With the leaves changing colors, and with temperatures dropping, most people are thinking about football games and Halloween costumes, not so much lawn care. Since grass grows slowly during the fall season, many think that a lawn requires less maintenance, while in fact your lawn is seeking nutrients to prepare for the long winter season. Putting in some work before the cold weather settles in will result in a lush, green lawn come spring! Use these tips as a guide to ensure lawn care success.
In addition to preparing your lawn for winter, it’s just as important to prepare your home. Check out our Fall Home Maintenance Checklist to start prepping for the cold today!
Mow, Mow, Mow Your Lawn
You aren’t off the hook for mowing just because it’s getting colder! Keep mowing your lawn until you see that the growth of the grass has slowed. Gradually lowering your mower blade will allow the maximum amount of sun to reach the blades. Water your lawn as necessary to keep it hydrated. Once you’ve reached the last cut of the year, keeping your lawn short (shoot for 1 to 1 – ½ inches) will make autumn raking easier. Raking will also keep parts of your lawn from becoming sun-deprived and reduce brown patches.
Aerate and Mulch
Fall is the perfect time to aerate your lawn, allowing as much sun, oxygen, and moisture as possible to reach the roots. An aerator can’t properly pierce soil that is dry and hard, so waiting for a day that is moist will produce best results. Mulch can protect your lawn’s trees and other plants from winter’s harsh conditions. To avoid bark and stems from rotting, keep the mulch about two inches from the base of trees and plants.
Fertilize for Spring Growth
If you only fertilize your lawn once a year, autumn is the optimal time. Grass leaves continue to grow very slowly, but root-stimulating fertilizer encourages robust root growth, motivating grass to stay strong while dormant over the winter. Make sure you spread fertilizer evenly, as failure to do so will cause your lawn to look uneven. Many lawn experts suggest over-seeding to increase the chances of a full lawn and reducing the risk of bald spots.
Continuing to rake your yard is important during the different stages of fertilization. The key is to remember that sun equals green grass! Make sure your lawn gets a fighting chance to soak up as much sun as possible as the days continue to get shorter.
Like the grass, pesky plants like dandelions and crabgrass are also working hard to soak up moisture and nutrients. During this high-absorption period, they’ll be more than willing to soak up your weed killer too. Hitting weeds hard with herbicide now will lessen the chances of them growing back in the spring, and allow more moisture to get to your grass and plants.
Regardless of the size of your lawn care project, Mariner Finance is here for your financing needs! So don’t give up on that new lawnmower, aerator, or some mulching supplies just yet! Call your local branch today to see how much money you may qualify for. Still on the fence? Click here to see what others had to say about their experience with Mariner.