Fall lawn care is important to make sure lawns are healthy and vital come sprint. In the autumn, lawns do not grow as aggressively so the mowing slows down but it is still important to make sure the grass is taken care of and remains healthy through the season.
Every fall it is important to Aerate your turf areas with a heavy duty commercial aeration machine. This process extracts cores from the turf to allow better drainage, oxygen into the root zone, and creates less compacted soil so grass can develop a thicker root system. For best results, rake up all to the plugs that the aerator pulls out of the turf areas and backfill with sand. This will create a firmer lawn area that handles stress of heavy rains and runoff better. Less pooling water and mushy conditions will result.
You must also make sure your soil has proper chemistry set during the fall lawn care process. It is best to perform a soil test and see if there are any deficiencies in the soil. If you don’t have ability to test soil a maintenance application of limestone and fall fertilizer is a good idea. In the pacific northwest, our soil can often become quite acidic. Adding limestone balances the pH and fall fertilizer can give the turf root developing nutrients it can use over the winter.
Also, if there is heavy tree cover around your turf you should remove all the leaves that fall on the grass areas. If they are left there they can cause conditions for pests and fungus to establish on the grass. Also, heavy leaf cover can block out all sunlight for months if left on the grass. This will result in no regrowth in the spring or very spotty coverage. Ideally, you can mulch the leaves with your lawnmower and they become a useful source of nutrients for a lawn or garden bed as they decompose. Just be certain they are not left over the grass too thick.
Lastly, if lawns are growing adjacent to driveways, roadways or footpaths, you may want to consider putting markers on reflective steaks along the borders of the lawn if you are in an area where snow is likely to occur. Once the ground is covered in white snow everywhere it can be impossible to tell the road from a lawn and it just takes one driver who is not familiar with the location to take his or her vehicle “off-road” unwittingly and leave lots of tire damage in your lawn that you have worked so hard on.
If you need help with fall lawn care call West Coast Lawns and Gardens. We have all the tools and materials to make sure everything is taken care of and you can have everything looking great in March!