Fall is a great time to get your lawn in shape! While many people think of spring as the time for lawn care, there are actually some things that can be done better in fall. Let’s take a look at when and why it is beneficial to perform certain lawn care tasks in fall.
For more information on the kind of lawn care services available in the fall months, check with your local lawn care provider.
Understanding Cool-Season Lawns
Climate and geography play a major role in lawn care, the most significant of which is determining which type of lawn grass you have. Most of the United States is home to cool-season grasses, which means they go dormant in the hot summer months and come back to life in the cooler fall and spring weather.
The three most common types of cool-season grasses are Kentucky bluegrass, tall fescue, and fine fescue. Grasses like these are still growing after warm-season varieties have stopped, so fall is actually a key time to perform some lawn care. Without proper lawn care into the fall months, your lawn will struggle to maintain its health, which can be a death sentence for a cool-season lawn heading into winter. The better shape your lawn is in when winter arrives, the better shape it will be in when winter leaves.
Fertilizing Your Lawn In Fall
If your lawn is mostly composed of cool-season grasses, you should fertilize it in fall. This is because fall fertilization helps promote root growth, which is essential for a healthy lawn. A healthy root system means a healthier lawn that is better able to withstand the stresses of winter.
When applying fertilizer, be sure to use one that is specifically designed for fall use. Fall fertilizers contain different nutrients than spring or summer fertilizers, so it’s important to use the right one for the season. You should also be careful not to over-fertilize, as this can do more harm than good. If you’re unsure about how much fertilizer to apply, it’s best to consult a professional lawn care company.
Fall Weed Control
Weeds are always a pain, but they can be especially troublesome in fall. This is because many weeds, such as dandelions, actually release their seeds in fall. If these seeds take root in your lawn, you’ll be dealing with a whole new crop of weeds come spring.
The best way to control weeds is to prevent them from taking root in the first place. The best way to do this is to make sure your lawn is healthy and thick. A thick lawn crowds out weed seeds, preventing them from taking hold. If you have a thin lawn, now is a good time to seed it so that it will be thick and luscious come spring.
Core Aeration In Autumn
Core aeration is a lawn care practice that involves removing small cores of soil from your lawn. This may seem counterintuitive, but it actually has a number of benefits. Aeration helps improve drainage, reduce compaction, and promote root growth. It also helps your lawn to better absorb water, nutrients, and oxygen. All of these things lead to a healthier lawn that is better able to withstand the stresses of winter.
If you have a cool-season lawn, fall is a great time to have it aerated. Many people wait until spring to have their lawns aerated, but fall is actually the best time to do it. This is because the cooler temperatures and moist soil make it easier for the cores to be removed. The cores also have a chance to decompose before winter, which helps improve the quality of your lawn’s soil.
Overseeding For Next Season
Overseeding is the process of planting grass seed in an already existing lawn. This is a great way to thicken up a thin lawn, or to improve the overall quality of your lawn. Overseeding can also help you to improve the shade tolerance, disease resistance, and drought tolerance of your lawn, all of which will be very useful as the damaging effects of winter arrive.
If you overseed your lawn in fall, you’ll need to use a cool-season grass seed mix. Be sure to consult a professional before overseeding, as they will be able to recommend the best type of seed for your particular lawn. Once you’ve seeded your lawn, be sure to water it regularly and protect it from foot traffic until the new grass has had a chance to take root.
The Bottom Line
Fall is a crucial time for lawn care, especially if you have a cool-season lawn. Be sure to fertilize, control weeds, and aerate your lawn this fall to ensure a healthy and beautiful lawn all winter long!