Like many others, you may have found yourself caught up with the hustle and bustle of fall and put some of your outdoor tasks on the backburner. While autumn weekends get busy, there’s no doubt that some lawn care tasks are best to do this time of year.
Proper timing is important and getting these tasks done now will not only mean a healthier lawn but will give you a jumpstart on spring.
Here are 7 of the best things you can do for your lawn in fall:
1. Let Your Lawn Breathe & Fill it in with Lawn Aeration and Overseeding
If you truly want a lush yard, you can’t overlook lawn aeration and overseeding, which can be done through November as long as the ground isn’t frozen. Aeration allows your lawn to breathe again, which is particularly important after the hot and dry summer we’ve had. During aeration, small holes are made which reduces soil compaction, allowing more fertilizer, oxygen, and water to penetrate to the root system of your lawn.
The earlier part of fall is also an ideal time to overseed because cool season grasses grow rapidly at this time of year when the air is cool but the ground is warm. Overseeding now will set you up for a lush green lawn on the other side of winter, and can go a long way in choking out weeds that will grow more easily in a thin area.
2. Opt for Fall Fertilization
Though most homeowners think of spring as the time to fertilize, the truth is that the best time to fertilize cool season grasses is fall. Spring and early summer are essential times as well, but fall fertilization helps your turf build a strong root system that will help it to better survive the winter and be strong the following year.
Fertilizing cool season grasses in fall is also beneficial as it helps the turf to recover from summer stress. Restore your lawn to good health so that it can withstand the winter and be healthy and green come spring.
3. Knock Out Weeds
It just so happens that best time to spray weeds in Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio and Northern Kentucky is the fall! Though the weather is turning, the ground is still warm enough for many weeds to thrive and most weeds are circulating lots of resources down to their roots. That’s why it’s important to tackle tough weeds—such as ground ivy and wild violets—in order to get a weed-free lawn.
Application timing is important and we can typically treat weeds into late October. If you miss the window and begin lawn care service later in the fall, your spring lawn care visits will address weeds when they’re actively growing again.
4. Leaf Clean-Up
Getting the leaves off the ground adds an immediate boost to both front-of-the-house curb appeal and backyard aesthetics. But there’s more hinging on leaf clean-up than just looks. Getting the leaves off the ground before the first snowfall is important in preventing snow mold and discouraging creatures like rodents and insects from taking up residency on your turf. Fallen leaves and branches provide the perfect habitat to burrowing critters.
Rather than sucking up all your leaves, mulch them back into the yard to add some natural nutrients and improve the soil with some organic matter.
Light leaf coverage won’t interfere with any fall lawn care treatments, but if coverage is heavy, your lawn care company may have to try and return after you pick leaves up.
5. The Final Mow
That final mow of the season is so important in terms of how you leave your lawn for the approaching winter. On the last mow, the turf should be cut slightly shorter than on average (typically about 2.5 inches versus the normal 3 inches), in order to prevent excessively long grass which makes it prone to snow mold.
6. Mower Maintenance
If you perform your own mowing, now is the time to be proactive with mower maintenance. If you’re experiencing an issue, don’t wait until the spring rush when everyone else is looking for repair work. Get it fixed now so that it’s ready to go when the grass is rapidly growing. Have it ready-to-go with sharp blades and new oil come spring.
Bear in mind that mowers with batteries should be put on a battery tender over the winter. If not, the battery could ultimately die in the cold weather conditions.
7. Keep up the Watering & Winterize Irrigation Systems
Though winterization of your irrigation system may be on the horizon, many lawns can still benefit from fall watering if conditions are dry and your lawn isn’t getting 1” or more of rainfall each week.
Keeping your turf well-watered during the fall season will keep it green and healthy right up until its days of dormancy.
Water your lawn until the first freeze approaches so that it can withstand the harsh conditions ahead.
Keep an eye on the weather and make sure to have an irrigation company winterize your system to prevent any winter damage.
Finding Help with Your Fall Lawn Care Tasks
If you aren’t able to tackle all of these fall to-dos for your Cincinnati, Dayton, OH or Northern Kentucky lawn on your own, consider bringing in professional help. Oasis Turf & Tree offers services to help with fertilizing lawns, applying weed control, and even aeration and seeding.
We can help ensure that the tasks are done right so that your turf is truly the talk of the neighborhood all season long.