This time of year, you’re probably thinking more about curling up with a hot cup of apple cider on a cool fall night than you are about your lawn. But a fall lawn care plan is critical if you want your lawn to thrive come spring.
Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, and fine fescue are commonly used in Michigan for home lawns and are known as “cool-season” grasses. These grasses look very nice in spring and early summer. That’s why it’s ironic that fall is such a great time to provide your turf with the things it needs to stay healthy.
So, let’s take a look at a few fall lawn care tips that you can use before your grass is buried under fallen leaves.
Make Sure Your Lawn Is Fertilized
Contrary to popular belief, fall in Michigan runs mainly from September through October. And it is the best time to prep your yard for the following season. Applying fertilizer during this time proves to be most effective. That’s because grass and plants are already starting to store their food and energy for the winter. It will ensure a healthy lawn in the spring.
And keep this in mind. Fallen leaves are actually a great fertilizer. If you use a mulching mower to chop them down into tiny particles, they’ll decompose and provide your lawn with nutrients. In fact, most tree leaves are around 2% nitrogen. So, by mulching your tree leaves into your lawn, you are essentially getting a free fertilizer application of nitrogen.
Fall is the ideal time because the weeds are storing carbohydrates in their root system and are more susceptible to herbicide applications. So if your turf has been overtaken by a bevy of broadleaf weeds, applying a herbicide in late September or early October will make a difference in what you battle next year.
And keep this in mind, weeds can disperse thousands of seeds over a wide area in the fall. If you have any weeds in your yard then you have a whole new generation of weeds just waiting for spring to come back. That’s why it’s important to stay out in front of it by applying a pre-emergent weed killer to prevent weeds from invading your turf.
Core Aeration And Overseeding
Aeration reduces soil compaction and allows for vital nutrients and applications to reach your lawn’s roots. A core aerator is a machine with hollow tines that mechanically removes plugs or “cores” of soil and thatch from a lawn. The “cores” act as a channel through which oxygen, water, and nutrients can penetrate the soil.
If grassroots cannot grow deep, your turf will be less hearty. This can result in grass that is highly susceptible to drought.
In Michigan, early fall is the best time to overseed your lawn. That’s because soil temperatures are still warm, which is necessary for optimum seed germination. Cooler air temperatures are better for grass growth. There are also fewer weeds for the grass to compete with at this time of the year. With adequate sunlight, rainwater and fertilizer, you can expect the new grass seedlings to be well-established before the cooler fall weather arrives.
Let Lush Lawn Help
Our fall lawn care program provides a comprehensive 7-step package. It takes care of everything from fertilizing to aeration, winterizing, and much more. It’s designed to restore and build up your turf at the same time. If you’d like to learn more about how our program works, contact us today.