Preparing Your Turf for the Fall

During the summer, routine yardwork keeps most homeowners in North Arkansas quite busy. Between the watering, mowing, weeding and edging, there is often little time left to think about preparing your lawn for the autumn. However, the health of your turf in the spring can be affected by the actions you take to prepare your turf for the fall. Here are some lawn care tips to help you achieve a greener, healthier turf next spring.

Fertilize in the Fall

Many people assume that there is no need to fertilize once cooler weather arrives and the turf is preparing to go dormant. However, your grass is still trying to store nutrients to survive the winter months. A fertilizer that is low in nitrogen and high in potassium is the best choice for an autumn application.

Have Your Turf Aerated Every Fall

Core aeration allows better delivery of nutrients and moisture to the roots. It can also help correct an accumulation of thatch that can block the delivery of the nutrients.

Scale Back on the Watering

Your lawn still needs water, but as its growth slows and temperatures fall, less water is required. The lower rate of evaporation means that what was sufficient during the summer may be excessive in the fall. Overwatering can lead to the development of fungi that can harm your turf.

Let the Grass Grow a Bit Longer

Raise the cutting height on your lawn mower by one or two notches for the final few cuttings of the season. This will help make the turf more resistant to fungi and other lawn diseases.

Overseed Your Lawn

A dense turf is more resistant to weeds. Overseeding increases density, but it also allows you to fill in bare patches or thin spots. Fall is an excellent season for spreading seed; moisture is plentiful, daytime highs are not scorching, the ground still retains its warmth and the nights are becoming cooler.

Keep Fallen Leaves Off Your Turf

Whether you add them to your compost pile or mulch them matters less than removing them from your turf. Piles of leaves trap moisture and block the light, so in the spring, you may find that the grass is dead beneath the soggy mats of decaying leaves.

Consider Applying a Pre-Emergent to Prevent Springtime Weeds

The density of your turf as well as the types of weeds that commonly invade your lawn are important factors when making your decision. However, avoid an aggressive attack on whatever annual weeds remain at the end of summer. These weeds will be dead soon enough, and excessive use of a weed killer so late in the season can make your turf weaker.

If you need lawn services or help to control indoor and outdoor pests, contact Action Pest and Turf. For a free estimate, call us today or submit the online form.