When you think of lawn care, you probably think of watering it during the dry seasons and mowing it through the summer. However, did you know that the care you give your lawn this fall could mean the difference between a gorgeous, lush lawn and patchy, brown grass and a yard overrun with weeds next April?
That’s right, fall lawn care– sometimes called winterizing – is incredibly important for keeping your lawn healthy and beautiful throughout the year. Now is the time to change your fertilizer, get out the fungicide, and lower your mower deck. It doesn’t take much, and it can make a world of difference and save you both time and money come spring.
You already know that your lawn won’t be doing much growing in the winter months. However, that doesn’t mean that your grass doesn’t need the right nutrients in its soil. You can fortify your lawn and help it stay healthy throughout the winter by using the right fertilizer now.
That’s right; the type of fertilizer your lawn needs depends in large part on the season. Right now you need a fertilizer that’s high in potassium, which will strengthen and fortify your lawn and keep it from dying in the colder months.
You also need to make sure that you get a fertilizer that’s low in nitrogen. While nitrogen is great for a tender, lush lawn in the spring and summer, it will make your grass vulnerable to winter weather.
How can you tell which fertilizer to buy? Every bag of fertilizer will have 3 numbers separated by hyphens (e.g. 32-3-11). The first number shows how much nitrogen is in the fertilizer, and the last number represents how much potassium it has. So choose a fertilizer with a low first number and high last number, and you’ll be set for winterizing your lawn.
Take Care of Lawn Disease
Keep an eye on your lawn throughout the fall. You’ll want to make sure that you rake up excess leaves falling on the yard because they will kill your grass if they sit on it too long. You’ll also want to keep watering your lawn to keep it nourished and hydrated, but make sure that it’s properly irrigated, too, as low areas can collect standing water, which can quickly kill grass.
While you’re checking on your irrigation, you can also do your lawn a favor by aerating it. You can use a boarder fork or a hollow tiner to force holes into the soil and open up channels for airflow. You really only need to aerate your lawn once every two years to keep the soil from becoming too compacted.
If you see an area of grass turning brown, you most likely have a case of brown patch, which is caused by fungus. Use a fungicide immediately on this area, and you may want to go ahead and spray the entire lawn with fungicide to prevent other patches from forming.
If you see bald or thinning patches of lawn, fill them in with grass seed now, and you’ll see more even, full grass come springtime. Make sure that you keep areas where you’ve seeded especially well watered, or the seed will die and you won’t see growth.
Lower Your Mower Deck
During the summer, you should keep your mower deck slightly higher to prevent heat stress. Now, though, it’s time to lower it back down to about 2 inches. This is high enough to keep the blades from pinching the turf, but it’s also low enough to keep your grass from getting matted down under falling leaves and/or snow.
In general, keep an eye on your lawn throughout the fall and winter, and if you see a problem you can’t handle on your own, don’t hesitate to call for professional help. Fischer Environmental offers many specialized, year-round lawn care services to fit your specific needs. Call today, (800) 391-2565.
Filed in: Lawn Care