Fall Lawn Care Tips: Let’s Get Started Now!

Now that September is fast leaving us (can you believe that?) and October is about to blow in, it’s time to consider our fall lawn care strategy. Now it does not matter if you have been reading this lawn care blog for a long time, or if you just started, this advice will apply to you. It also applies to those of you who have already forked over the $7 to buy my lawn care book that gives you step by step instructions of what to put down on your grass and when to put it down.

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The reason this all applies to all of you is that I know for a fact that the majority of you have NOT been caring for your lawns like you should; and that’s ok. I understand that summer gets hectic and your lawn care maintenance practices can take a back seat. But now that fall time is almost here, you can make up time and catch up to where you need to be fairly easily. With that in mind, here are some very basic tips on turning your lawn around this fall.

1) First off, your mindset needs to change, and what I mean by that is you cannot think about “starting next spring.” No Way! In fact, starting a lawn care program in the early Fall will yield much faster and long-lasting results than the alternative of waiting until next year. This is because lawns spread out and thicken their root systems in fall and we can take advantage of that by feeding the turf properly at the right time. In addition, there is less weed pressure in the fall, making our efforts that much more effective.

2) Next, you need to get my book. Seriously, it has changed the way a lot of people think about lawn care. You see, the products you put on your lawn (fertilizers, weed controls, etc) are what make the difference, but many of you think that you either need some industrial strength witches brew, or you think that some basic 4-step generic plan at the local hardware store will work. The truth is that neither of those extremes will help your lawn. My plan, which provides a balanced approach, shows you the products to use and where to get them. Of course, most if not all of my recommendations can be found at the local Home Depot, Lowe’s or Menards, but you just don’t know what to look for. In addition to that, I tell you exactly what time of year to use each particular product, and that makes a huge difference as well. Get the book ok?

3) This is in the book too, but it bares mentioning here: YOU MUST AERATE YOUR LAWN THIS FALL! This is not a choice but rather a necessity. My lawn here is as thick as Buckwheat’s Afro but you can dang skippy expect that I will be aerating my lawn this fall and every fall to come. Aeration is just one of those things you need to do at least once a year, like visiting your dentist for a tooth scraping!

When you aerate your lawn you loosen soil and allow those expanding grass roots to get in deeper and wider. You also allow the nutrients you put down in the form of fertilizer to penetrate into the zone faster, thus maximizing your results. Finally, and most importantly, you help release soil microbes that will be spread around to different areas of the lawn, making the soil healthier, Healthy soil is really the foundation for everything else ya know?

Get an estimate to have aeration done by a pro: Click Here For Estimates

So here’s what I want you to do guys: Resolve in your mind that you are going to get out starting this weekend and begin a program to revamp and rejuvenate your lawn this fall. You’ll find that a little work now will really help you have to do less work next spring, no kidding! just get out and do it guys… you will love the results… I promise!!!!

Winterize Your Lawn NOW!!

In the Chicago area, we winterize everything.
The television and radio are inundated with advertisements urging people to get their vehicles ready for winter. In addition, this past weekend, I winterized my pool for the long, cold months to follow.
People are sealing their driveways, plastic shrink-wrapping their boats, and servicing their furnaces. It’s time for winter!
So why should your lawn be any different? The best reason to take some time with your lawn now, is so you will have less to do next Spring. Here are some tips:

(1) Fertilize. I recommend a good dose of 20-20-10 granular fert.  The nutrients will remain in the soil and be used by the lawn in March and April. Remember, the thick blanket of snow that sits on the lawn all winter will melt in Spring … just like a nice, heavy rainfall! If you have nutrients already sitting there, your lawn will be first to green up in March/April.

(2) Aerate. Aeration is a mechanical process wherein cores of soil are actually removed from the lawn. This removing of cores (about the size of a roll or dimes) helps to relieve compaction. It also allows the grass roots to spread out, thus thickening the lawn. The best time to aerate is now because this this is when grass roots form. (as opposed to the grass growing on top in the Spring). You can rent an aerator for about $40 for 4 hours, or call a professional lawn company to do it for about double the cost. You can also check with my friends at Service Magic and get up to 4 estimates for free!

(3) Seed. This is also a good time to overseed the lawn. Overseeding accomplishes several things, but I like to generally overseed the lawn to add in new cultivars that are disease resistant. Remember, cheap seed is garbage! Buy the good stuff that has 0% weed content!

(4) Edge. I recommend a good edging of the lawn using a metal blade edger. This will get all the overgrowth (the grass that flops over the sidewalks and driveways) out of the way when you go to shovel the snow.

(5) Bagging. You should go ahead and bag your lawn clippings for the final couple mowings just to keep things nice and clean. You also might consider cutting the lawn 1” shorter than normal on the final cut of the season. This acts as a way to “rejuvenate” the turf in the Spring and helps avoid winter die-back of grass plants.

Do it yourself lawn tips brought to you by Life and Lawns.