Take a walk around your property and see if you have any patches of dead grass, any spots where you’d like to thicken up the lawn, or if the lawn just feels hard and compact. This time of year is great to aerate and overseed your lawn if needed. Core aeration is highly recommended and is most effective when it comes to aerating. The reasoning behind this is when you use a spike aerator, it is only pushing the already compacted soil down even more. Not only does the core aerator remove plugs from the ground allowing nutrients, air, and water to get to the soil. It also allows the soil to loosen up, which helps the grassroots deepen, creating a healthier lawn and it gives the seed direct contact with the soil if you’re overseeding your lawn.
2. Raking + Cleaning Up Leaves (Fall Clean Up)
If you live in an established neighborhood with many trees, you’re probably already mentally preparing yourself for this one. It’s important to clean up your leaves before the snow season begins. Some of you may be thinking, “Hey, if we leave our leaves it’s going to protect and insulate our grass keeping it healthier longer.” We’re sorry to inform you but that is wrong. Leaving large piles of leaves could cause your lawn to be smothered and suffer disease problems the following spring. Having a thick layer of leaves creates a moist environment where fungus can develop. (This can also happen if you overwater your lawn – read this blog to learn more) (link to how to water)
Fertilizing the lawn before winter may seem a little odd because the grass will stop growing soon but there are reasons why we encourage it. As your lawn prepares to go dormant, fertilizing helps support root growth before the winter and gives it nutrients to store for a healthier, greener lawn in the spring. For a timeframe, many universities recommend applying your fertilizing treatment around Labor Day. This allows the fertilizer enough time to work its magic.
There’s always one last mow of the year and it’s typically a bittersweet one. This final mow will require you to cut your lawn possibly the shortest height you have all season. It is recommended to have your lawn at 2.5 inches long. Cutting your lawn short helps attract less debris, prevents diseases, and lowers the chance of getting snow mold. This also discourages voles from inhabiting and eating the grass because there isn’t much to eat and with which to protect them. You will want to make sure not to scalp your lawn as removing too much can be harmful.
5. Irrigation (Sprinkler Blowout)
If you’re unfamiliar and new to underground sprinkler systems or new to the Midwest, just this one bullet may make you glad that you found this article. Sprinkler systems must be winterized/blownout before the winter season. This entails using a compressor to blow air into your pipes at a high pressure to force all the water out of your system. Forgetting to do this step can cause parts of your system that still have water in them to burst, and destroy your sprinkler system causing a costly repair in the spring.
To those who have been around the block once or twice, this information may seem redundant. But if you’re new to lawn care maintenance, this may have been the best article you’ve read all year. (We are highly exaggerating but you get the point.) Sometimes the most basic steps are the ones that are forgotten so hopefully, this was a great refresher as to why these services are important to get done.
If you have any questions about your lawn please reach out to our team. If you’re interested in All Terrain Grounds Maintenance, the services we provide, and what we do, feel free to explore our website, call us or shoot us an email.