Fall Lawn Care

N1904P39002H(1)

File photo

Love your lawn as much as this little guy, by investing a little time and effort now, to create better growth throughout spring and summer.

Fall Lawn Care

Fall is on the horizon and many gardeners are taking advantage of every nice day, trying to eke out the last of the gardening season. Many homeowners and gardeners often neglect the yard at this time of year but there are still a few important tasks to take on. Fall lawn care is a task worth pursuing which will pay off immensely next spring and throughout the growing season.
With lawn mowing season almost coming to an end, remember to allow enough time from your last mowing, for your grass to grow to about 8 to 12 centimetres high, before the ground freezes. By keeping your lawn longer before it dies back for the winter allows for a layer of insulation to form over the roots. This layer of insulation is very beneficial for protecting the roots not just during the cold winter months but especially next spring when the snow has melted but the ground thaws and freezes as the early spring temperatures fluctuate.
Make sure that you rake all of the fallen leaves off of your lawn in the fall. Fallen leaves can become matted and often contain molds and disease that can affect your lawn. A clean lawn allows for the grass to continue to store carbohydrates (food) right up until the frost forces the grass into dormancy. After a hot dry summer, your lawn needs the extra help. Making sure that the ground is fully saturated before freeze-up will also ensure your lawn remains healthy over the winter.
Late summer and early fall is a great time for some extra lawn maintenance.
Consider aerating to help the soil under your lawn. You can rent an aerating machine from your local rental centre. An aerator punctures the surface of the soil and pulls out plugs of soil to allow for better drainage of moisture and nutrients and prevents compaction of your lawn and the root zone of the lawn.
Some people will lay sod this time of year, as the literature states that you can lay sod right up until the ground freezes but I recommend laying the sod while the temperature is still warm enough for the roots to continue growing so that the sod adheres to the ground before winter. Nonetheless if you have planted sod this time of year make sure you adequately water it right up until the ground freezes.
Fall fertilizing is best done as the growth rate of the grass is starting to taper off usually in late September if the weather isn’t too warm. Fall fertilizing can take place right into late October. A very important tip is that fall lawn fertilizer is a special blend of nutrients. Never use the leftover fertilizer that you applied in the spring. A spring fertilizer is high in Nitrogen (N). Fall fertilizer contains high amounts of Potassium (K) which is vital for root development.
A few simple lawn care tips and chores in the fall will help to ensure that your lawn stays healthy under the snow and gets a jump start in the spring.