Fall is upon us, so what better way to prepare your lawn for the beautiful springtime than to prep it for the fall? The best way to ensure you have a thick, beautiful, green, and healthy lawn appropriate for outdoor warm-weather functions is to give it some tender loving care in the fall. So, the time is now. Here are three fall lawn care tips that are sure to impact how your lawn looks next spring.
Mulch Your Leaves
Nice, big trees are sometimes great to have in your yard, especially in the summertime when you need a nice, shady spot for your picnic basket. The only thing is, they cause major problems in the fall and winter. For most people, fallen leaves mean a lot of work raking and cleaning up leaves.
Here’s some good news! Forget about raking, blowing, and bagging leaves. Mulching is a very effective solution for helping your lawn along. Leaf mulching saves you time, is less work, improves your soil, and adds nutrients. To mulch your leaves, take the grass catcher off your mower and mow over the leaves. Reduce the leaves to dime-size pieces. When you can see about a half-inch of grass through the layers of mulched leaves, you know you’ve reduced them enough and are done.
Once the bits of leaves settle in, microbes and worms will work to recycle them. But that process will go much easier with some lawn food or fertilizer. That will not only fertilize your lawn but will also break down the leaves faster. You’ll have greener grass, and the soil microbes will work harder when you feed your lawn after mulching.
Prepare Your Plants
Your beautiful plants help to make your landscape the desirable masterpiece that it is. Make sure to care for them up until the frost or snow hits. Thankfully, plants can signal the change of seasons as the days grow colder and shorter. So they know to prepare to sleep. So, to not confuse them as temperature goes back and forth, there are some things you’ll want to do.
You’ll want to tie up or stake bushy or tall perennials to ensure icy gusts don’t destroy them. Add a blanket layer of mulch protection to your plants to help regulate the temperature swings they’ll be in the midst of. Add a two to three-inch layer of natural mulch, like hardwood or pine bark, to all your landscape beds.
Adding a layer of mulch over the roots of trees and shrubs will also be helpful to them. Make sure to keep the mulch one to two inches away from the stems and trunks of the trees and shrubs. When mulch touches the stems, this can keep the bark too wet or encourage girdling roots, which damages the plant.
If you have new trees among your landscape, wrap the trunk from the ground to the first set of branches with a paper trunk wrap. That will help prevent frost cracks in the bark. Protect delicate plants with a burlap screen on the sides to help with overbearing winds. Use wood or metal stakes to support a fence burlap close to your plants. Remember to not wrap the burlap directly on the plants or cover the tops of them.
Aerate Compacted Soil
One of the best things you can do for your lawn is to allow it a chance to breathe before the grass goes dormant for the cooler weather. Aerating relieves any compaction that has built up during the warmer months. Your lawn probably suffered from some degree of soil compaction and heat stress over the summer. That may have caused your grass to turn brown or thin out.
Aeration removes soil plugs from the lawn to free up passageways for nutrients to reach the grassroots. That is not always possible under compaction and stress. Applying fertilizer soon after you aerate helps to ensure that the nutrients will reach deeper into the soil. Continue to water and mow normally, and the cores will break down and disappear within a week or so. Aerating will bring your lawn back to life, making it green and healthy for the spring. Core aeration is a great treatment for all lawns, but it is highly recommended on an annual basis as part of a lawn maintenance service for:
- Lawns with poor soil
- Lawns with thin grass
- High traffic lawns
- Old lawns that need to be reinvigorated
- Lawns with a high level of thatch
- Lawns that are going to be seeded
- Semi-shaded lawns
Aerating is most effective when done professionally.
When it comes to professionals, AAA lawn Care is West Michigan’s number one choice for quality lawn care. We’ve been setting the standard for quality lawn care maintenance for over 35 years. That’s because our standard has not changed. We are committed to providing our customers the best value for their money.
Request an estimate to begin your core aeration program with AAA Lawn Care now.