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Don't Fail to Care for Your Lawn in the Fall

by Joe Cooper, All About Lawns Columnist

Looking forward to when you can leave the lawnmower alone? With the end of summer come cooler temperatures and potentially higher moisture, making your job as a lawn care specialist a little easier. As we head into this season, keep a few things in mind that can help maintain the good lawn health you've cultivated this summer.

How would you like to improve your lawn?
  • Make it greener
  • Eliminate patches
  • Less weeds
  • Make it thicker
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Put your soil to the test.

Apply some back-to-school spirit to your lawn by considering a soil test to determine the quality of your soil. Soil testing is easy; you can usually find access to a local soil testing lab online or through your local greenhouse or hardware store. Having a few samples of your lawn area's soil tested will let you know how your lawn is doing, how nutrient-rich it is (i.e. nitrogen and phosphorous content), and how many contaminates it contains.

Experts recommend soil testing during the fall to give time for using the results for the next growing season.


Weed, or warn weeds away.

Late summer / early fall is a good time to tackle those weeds, but keep a few things in mind:

  • Some herbicides used in weed killers can prevent new lawn seeds from germinating, so if you've just fed your grass, take a pass on herbicides.
  • No weeds yet? Be proactive by using herbicides for "pre-emergent" weeds. These products can help keep your lawn weed-free during the fall.


Loosen things up.

This time of year is also good for aerating, which loosens up the soil beneath the lawn and can be a good time for seeding. Waiting for some rain to get the soil in good condition first is wise, and waiting until after you aerate to seed is even wiser. Do you live in a hot, dry climate? You may want to wait to aerate, since aerating an overly dry lawn can damage your soil.


No need for any of these three tips? Then just keep mowing, watering, and wait for cooler temperatures. Fall and winter are lower maintenance seasons for lawns, freeing you to do some more creative things with your landscape; or, to simply relax!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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About the Author
Joe Cooper writes education, home services, and design articles, and manages corporate communications. He holds a bachelor's in American Literature from UCLA.



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