Fall is often the busiest time for lawn owners. With winter approaching, you need to put out all the stops to ensure your green space looks great during this season and, at the same time, prepare it for the onslaught of the coming winter.
In your haste to complete all these essential fall and pre-winter lawn care tasks, you may be making certain mistakes that can do more harm than good to your outdoor space.
Mistakes to Avoid When Tending to Your Lawn This Fall
Seasoned lawn care pros in Glen Heights, Texas share below the eight common lawn care and maintenance mistakes you have to avoid as you work on your yard this autumn:
Leaving debris on your lawn
Keeping your lawn clean can be pretty challenging during fall. Leaves will be falling left and right from your trees or those near your home.
But whether you like the look of your yard covered with leaves or you simply hate cleaning them up, you have to make it a habit during this season. If you don’t, you will find it harder to remove them when they get wet, which is always a possibility due to the unpredictable autumn rain.
Additionally, if you don’t clean up the matted leaves immediately, water can seep into the grass and prevent it from drying. This can cause the growth of fungal diseases on your lawn.
To maintain a clean, great-looking lawn, rake the leaves regularly. If you want to use them as mulch, store them in a bin that you can cover and prevent pests from getting into.
Skipping mowing prematurely
The cooler weather may make you feel lazy to take out the mower and cut the grass. This is a mistake you have to avoid if you want to have a healthy and great-looking lawn this fall.
In autumn, you have two options regarding how high you should leave your grass. Many lawn care experts recommend cutting it shorter to help the soil dry out in-between mowing.
Other experts, on the other hand, suggest keeping the grass the same height as they were during summer to help them maintain long, healthy roots and prevent weeds from growing.
Whichever option you choose, keep the height between 2.5 and 3.5 inches. Moreover, avoid cutting more than a third of the grass blades every time you mow so you won’t stress your grass.
Easing up on the watering
Even if the weather is not too hot anymore and there are occasional rains, your plants still need water to thrive and survive. As such, you can’t afford to ease up on this gardening chore.
To keep your turf and plants healthy and vibrant even during fall, hydrate them regularly. Grasses, in particular, need at least an inch of water per week to thrive.
You can check if your turf needs more water by conducting the footprint test. Simply walk across your yard and look back. If you can see your footprints, your lawn is not getting enough water, which means you need to give it a good soak.
If you use a hose to water your lawn, do this gardening chore early in the morning. By doing so, you give the grass time to dry off.
During fall, the cooler temperatures make it harder for the turf to get dry. If you water late in the afternoon or early evening, the excess moisture will make the grass more susceptible to lawn diseases.
Shutting off the sprinklers too late
Although your lawn still needs watering in the fall, it doesn’t mean that you have to wait until the official last day of the season to turn your automatic sprinklers off and winterize them. If you do, you might rush through the whole process and cause some components to freeze and get damaged.
To avoid this problem, which will be costly to repair, shut down your irrigation system once the weather becomes colder and wetter than usual.
If your lawn still needs weekly watering, take out the hose and do it the traditional way. Although this may require more work on your part, you will avoid a lot of hassles, which comes with waiting too long to shut off your sprinkler system for winter.
Aeration is the process of digging holes into or disrupting the soil to help it absorb more water, fertilizer and other amendments, such as a pre-emergent and peat moss. Fall is the best time to do this lawn care chore.
During aeration, tiny cores of soil are removed, which will allow better air circulation and moisture retention underground. During winter, these conditions will help nourish your lawn.
Aerating your lawn during fall is also a good idea if you applied a crabgrass pre-emergent in the spring. Your lawn will have the entire fall and spring season to recover. It will also help with preventing the growth of this tiresome weed in the spring and summer.
Failing to apply fertilizer
Your lawn needs all the nutrients it can get to survive winter. As such, even if you applied fertilizer during spring, you still need to do it again before the cold season comes.
Fall fertilization is best done around Halloween. To make sure your lawn gets the most from this process, feed the roots of the grass. Doing so strengthens them and makes them healthy from beneath the surface of the soil.
Additionally, always apply a slow-release fertilizer during fall. This often results in a healthier, lusher, and greener lawn in the spring.
Leaving the weeds as they are
Lastly, although the winter frost will get rid of various weeds, if it’s the start or middle of fall, you shouldn’t let these weeds run rampant.
Perennial broadleaf weeds, such as dandelions and ground ivy, send nutrients down to their roots to store in the fall for next spring. If you don’t want to have more problems to deal with after winter, get rid of these pesky plants now.
Pull out weeds by hand whenever possible. If you want to use an herbicide, choose one that targets the plants you don’t want on your lawn and not everything on it.
The mild weather and work you have to do on your lawn can make anyone feel lazy. If you’re not up to doing these important fall gardening chores correctly, get help from lawn care pros in Ovilla, Texas instead.