The leaves have taken on a reddish hue. The days have become shorter and the temperature has become cooler. And in a few months’ time, it will be winter.
But if you have a lawn on your property, that does not mean that you can kick back your shoes and take things easy. No. If you want a lush, healthy lawn all year round, your job does not end with the onset of fall.
Here’s a brief checklist of the tasks that you need to do to prep your lawn for fall and succeeding months, provided by an expert in lawn care from Great Falls, VA.
1. Continue watering your lawn
Some homeowners think that they can minimize or totally stop watering their lawns upon the arrival of fall.
According to a trusted lawn care professional from McLean, VA, your lawn needs to be watered for three important reasons. First, irrigation allows your lawn to regain its strength after the harsh heat of the summer. Second, watering preps the grass for the incoming winter. Finally, you need to water your lawn as this helps dissolve the fertilizer you have applied.
2. Fertilize your lawn
Ideally, you should fertilize your lawn four times a year. However, if that is not possible, you should fertilize it at least once in the fall. Why?
Fertilizing in the fall ensures that your lawn has all the nutrients it needs to survive the harsh conditions of winter as well as has enough resources to facilitate growth come springtime.
3. Remove dead leaves and debris
Before winter sets in, you’d like your lawn to be clear of debris and dead leaves. If you leave these behind before winter, these can suffocate the grass as it sprouts.
4. Mow your lawn shorter than usual
When mowing, the general rule of thumb is to cut no more than a third of the grass blades. But during fall, you will need to mow your lawn shorter than usual, setting the mowing height between one and a half to two inches. This helps prevent the formation of snow mold and prevent the grass from lying down.
5. Aerate your lawn
Over time, the soil on your lawn becomes compacted due to human and vehicular traffic, causing diverse problems, including decreased water and oxygen intake for the grass.
The simplest remedy to this problem is to aerate the soil on your lawn.
If you are planning to reseed the whole lawn or just parts of it, fall is the great time to do this. This is because the cool weather of fall, coupled with high moisture, gives the grass seeds a higher chance of survival.
7. Stash your lawn mower away
You won’t be needing your lawn mower for several months. That doesn’t mean that it doesn’t need TLC during the winter. In fact, you have to take a few crucial steps during the fall in order to ensure that your trusty tractor won’t breakdown over the winter.
One of the potential problems that your mower might face is engine corrosion. Prevent that by spraying an aerosol fogging spray on the engine.
Next, make sure that its battery is fully charged before storing it for the winter.
And then, make sure that you add fuel stabilizer to your mower’s fuel tank. This will prevent the fuel from gumming up.
Finally, make sure that all openings are covered securely. This will prevent critters seeking shelter from the harsh winter from making a nest in your tractor.
8. Prepare your sprinkler system for winter
Water should be eliminated from all the components of your sprinkler system. If there is water left inside the sprinkler system, there is a high risk that this water will freeze and damage the pipes and other components.
The best way to prevent this, as well as the cost of repair, is to winterize your irrigation system.
There are several ways to go about this, but the best and most effective way is to call in the professionals to do this for you.
Once you have completed these tasks, you can now enjoy the fall and winter, knowing full well that you have prepared your lawn for the following months.