Up here in the Midwest, it has been dipping into the seventies these last few days, making me start to think of fall. Of course, there are lots of great events that happen in the fall including pumpkin carving, hayrides, leaf change, and hot apple cider. But more than any of these, I need you to work in your yard this fall to get it back in shape after the long stressful summer.
Here are some of the most basic, yet most important fall tasks you should put on your lawn care list.
1) Core Aeration: If you read this lawn blog often, you know that I mention core aeration every spring and every fall. That is because it is an essential procedure no matter what condition your turf is in right now. Aeration removes plugs from the lawn, opening up the root system to air, water and nutrients allowing it to spread and thicken. Aeration also relieves soil compaction that occurs from summer heat and foot traffic.
2) Fall Seeding: I also recommend you over seed your lawn right after the aeration. It is always a good idea to add fresh grass cultivars to your lawn. This helps keep things healthy and new and new grass varieties are more disease and drought resistant.
3) Fall Fertilization: The last piece of the fall lawn care pie is the fertilizing. We want to use a good, balanced fertilizer that contains equal amounts of nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus. These elements will encourage the roots to spread even more, especially after the aeration.
These are really simple tips and not Earth shattering, but I assure you they are very important. Set a schedule now of when you’ll get them completed, starting anytime in September.
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.
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?
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!!!!