With grass maintenance high on your priority list, fall is not the time to unwind. There will be plenty of downtime ahead, but now is the time to end the season successfully. Examine the following categories according to the sort of vegetation you produce. You can get a head start on spring and help raise the standard for grass maintenance in your community for next year.
Fall Tasks for Cool-Season Lawns
Cool-season plants reach their optimum development as temps decline in late summer and early autumn. Northern staples such as Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, and tall and fine fescues are among these grasses. Fall is the ideal season for starting new vegetation and improving old fields due to warm days and chilly nights. Cool-season fields benefit from the following autumn tasks:
- Test your soil . Fall soil testing takes the uncertainty out of controlling the pH and nutrients of your lawn’s soil. Soil additives have more time to finish their job and ready your soil before spring if you make suggested changes in the autumn. Pennington Fast Acting Lime, for example, begins acting instantly to reestablish soil pH equilibrium and promote stronger, verdant fields in the spring. Healthy fields should be tested every three to four years, but trouble regions should be tested every year.
- Feed your lawn . Fall planting differs from your normal season strategy. Cool-season plants profit from feeding six weeks before the first freeze, once summer dormant has passed.1 A high-nitrogen fertilizer, such as Pennington UltraGreen Lawn Fertilizer 30-0-4, aids in the establishment of strong roots, the rise of energy stores, and the survival of fields during the winter.
- Overseed thin lawns . The fall season is perfect for growing cool-season grass seed. Thick, robust spring vegetation results from overseeding narrow fields. Overseed at least 45 days before the expected freeze date to ensure grass establishment before the cooler weather arrives.2 A starting fertilizer, such as Pennington UltraGreen starting Fertilizer 22-23-4, aids in the rapid and robust development of plants.
- Repair bare spots . Problem barren areas are available for restoration now that soil test suggestions have been completed. Temperatures and moisture in the fall facilitate rapid foundation. Pennington By merging everything you need in a single, easy-to-use tool, One Step Complete streamlines fixes.
- Remove excess thatch . When the coating of organic matter that develops between earth and grass blades is sparse, it can help fields. However, when that coating, known as thatch, becomes more than 1/2 inch thick, it can obstruct the flow of water and minerals and promote illness. Handheld rakes to electric machinery known as dethatchers or upright mowers are examples of dethatching instruments. These instruments carve into the thatch layer and draw it up for elimination, restoring a healthy contact between vegetation and earth.
- Aerate compacted soil . Compacted dirt inhibits root growth and reduces soil oxygen levels. Aerators are instruments that rectify soil compaction by making holes in the soil. They range from boots with barbs on the bottoms to highly efficient devices called core aerators. By eliminating tiny pieces or cores of your grass, core aerators reduce aeration. Plugs degrade on the surface, while the openings they leave allow oxygen, water, and minerals to enter. Core ventilation, like dethatching, should correlate to vigorous autumn development.
- Keep watering Cool-season vegetation that is actively developing requires water. However, as autumn comes, you can postpone regular irrigation and rely on rainwater. Healthy, established fields typically require 1 inch of water per week, including rainwater. Under typical circumstances, that same quantity may span 10 to 14 days as development declines.3
- Keep mowing Maintain excellent cutting techniques for your lawn variety, tailored to grass development rather than calender days. Mowing grass slightly shorter than usual can help where winter fungus illnesses are an issue, but don’t leave it until the end; instead, progressively reduce the height.3
- Control weeds Weed and fertilize established cool-season grass only; avoid freshly planted regions. Use focused spot remedies to combat difficult plants.3
- Clean up leaves Mats of fallen leaves smother yard plants and encourage illness if left unattended. Mow and cover small amounts of leaves, but gather, bag, or decompose large amounts.
Fall Tasks for Warm-Season Lawns
Cool autumn temps indicate that the best season for warm-season vegetation has past. These grasses, which include bermudagrass, centipede grass, zoysia grass, and bahiagrass, are most active in the summer and go dormant with the deadly cold in the autumn. Warm-season grasses require different care than cool-season grasses because they slow down in the autumn. Warm-season fields are kept on schedule with the following autumn tasks:
- Test your soil Regardless of your vegetation variety, fall soil monitoring helps fields. Use test findings to your advantage by following repair suggestions, and you’ll be ahead of the game come spring.
- Stop fertilizing . Schedule your final grass fertilizing six to eight weeks before the first autumn freeze.1 Four to five weeks before the freeze date is sufficient for Bermudagrass. Fertilizing too late can disrupt the natural process of dormant, leaving your grass susceptible in the winter.
- Overseed for winter color . Avoid a dead, inactive lawn by overseeding with a cool-season grass like Pennington Smart Seed Perennial Ryegrass, which remains verdant in the winter.Wait until nighttime temps decline and warm-season vegetation begins to fade. Withhold overseeding for pruning until spring, when vigorous growth resumes.
- Skip dethatching and aerating . Although dethatching and aerating can help strengthen and enhance fields, they can be damaging to plants. These chores should be saved for spring and early summer, when your warm-season grass is busy developing and can recover quickly.
- Let rainfall take over Continue nurturing your grass as long as it is developing, then let nature take its course. Maintain a routine irrigation plan if you wish for winter bloom.
- Hit weeds hard . Cool-season plants with bright green foliage are simple to spot in inactive warm-season fields.4& Spot address grass weeds with a post-emergent pesticide designed for active-growing weeds. IMAGE All-in-One Weed Killer tackles a wide variety of challenging plants while keeping your grass looking great.
- Manage leaves Keep scattered foliage away from yard plants. Mulch in small amounts and leave them alone, but clear large accumulations to allow plants to breathe.
Fall grass maintenance isn’t a one-size-fits-all undertaking, but you can have the landscape of your desires. Take the opportunity now to complete your autumn duties, and be proud of a successful season end.
What should I put on my lawn in October?
Apply a nitrogen-rich fertilizer.
This procedure will provide your yard with plenty of nutrition to help it survive the winter and develop healthier in the spring. As a consequence, the single most essential time of year to feed for a thriving grass is in the autumn.
What should I put on my lawn in the fall?
Fall Lawn Care Tips
- Take out the fronds. A layer of multicolored fall foliage may appear pleasant and be enjoyable to play on, but it is not good for lawn.
- Continue sawing, but at the proper height. Don’t put the mower away just yet.
- Continue watering. …
- Loosen the soil. …
- Add fertilizer. …
- Spread seed. …
- Stay on schedule.
Is October a good month to fertilize your lawn?
Because of the colder temperature, which slows plant development, early to mid-October is the ideal time to feed. Slower grass growth rates coupled with delayed release nutrients produce excellent outcomes for a lush spring green-up.
Can I seed and fertilize in October?
Why should I seed and feed in the fall? When should you grow vegetation and irrigate your lawn? The autumn season is ideal. Autumn brings a blend of mild earth and chilly air, ideal for sowing grass seed and enabling new grass roots to grow before winter arrives.