Today, we're sharing simple and effective fall lawn care tips that can give you a better looking lawn. Now that the weather is cooling a bit, it's time to get out the shovel, gloves, and fertilizer! Fall is a crucial time for lawns. Turf is recovering from summer and preparing for winter. Whether you have warm-season grass or cool-season grass, there are a few things you can do to help this process and enable your turf to be green and gorgeous all year long!
What type of grass do you have?
Our first tip is to simply find out what type of grass you have. Is it a warm-season grass such as Bermuda grass, Saint Augustine grass, some zoysia grasses, and buffalo grass? These grasses actively grow in warm weather which is why they are so widely used in the south. Cool-season grasses include the fescue grasses, Kentucky bluegrass, bent grass, and rye grass.
Determining grass type will tell you what to do in the fall as grasses respond to treatment differently. But, there are a few tasks that you can do regardless of grass type, and we'll talk about those first.
- Determine soil pH and correct accordingly. If the soil test indicates that you need to lower acidity, apply lime. If you need to decrease alkalinity, apply sulfur. How much will be determined by your grass type.
- Reduce thatch build-up. This is where aeration comes in. Fall is the perfect time to aerate soil. It allows soil to breath, water to seap down to roots, and also for the roots to better absorb nutrients.
- Rake leaves. It's important to keep leaves raked in the fall. Oherwise, the leaves will suffocate grass during winter months.
- Lawn equipment maintenance. Fall is a great time to sharpen those mower blades and empty gas cans (after the last cut of course).
Tips for warm-season grasses
For warm-season grasses, fertilize earlier in the fall. Fertilize too late, and it will affect the hardening-off and natural winterizing process. Is your lawn entirely a warm-season grass? If so, consider over-seeding with a cool-season grass like annual winter ryegrass. Over time, this will give you a green lawn in all seasons.
Tips for cool-season grasses
Fertilizing and watering are very important for cool-season grasses in fall. This is the prime time for storing water and nutrients to survive the harshness of winter. However, you can backoff watering as cool-season grasses don't need as much volume in fall because it's not as hot and dry. Over-seeding has it's benefits for cool-season grasss as well. If you have bare spots, over-seeding can fill the gaps. Lawns will receive fertilizer very well in the fall. This is because the weather is great and the grass is less stressed. Now that it is cooling down a bit, turf is breathing a sigh of relief! Hot summers in Brentwood, Franklin, and Middle Tennessee in general are tough on grass and plants. Fall brings cooler days and nights, shorter days, and there tends to be more rainfall. All of these factors will aid soil in absorbing the nutrients in fertilizer. Of course, we recommend an organic fertilizer.
At Pure Green, we love grass! Warm-season and cool-season grasses have their own benefits and as far as maintenance, there are differences. We are experts, and can analyze and plan according to YOUR grass. Call us today to give you peace of mind all year long that your turf is taken care of.