Sept. 28, 2018
1. Be a good barber!
Give your grass a proper haircut — exactly what it wants. Grass keeps growing until the first frost, so don't let up on cutting your lawn. The ideal length is around 2.5 to 3 inches, so adjust your mower to hit that sweet spot. Don't leave it too long or short on top! Cutting your grass too long for winter paves the way for fungi to swoop in, but too short is no good either — your grass needs to have enough roots to handle the harsh snow. Remember that grass length equals root length, so strike a happy medium when mowing. A nice trim will keep your lawn healthy and beautiful.
2. Remove those grays!
Clearing leaves from your lawn is, unfortunately, an absolute necessity for grass health. A few minutes spent in the yard now rather than later will be invaluable to your lawn. Leaves left on grass crush it underneath and smother it by cutting off its access to sunlight. They also trap moisture below, which will leave your lawn soggy come spring. So enjoy the nice weather with your rake or leaf blower in hand! Or make your lawn mower do the work by mulching up your leaves into a healthy compost.
3. Cover up bald spots.
Summer heat exhausts grass, so by now it probably needs some tender loving care. Fall is the best time to reseed any bare patches in your yard. Over-seeding will push out weeds and fill in the gaps because not all seeds will germinate. Remember to keep your seeds moist by misting them once or twice a day and planting them far enough in advance of the cold weather so that they have time to take root. Those bald spots will be gone in no time — no Rogaine needed!
Just like you keep your 'do healthy, make sure your lawn has enough fertilizer — in the right doses of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium — to face winter head on. Not sure how much of each to apply? Simply pick up a soil test kit from your local home improvement store and stick it in the ground. Balancing your NPK levels will keep your lawn strong.
4. Make it a regular appointment.
Fall is always a fun and busy time. Spending a little time on your lawn will make it happy and healthy now and beautiful in the spring. If your to-do list grows too long, consider hiring a professional lawn service to take some of those items off your plate. Or ask around in your neighborhood and local community to see if anyone has a son or daughter willing to rake leaves for some spending money. Planning out your fall now will keep you on the path to spring success!