If your lawn is looking like a DIY project after the stresses of summer and heavy traffic, there's good news – fall is the perfect time to start a new lawn care schedule.
You don't need tons of tools or lawn care equipment (though it can help), as long as you follow a few suggestions on timing for making the most out of your yard.
Early fall is an ideal time to tackle those bare spots, thin patches of grass, and dead areas in your lawn. If you have warm-season grass, you'll want to do this while temperatures are high. For those with cool-season grass, it's best to wait until the weather isn't so hot.
In small spaces, start by loosening the soil either by hand or using a garden rake, and remove any dead grass. The next step is to sprinkle grass seed and lightly rake the seed into the loose soil to ensure good seed-to-soil contact. Next, you can add either a rich compost to create a growing bed or an appropriate application of fertilizer. And, be sure to apply water to help the grass seeds take root.
Early fall can also be a great time to treat more troublesome weeds, like creeping Charlie. If you have annual weeds in your lawn, there is no need to treat them at this time, as they will soon die.
The middle of fall is when you want to aerate and over-seed your lawn for next year's growth cycle. To take care of all your yard tasks, check out our Toro turf renovation line, as these tools are designed to get beautiful results over a large surface area.
By aerating your lawn and loosening the soil, you can better prepare the grass for a healthy lifecycle. Seeding is also important during this time, as the fall burst of growth in cool-season grass is some of the most natural and easy to take care of.
Although you may be tempted to fertilize and mow at this time, it's important to give your new fledgling grass a chance to take root. Stay away from the fertilizer altogether, and focus instead on things like edging and trimming.
As the cool weather continues, you're going to start seeing a lot of debris and leaves falling from nearby trees and bushes. Your main job now is to keep that debris from covering your lawn and preventing sun and water from getting to the grass and roots.
A mulching mower will go a long way in breaking up the leaves and organic matter without damaging the grass below. This mulch is also a great way to put nutrients into the soil without introducing fertilizers, so take advantage of as much (or as little) of it as you want.
By Joan Casanova, Bonnie Plants,
Photographs courtesy of Bonnie Plants
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