LawnScape - Plan Now For Next Spring
When it comes to a healthy lawn, now's the time to plan ahead for next spring. A good fall clean-up, like removing fallen leaves, branches and other debris from your lawn can make a world of difference in your turf come next spring. Mowing turf shorter for the final cut of the season will also help it retain better color throughout the winter. Fertilizing in late fall will also help in achieving a quick spring green-up. In the meantime you might want to consider a few other beneficial steps: - Cut your grass tall throughout the fall while your grass is still growing. When your grass goes dormant, you can mow it about ½ inch shorter to prevent matting and discourage diseases. - Leave those grass clippings on your lawn. Remember grass clippings are high in nutrients and will actually benefit your lawn, plus it's good for the environment because clippings don't end up in a landfill. - Clear all debris from the lawn. Dead leaves can smother the grass and create a variety of other problems. - Water your lawn as needed (approximately 1 to 1-1/2 inches per week during dry periods) until the ground is cold and beginning to freeze. - It may be beneficial (for cool season grasses) to aerate your lawn if the soil has become compacted. Compacted soil restricts the movement of air, water and nutrients to the grass' roots. Periodic aeration, at least once ever couple of years, can be extremely beneficial to your lawn. - Over a period of time some lawns can accumulate thatch. Thatch is a layer of slowly decomposing materials such as grass stems, dead roots and other debris that is above the roots and below the blades of grass. While some thatch is beneficial (¼ to ½ inch thick) because it helps control soil temperature and reduces compaction, too much thatch can prevent water penetration and the grass's roots can actually begin to grow in the thatch rather then the soil. A thick layer of thatch can also lead to a variety of insect and disease problems because of insufficient water reaching the root zone. Although you can dethatch your lawn in the spring, the fall is the best time for dethatching due to weed pressure. - Fall fertilization may be the most important application of the year. Be sure to follow the manufacturer's recommendations on the label.
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