As the temperatures drop and the days get shorter, it may seem like the perfect time to relax and stop caring for your lawn. Autumn, however, is the ideal time to prepare for spring. Take advantage of the cooler temperatures and improve your landscape with additional and new plants. Help your grass build the strength it needs to survive our long, cold, harsh Pennsylvania winters. Below are a few fall lawn care tips and suggestions on how to best clean up your yard and prepare it for the upcoming frigid months.
Continue to Mow That Lawn
While it may seem like you should be done mowing your lawn, grass continues to grow until the first frost arrives. Leaving your grass too long runs the risk of fungus and mold. Leaving grass too short affects its root system and makes it harder for your lawn to handle cold air in the winter. We suggest mowing at approximately a two to three-inch height every week or so until the first freeze.
It’s Raining Leaves!
Trees provide shade, air for us to breathe, and a beautiful display of colors. Once the leaves change colors and fall to the ground, it’s essential to keep them maintained. A large pile of leaves block light and trap moisture. They can create the perfect environment for harboring dangerous diseases, rodents, and other pests. They can also compress grass blades, making it harder for you to mow once the leaves have decomposed. Once the leaves start to decay, they can grow mold, bad for those with allergies. LawnRx suggests using a rake or leaf blower once a week to help your grass breathe.
Whether or Not to Water
As long as your grass continues to grow, you will want to keep watering. Usually, after the first frost, or by the end of October, you are probably ok to discontinue this. It is also the perfect time to disconnect hoses and flush irrigation systems, so you don’t have to worry about frozen or busted pipes over the winter.
As crazy as it sounds, fall is the perfect time to fertilize your grass. It helps strengthen your lawn, increasing its durability for the spring. As part of our Five-Step Lawn Care Program, we apply a complete balance of fertilization in the fall and we put down our final application in November/early December which is our winterizer. Our Winterizer promotes root development as well as a faster green up come spring. As your lawn goes to sleep for the winter, the fertilizer will continue to feed your grass; thus allowing the nutrients to get down to the roots, strengthening them and making the plant more resilient against the cold temperatures of winter.
Aeration and Overseeding
After a summer of fun and lots of foot traffic on your lawn, your soil can become compacted. Soil compaction is something that occurs when soil particles are compressed together. It reduces pore space, making it harder for air and water to flow through, preventing the roots from getting the nutrition they need.
Signs Your Soil is Compacted:
- Pooling Water
- Water runoff
- Thin or bare spots
- Spongy grass
LawnRx can help your lawn through aerating and overseeding. Doing this in the fall will help revitalize your lawn, and cause it to come back in the spring healthier and more vibrant.
There are certain types of weeds that germinate in the late summer and early fall and begin to develop in the winter. Some common types of annual winter weeds are henbit, common chickweed, and corn speedwell. It’s essential to treat these types of weeds early so that they aren’t a problem in the spring-time.
Planting in the Fall
Don’t let the cooler temperatures fool you! The soil is still warm from the summer sun, and below-ground remains quite active. Roots are growing, microbes and earthworms are ferociously at work. Fall is the perfect time to plant crocus, daffodils, hyacinths, tulips, and other spring-flowering bulbs. They will put all their energy into root-building, increasing their strength and endurance in the spring. So go ahead, dig up your garden, add new plants, and shake up the look of your garden.
LawnRx is the Answer to All Your Lawn Care Needs
We offer a full-scale, lawn care program that is designed to help Pennsylvania lawns thrive. We can help you with your fall lawn care and ensure your landscape is healthy, weed-free, and ready for spring when the time comes. Give us a call today (724-539-1003) to discuss your lawn care needs. You can also contact us through our website and on Facebook!