassium ] is promotes vigorous growth, hardiness, drought and disease resistance.
At Concord Carpenter we recommend using a higher nitrogen fertilizer [20-8-8] in September to push grass blade growth.
At the end of October or early November we recommend that you apply a fertilizer formula of 13-25-12. The high phosphate  will stimulate root growth. By strengthening the roots now you will help your lawn green-up faster in the spring and be more disease and drought resistant.
Tip: Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommended rate of application.
Often called the BEST time to start a lay, fall is an excellent time to add seed to fill in dead spots and assists the lawn from recovering from summer wear and tear.
The fall season offers cooler days and nights to help keep new seeds moist for germination and growth. Weed growth also slows in the cooler seasons and offer the opportunity to fill in weed spots with new grass plants.
The best time to start fall seeding is September to late October. You can focus on reseeding just the bare spots or over seed the entire lawn. Keep the soil moist for 7-14 days or until the seedlings are 2 inches tall
Fall is also a good time to aerate your lawn and is often best done before over seeding. Fall lawn aeration helps reduce thatch build up, promotes deep grass root growth and reverses grass compaction from summer traffic.
Aeration promotes deep rooting of the grass plant and helps the root system get needed oxygen and nutrients.
Mechanical aeration is one of the most preventative maintenance services you can do to insure a healthy green lawn.
Core aeration hops your lawn in the following ways:
- Improved air exchange between the soil
- Enhanced soil water uptake
- Improved fertilizer uptake and use
- Reduced water runoff and puddling
- Stronger turf grass roots
- Reduced soil compaction
- Enhanced heat and drought stress tolerance
- Enhanced thatch breakdown