Fall lawn care tips

The Prince George Citizen - The Citizen - Real Estate Weekly - - Real Estate Weekly -

Spring and sum­mer may be the sea­sons most of­ten as­so­ci­ated with land­scap­ing and lawn care, but tend­ing to lawns and gar­dens is a year-round job. If lawn and gar­den re­spon­si­bil­i­ties dip con­sid­er­ably in win­ter, then fall is the last sig­nif­i­cant chance be­fore the new year that home­own­ers will have to ad­dress the land­scap­ing around their homes. Fall lawn care dif­fers from spring and sum­mer lawn care, even if the warm tem­per­a­tures of sum­mer linger into au­tumn. Home­own­ers who want their lawns to thrive year-round can take ad­van­tage of the wel­com­ing weather of fall to ad­dress any ex­ist­ing or po­ten­tial is­sues.

• Keep mow­ing, but ad­just how you mow.

It’s im­por­tant that home­own­ers con­tinue to mow their lawns so long as grass is grow­ing. But as fall tran­si­tions into win­ter, lower the blades so the grass is cut shorter while re­main­ing mind­ful that no blade of grass should ever be trimmed by more than onethird. Low­er­ing the blades will al­low more sun­light to reach the grass in the months ahead.

Re­move leaves as they fall.

Much like ap­ple-pick­ing and fo­liage, rak­ing leaves is syn­ony­mous with fall. Some home­own­ers may wait to pick up a rake un­til all of the trees on their prop­er­ties are bare. How­ever, al­low­ing fallen leaves to sit on the ground for ex­tended pe­ri­ods of time can have an ad­verse ef­fect on grass. Leaves left to sit on the lawn may ul­ti­mately suf­fo­cate the grass by form­ing an im­pen­e­tra­ble wall that de­prives the lawn of sun­light and oxy­gen. The re­sult is dead grass and pos­si­bly even

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fun­gal dis­ease. Leaves may not need to be raked ev­ery day, but home­own­ers should pe­ri­od­i­cally rake and re­move leaves from their grass, even if there are plenty left to fall still hang­ing on the trees.

Re­pair bald spots.

Sum­mer ex­acts a toll on lawns in var­i­ous ways, and even home­own­ers with green thumbs may end up with a lawn filled with bald spots come Septem­ber. Au­tumn is a great time to re­pair these bald spots. Lawn re­pair mixes like Scotts® PatchMaster con­tain mulch, seed and fer­til­izer to re­pair bald spots, which can be­gin to re­cover in as lit­tle as seven days. Be­fore ap­ply­ing such prod­ucts, re­move dead grass and loosen the top few inches of soil. Fol­low any ad­di­tional man­u­fac­turer instructions as well.

Aer­at­ing re­duces soil com­pact­ing, fa­cil­i­tat­ing the de­liv­ery of fer­til­izer and wa­ter to a lawn’s roots. While many home­own­ers, and par­tic­u­larly those who take pride in tend­ing to their own lawns, can suc­cess­fully aer­ate their own turf, it’s best to first have soil tested so you know which amend­ments to add after the ground has been aer­ated. Gar­den­ing cen­ters and home im­prove­ment stores sell soil test­ing kits that mea­sure the pH of soil, but home­own­ers who want to test for nu­tri­ents or heavy met­als in their soil may need to send their sam­ples to a lab for fur­ther test­ing.

Aer­ate the turf.

Fall lawn care pro­vides a great rea­son to spend some time in the yard be­fore the ar­rival of win­ter.

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